©2001 by Judith Searle
Caulfield, hero of J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, is a
classic example of the Two temperament. As 17-year-old Holden talks with
his 10-year-old sister, Phoebe, about the kind of career he might choose,
we see the Two's dedication to helping others:
"You know what I'd like
to be?" I said. "You know what I'd like to be? I mean if I had my goddam
that song 'If a body catch a body comin' through the rye?' I'd like--"
a body meet a body coming through the rye'!" old Phoebe said. "It's
a poem. By Robert Burns."
right, though. It is "If a body meet a body coming through the rye."
I didn't know it then, though.
it was 'If a body catch a body,'" I said. "Anyway, I keep picturing all
these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands
of little kids, and nobody's around--nobody big, I mean--except me. And I'm
standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to
catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff--I mean if they're running
and they don't look where they're going I have to come out from somewhere
and catch them. I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know
it's crazy, but that's the only thing I'd really like to be. I know it's
crazy." (pp. 172-173)
At their best, Twos are generous, highly emotional, and intense in their
relationships. I call Two "The Lover" because people of this temperament
generally have a powerful concern for others and empathy for their sufferings.
Twos often devote their lives to supporting others, and they take great
pride in this loving service.
Bernard Shaw's play Candida, the heroine exemplifies the Two's dedication
to helping loved ones with their life tasks, as Candida does for her preacher
husband, James Morell. The playwright's description of Candida at her first
entrance offers a witty portrait of a self-aware Two:
She is a woman of 33,
well built, well nourished, likely, one guesses to become matronly later
on, but now quite at her best, with the double charm of youth and motherhood.
Her ways are those of a woman who has found that she can always manage
people by engaging their affection, and who does so frankly and instinctively
without the smallest scruple. So far, she is like any other pretty woman
who is just clever enough to make the most of her sexual attractions for
trivially selfish ends; but Candida's serene brow, courageous eyes, and
well set mouth and chin signify largeness of mind and dignity of character
to ennoble her cunning in the affections. (p.
a Three, introduces his wife to Eugene Marchbanks, a Four, a young poet
whom Morell has rescued from personal difficulties. Marchbanks falls in
love with Candida, who is 15 years his senior, and persuades Morell that
Candida may return his love.
has an instinctive understanding of Marchbanks' hunger for love and beauty.
When she confides to her husband her sense that Marchbanks is ready to
fall in love with her, we see her Two pride in her potential power over
the young poet's life. She explains to Morell that Marchbanks's ultimate
view of her will depend on how he is introduced to love:
If he learns it from a good woman, then it will be all right: he will forgive
CANDIDA. But suppose he learns it
from a bad woman, as so many men do, especially poetic men, who imagine
all women are angels! Suppose he only discovers the value of love when
he has thrown it away and degraded himself in his ignorance! Will he forgive
me then, do you think?
MORELL. Forgive you for what?
CANDIDA [realizing how stupid
he is, and a little disappointed, though quite tenderly so] Don't you
understand? [He shakes his head. She turns to him again, so as to explain
with the fondest intimacy]. I mean, will he forgive me for not teaching
him myself? For abandoning him to the bad women for the sake of my goodness,
of my purity, as you call it? Ah, James, how little you understand me,
to talk of your confidence in my goodness and purity! I would give them
both to poor Eugene as willingly as I would give my shawl to a beggar dying
of cold, if there were nothing else to restrain me. Put your trust in my
love for you, James; for if that went, I should care very little for your
sermons: mere phrases that you cheat yourself and others with every day.
Candida's threat to withdraw her love if her husband fails to fully appreciate
her may be subtle, but it is real. The iron hand within that velvet glove
is characteristic of Twos, whose self-respect is maintained by the love
and dependency of others.
end, the two men decide that Candida must choose between them. Morell offers
her his strength, dignity, protection; Marchbanks offers his weakness and
need. Candida, appalled at their common assumption that she must "belong"
to one or the other, deliberately delays declaring her choice until both
men are miserable with the suspense:
I give myself to the weaker of the two.
