the parenthisised doohickies at the end of each quote refer to the page numbers in C. G. Jung’s Psychological types. The first number refers to the page, the second number refers to the paragraph. As each edition has varying page numbers yr best bet is to refer to paragraphs numbers if you wanna reference the original work.
I shall be embarking on a series of posts concerning Jungian Psychological Types for the purposes of character development in fiction. The notes for which i shall be uploading here for safekeeping and for anyone else to make use of. Afterall, not everybody can just go down their local university library and look through The Collected Works of C. G. Jung for their own personal satisfaction. As I am reading them in the library, and therefore having limited access to them, i will be updating the posts as new information and reflections become available.

The Extraverted/Introverted Type

So, it seems, according to Jung, that your one or t’other, and that the extraverted type relates his entire existence to external objects; be they people, projects, shiny things, whatever. He has no time for the subjective, merely the objective. He lives an ‘objective’ existence (if such a thing can exist in our post-post-modern times) : 

“this is the extraverts danger: he gets sucked into objects and completely loses himself to them.” (565/336)
the subjective/introverted world becomes manifest in his unconscious, in a kind of mirror. This is all fine and dandy, as long as the individual in question doesn’t ‘completely lose himself’ to his objects: 

“It is an outstanding peculiarity of unconscious impulses that, when deprived of energy by lack of conscious recognition, they take on a destructive character, and this happens as soon as they cease to be compensatory. Their compensatory function ceases as soon as they reach a depth corresponding to a cultural level absolutely incompatible with our own. From this moment the unconcious impulses form a block in every way opposed to the conscious attitude, and its very existence leads to open conflict.” ( 574/340 )
( It should be noted that Jung goes on to make further distinctions between types of Extraverted and Introverted types, little sub-groups if you will. I ain’t got to that bit yet. In fact, I ain’t even finished the Extraverted section. ) 

What does this mean for the screenwriter if the extraverted reacts to external objects, and the introverted with his own internal subjectivity? Surely, within a film script, protagonists must be of the extraverted type because, according to the screenwriting guru types, Protagonists are defined by action/reaction? (Okay, this may not be the complete truth, but stay with me here).

What if the external objects are in fact manifestations of the protagonists subjectivity? That everything within the diagesis can in fact be mapped, directly or indirectly, back to the protagonists unconscious? What if that’s why they came into existence in the first place? If you map your protagonists’ conscious/unconscious first, then develop the story and sub-characters second, what kind of film are you writing? How does this effect everything? Does this open you up to new realms of creative expression, or just picking a way to filter that creative expression in the first place?

( i’m thinking outloud here, btw )


Consider the play of the extraverted/external and Introverted/internal outlook in both Julian and Gethin, with each sliding between the these two extremes throughout the plot, in a kind of counterpoint. A character in a film could be considered extraverted by the very nature of the medium i.e. external factors (preassures cause the actions of the protagonists and sub-characters) but this does not mean that these external forces cannot be, in actuality, manifestations of the internal.

As there are two Protagonists (Julian and Gethin) in this paticular narrative, and neither one supercedes the other, do they in fact become in actuality two sides of the same character? Is this a useful way of looking at them? Also, as they also represent a comedy double-act, is this what the comedy double-act can be viewed as?

FURTHER STUDY: psychological types of comedy double-acts

“A normal extroverted attitude does not, of course, mean that the individual invariably behaves in accordance with the extraverted schema. Even in the same individual many psychological processes may be observed that involve the mechanism of introversion. We call a mode of behavior extraverted only when the mechanism of extraversion predominates. In these caesd the most differentiated functions are in part unconscious and far less under the control of consciousness.” [575/340]

“…There is a constant influx of unconscious contents into the conscious psychological process, to such a degree that at times it is hard for the observer to decide which character traits belong to the conscious and which to the unconscious personality.” [576/341]

“Introverted thinking then appears as something quite arbitarry [to the extraverted thinker] while extraverted thinking seems dull and banal [to the introverted thinker]. Thus the two orientations are incessantly at war.” [581/345]