Eugene divines her meaning at
once: his face whitens like steel in a furnace.
MORELL [bowing his head with
the calm of collapse] I accept your sentence, Candida.
CANDIDA. Do you understand, Eugene?
MARCHBANKS. Oh, I feel I'm lost.
He cannot bear the burden.
MORELL [incredulously, raising
his head and voice with comic abruptness] Do you mean me, Candida?
CANDIDA [smiles a little]
Let us sit and talk comfortably over it like three friends. [To Morell]
Sit down, dear. [Morell, quite lost, takes the chair from the fireside:
the children's chair] Bring me that chair, Eugene. [She indicates
the easy chair. He fetches it silently, even with something like cold strength,
and places it next Morell, a little behind him. She sits down. He takes
the visitor's chair himself, and sits, inscrutable. When they are all settled
she begins, throwing a spell of quietness on them by her calm, sane, tender
tone]. You remember what you told me about yourself, Eugene; how nobody
has cared for you since your old nurse died: how those clever fashionable
sisters and successful brothers of yours were your mother's and father's
pets: how miserable you were at Eton: how your father is trying to starve
you into returning to Oxford: how you have had to live without comfort
or welcome or refuge: always lonely, and nearly always disliked and misunderstood,
MARCHBANKS [faithful to the nobility
of his lot] I had my books. I had Nature. And at last I met you.
CANDIDA. Never mind that just at
present. Now I want you to look at this other boy here: my boy! Spoiled
from his cradle. We go once a fortnight to see his parents. You should
come with us, Eugene, to see the pictures of the hero of that household.
James as a baby! The most wonderful of all babies. James holding his first
school prize, won at the ripe age of eight! James as the captain of his
eleven! James in his first frock coat! James under all sorts of glorious
circumstances! You know how strong he is (I hope he didn't hurt you): how
clever he is: how happy. [With deepening gravity] Ask James's mother
and his three sisters what it cost to save James the trouble of doing anything
but be strong and clever and happy. Ask me what it costs to be James's
mother and three sisters and wife and mother to his children all in one.
Ask Prossy and Maria how troublesome the house is even when we have no
visitors to help us to slice the onions. Ask the tradesmen who want to
worry James and spoil his beautiful sermons who it is that puts them off.
When there is money to give, he gives it: when there is money to refuse,
I refuse it. I build a castle of comfort and indulgence and love for him,
and stand sentinel always to keep the little vulgar cares out. I make him
master here, though he does not know it, and could not tell you a moment
ago how it came to be so. [With sweet irony]
And when he thought I might go away
with you, his only anxiety was--what should become of me! And to tempt me
to stay he offered me [leaning forward to stroke his hair caressingly
at each phrase] his strength for my defence! His industry for my livelihood!
His dignity for my position! His--[relenting] ah, I am mixing up
your beautiful cadences and spoiling them, am I not, darling? [She lays
her cheek fondly against his].
MORELL [quite overcome, kneeling
beside her chair and embracing her with boyish ingenuousness] It's
all true, every word. What I am you have made me with the labor of your
hands and the love of your heart. You are my wife, my mother, my sisters:
you are the sum of all loving care to me.
CANDIDA [in his arms, smiling,
to Eugene] Am I your mother and sisters to you, Eugene?
MARCHBANKS [rising with a fierce
gesture of disgust] Ah, never. Out, then into the night with me!
This scene provides an
amusing composite picture of the Feeling Triad: Candida's Two pride in
the control her loving attention to others gives her over their lives;
Morell's Three lack of awareness of his feelings and especially of his
dependency on his wife; and Marchbanks's Four capacity for suffering, which
is ultimately a kind of strength.
The Two's History
Twos as children feel ambivalent
toward the protective figure in their lives. Usually the father takes this
role in a child's life, but in some cases the mother is the primary provider
of structure, guidance, and discipline. Because Twos have mixed feelings
about their protector, they develop qualities of the protector's complementary
opposite: the motherly, loving, nurturing figure. Their reasoning runs
something like this: If I can make others--especially the protective figure--love
me and depend on me, maybe I will be safe. Winning the protector's affection
thus becomes the template for the Two's approach to relationships in later
The World According to Garp
John Irving's novel The
World According to Garp describes the life and times of Garp, the Two
son of Jenny Fields, a feminist leader ahead of her time. Jenny, an Eight,
is fiercely independent and unsentimental--her qualities as protective figure
much stronger than her qualities as nurturing figure. A nurse in a veterans'
hospital, she wants a child but not a husband. Her solution is to become
pregnant by a dying, brain-damaged patient whose vocabulary consists of
a single word: "Garp." She loses her job when her pregnancy becomes evident,
takes a job as nurse in a boys' school, and names her son "T. S. [for Technical
Garp's story, a sexual comedy
of errors, is filled with love, violence, and death. Even as a child, Garp
shows a Two's exceptional compassion for others' suffering, When Garp's
English teacher is tormented by his students over his foul breath, Garp
refuses to participate in this public humiliation:
"G-G-Garp?" stuttered Mr. Tinch, bending close to the boy--who smelled the
terrible truth in Senior Honors English Composition. Garp knew he would
win the annual creative writing prize. The sole judge was always Tinch.
And if he could just pass third-year math, which he was taking for the
second time, he would respectably graduate and make his mother very happy.
I have b-b-bad breath, Garp?" Tinch asked.
and 'bad' are matters of opinion, sir," Garp said.
your opinion, G-G-Garp?" Tinch said.
"In my opinion," Garp said, without batting an eye, "you've got the best breath
of any teacher at this school." And he looked hard across the classroom
at Benny Potter from New York--a born wise-ass, even Garp would agree--and
he stared Benny's grin off Benny's face because Garp's eyes said to Benny
that Garp would break Benny's neck if he made a peep.
Tinch said, "Thank you, Garp," who won the writing prize, despite the note
submitted with his last paper.
Mr. Tinch: I lied in class because
I didn't want those other assholes to laugh at you. You should know, however,
that your breath really is pretty bad. Sorry.
know w-w-what?" Tinch asked Garp when they were alone together, talking
about Garp's last story.
nothing I can d-d-do about my breath," Tinch said. "I think it's because
I'm d-d-dying," he said, with a twinkle, "I'm r-r-rotting from the inside
out!" But Garp was not amused and he watched for news of Tinch for years
after his graduation, relieved that the old gentleman did not appear to
have anything terminal. (pp. 66-67)
instinctive kindness to Tinch is typical of Twos. The Two emotional responsiveness
to others' suffering is also clear in the following scene, in which the
adult Garp empathizes with the predicament of a young girl who has been
Garp had been running in the city park when he found the girl, a naked
ten-year-old running ahead of him on the bridle path. When she realized
he was gaining on her, she fell down and covered her face, then covered
her crotch, then tried to hide her insubstantial breasts. It was a cold
day, late fall, and Garp saw the blood on the child's thighs and her frightened,
swollen eyes. She screamed and screamed at him.
happened to you?" he asked, though he knew very well. He looked all around
them, but there was no one there. She hugged her raw knees to her chest
and screamed. "I won't hurt you," Garp said. "I want to help you." But
the child wailed even louder. My God, of course! Garp thought: the terrible
molester had probably said those very words to her, not long ago.
"Where did he go?" Garp asked her. Then he changed his tone, trying to
convince her he was on her side. "I'll kill him for you," he told her.
She stared quietly at him, her head shaking and shaking, her fingers pinching
and pinching the tight skin on her arms. "Please," Garp said, "Can you
tell me where your clothes are?" He had nothing to give her to wear except
his sweaty T-shirt. He was dressed in his running shorts, his running shoes.
He pulled his T-shirt off over his head and felt instantly cold; the girl
cried out, awfully loud, and hid her face. "No, don't be frightened, it's
for you to put on," Garp told her. He let the T-shirt drop on her but she
writhed out from under it and kicked at it; then she opened her mouth very
wide and bit her own fist. . . .
began to cry. The sky was gray, dead leaves were all around them, and when
Garp began to wail aloud, the girl picked up his T-shirt and covered herself
with it. They were in this queer position to each other--the child crouched
under Garp's T-shirt, cringing at Garp's feet with Garp crying over her--when
the mounted park police, a twosome, rode up the bridle path and spotted
the apparent child molester with his victim. (p. 141)
Garp becomes a writer and marries Helen, a practical, scholarly, independent
woman who in some ways resembles his mother; they produce a son, for whom
Garp becomes the primary nurturing figure.
Garp has the strong sexual appetite
that is characteristic of Twos, and he becomes involved in a number of
extra-marital liaisons. After having sex with Cindy, his son's baby sitter,
Garp returns home, fearful that the campus police may have seen him throwing
away the remainder of his packet of condoms.
But no one saw him, no one found him out. Even Helen, already asleep, would
not have found the smell of sex peculiar; after all, only hours before,
he had legitimately acquired the odor. Even so, Garp showered, and slipped
cleanly into his own safe bed; he curled against Helen, who murmured some
affection; instinctively, she thrust one long thigh over his hip. When
he failed to respond, she forced her buttocks back against him. Garp's
throat ached at her trust, and at his love for her. He felt fondly the
slight swell of Helen's pregnancy. . . . Although he'd agreed with Helen
that it would be nice to have a girl, Garp hoped for another boy.
Twos--both male and female--identify with
the feminine consciousness and vulnerabilities.
he thought. He recalled the girl in the park, his image of the tongueless
Ellen James, his own mother's difficult decisions. He felt fortunate to
be with Helen; she had her own ambitions and he could not manipulate her.
But he remembered the Kärntnerstrasse whores, and Cushie Percy (who
would die making a baby). And now--her scent still on him, or at least on
his mind, although he had washed--the plundered Little Squab Bones. . .
didn't want a daughter because of men. Because of bad men, certainly;
but even, he thought, because of men like me. (pp. 150-151)
concern for his children and his anxiety about their well-being mark him
as a version of the "Jewish mother" figure that is a stereotype of Two:
Garp eyed Walt's uneaten pasta as if it were a personal insult. "Why do
I bother?" he said. "The child eats nothing."
finished their meal in silence. Helen knew Garp was thinking up a story
to tell Walt after dinner. She knew Garp did this to calm himself whenever
he was worried about the children--as if the act of imagining a good story
for children was a way to keep children safe forever.
the children Garp was instinctively generous, loyal as an animal, the most
affectionate of fathers; he understood Duncan and Walt deeply and separately.
Yet, Helen felt sure, he saw nothing of how his anxiety for the children
made the children anxious--tense, even immature. On the one hand he treated
them as grownups, but on the other hand he was so protective of them that
he was not allowing them to grow up. He did not accept that Duncan was
ten, that Walt was five; sometimes the children seemed fixed, as three-year-olds,
in his mind.
listened to the story Garp made up for Walt with her usual interest and
concern. Like many of the stories Garp told the children, it began as a
story for the children and ended up as a story Garp seemed to have made
up for Garp. You would think that the children of a writer would have more
stories read to them than other children, but Garp preferred that his children
listen only to his stories. (p. 187)
Helen, a One, obviously understands
Garp better than he understands himself. Twos prefer to focus on others'
needs, and soul-searching generally makes them uncomfortable.
Garp learns that his wife is having an affair with one of her university
students, he responds with characteristic Two histrionics:
When Helen touched him, he said, "Don't touch me," and went on crying.
Helen shut the bedroom door.
she pleaded. He isn't worth this; he wasn't anything. I just enjoyed him," she tried to explain, but Garp shook his head violently and threw
his pants at her. He was still only half dressed--an attitude that was perhaps,
Helen realized, the most compromising for men: when they were not one thing
and also not another. A woman half dressed seemed to have some power, but
a man was simply not as handsome as when he was naked, and not as secure
as when he was clothed. "Please get dressed," she whispered to him, and
handed him back his pants. He took them, he pulled them on; and went on
do just what you want," she said.
won't see him again?" he said to her.
not once," she said. "Not ever again."
has a cold," Garp said. "He shouldn't even be going out, but it's not too
bad for him at a movie. And we won't be late," he added to her. "Go see
if he's dressed warmly enough." She did.
opened her top drawer, where her lingerie was, and pulled the drawer from
the dresser; he pushed his face into the wonderful silkiness and scent
of her clothes--like a bear holding a great trough of food in his forepaws,
and then losing himself in it. When Helen came back into the room and caught
him at this, it was almost as if she'd caught him masturbating. Embarrassed,
he brought the drawer down across his knee and cracked it; her underwear
flew about. He raised the cracked drawer over his head and smacked it down
against the edge of the dresser, snapping what felt like the spine of an
animal about the size of the drawer. Helen ran from the room and he finished
dressing. (pp. 256-257)
seething about Helen's affair, Garp takes his sons to a movie, having secured
her promise that she will use the time he is away to break off with her
lover. Sitting in the movie, Garp frets about his son Walt's fever and
his wife's infidelity.
"You should relax, Dad," Duncan suggested, shaking his head. Oh, I should,
Garp knew; but he couldn't. He thought of Walt, and what a perfect little
ass he had, and strong little legs, and how sweet his sweat smelled when
he'd been running and his hair was damp behind his ears. A body that perfect
should not be sick, he thought. I should have let Helen go
out on this miserable night; I should have made her call that twerp from
her office--and tell him to put it in his ear, Garp thought. Or in a light
socket And turn on the juice!
should have called that candy-ass myself, Garp thought. I should have visited
him in the middle of the night. When Garp walked up the aisle to see if
they had a phone in the lobby, he heard Walt still coughing.
she hasn't already gotten in touch with him, Garp thought, I'll tell her not to keep trying. I'll tell her it's my turn. He was at that point
in his feelings toward Helen where he felt betrayed but at the same time
honestly loved and important to her; he had not had time enough to ponder how betrayed he felt--or how much, truly, she had been trying to keep him in
her mind. It was a delicate point, between hating her and loving her terribly--also,
he was not without sympathy for whatever she'd wanted; after all, he knew,
the shoe on the other foot had also been worn (and was certainly thinner).
It even seemed unfair, to Garp, that Helen, who had always meant so well,
had been caught like this; she was a good woman and she certainly deserved
better luck. But when Helen did not answer the phone, this point of delicacy
in Garp's feelings toward her quite suddenly escaped him. He felt only
rage, and only betrayal. (pp. 263-264)
blind fury here reflects the Two's connecting point to Eight.. He insists
on leaving in the middle of the movie, drives home in the middle of a blinding
sleet storm, and accidentally hits his wife's lover's car in his home driveway
as Helen and her lover are in the car making love. The accident kills Walt
and seriously injures everyone else.
Levels of Health
at all levels of health seek to win love through serving and helping others.
But only the healthiest Twos have sufficient insight into their own personality
dynamics to understand that giving-to-get is at the root of their altruism.
psychological defense mechanism characteristic of Two is repression, a
banishing of one's own needs from awareness. Because average Twos are out
of touch with their personal needs and desires, they unconsciously seek
to align themselves with people who can fill those needs. But Twos delude
themselves that they are the ones filling the needs of others, and their
ability to serve others becomes a source of pride. Average Twos are continually
in search of reassurance that they are loved and valued.
literature we see a wide range of average Twos: Holden Caulfield in The
Catcher in the Rye, Garp in The World According to Garp, the
title character in Jane Austen's Emma, Molly Bloom in James Joyce's Ulysses,
Dora in Charles Dickens's David Copperfield, Amanda in Tennessee
Williams's The Glass Menagerie, Shakespeare's King Lear and Cleopatra,
Will Ladislaw in George Eliot's Middlemarch, Emile Zola's Nana,
Sophie in William Styron's Sophie's Choice, the second Mrs. De Winter
in Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca, Tereza in Milan Kundera's The
Unbearable Lightness of Being, Hana in Michael Ondaatje's The English
Patient, Molina in Manuel Puig's The Kiss of the Spider Woman,
Norman in Ronald Harwood's The Dresser, and the title character
in Muriel Spark's The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.
Twos are healthy, they are altruistic, loving and nurturing of others without
any expectation that others will reciprocate. They are deeply humble people
whose take their greatest satisfaction in seeing others' suffering reduced.
Unlike average Twos, they are in touch with their own feelings and have
an ability to nurture themselves as well as others.
Twos in literature include Sidney Carton in Dickens's A Tale of Two
Cities, Esther in Dickens's Bleak House, Flora Poste in Stella
Gibbons's Cold Comfort Farm, Hester Prynne in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The
Scarlet Letter, the title characters in Bernard Shaw's Major Barbara and Candida, Mr. Darcey in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice,
Mrs. Ramsay in Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse, Kate Gulden in
Anna Quindlen's One True Thing, and the black minister in Alan Paton's Cry,
the Beloved Country.
Twos become aggressive and manipulative, demanding from others the love
they feel they have earned by their selfless devotion. Twos at this level
are bitter at what they see as others' ingratitude, and they may use their
own illnesses--often psychosomatic in origin--as evidence of their self-sacrifice.
When Twos deteriorate to this degree, they become so unlovable they actually
drive away the love they crave. In extreme pathology, Twos may become stalkers.
of unhealthy Twos in literature are Gregors Werle in Henrik Ibsen's The
Wild Duck, the Captain in August Strindberg's The Father, Annie
in Stephen King's Misery, Paula in Roddy Doyle's The Woman Who
Walked into Doors, Dave in Alice Adams's Medicine Men, and Baby
Kochamma in Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things.
Two's Place in Society
are found in all lines of work, but they are especially visible in the
helping professions. Nurses, massage therapists, physical therapists, dental
aides and other professional caregivers are often Twos, as are nannies,
teachers of young children, and school principals. Restaurant waitstaff,
maitre d's, and chefs are also frequently of this temperament. Twos often
choose careers as flight attendants, secretaries, telephone operators,
retail salespeople and managers, beauticians, talent agents and personal
strong orientation toward people also leads many Twos into careers in show
business as actors, singers, dancers, celebrity interviewers, and hosts
of children's television shows. Celebrity spouses are often people of this
Twos of both sexes commonly devote
a great deal of energy and attention to nurturing their families, and for
many the central "career" is that of homemaker.
Two's Stress and Security Points
compass of the Two is relatively wide, having connections with both sides
of the Enneagram diagram, but with only two of the triads. Two's natural
character arc is between the Eight and Four connecting points. It is notable
that Twos have qualities of all three of the categories described by Karen
Horney: the aggressive, at Eight; the withdrawn, at Four; and the compliant--moving
toward others--at their core point.
basic tension for Twos between a confrontative power grab at the Eight
stress point and self awareness at the Four security point reflects a primary
concern with the "I-Thou" issue: Where are the appropriate boundaries between
the self and the other? Lack of appreciation by others for Two's helpfulness
may result in a hysterical and invasive confrontation, at Eight, as we
saw with Garp in relation to his wife's love affair. Without continual
assurance that others love and need them, Twos' basic self-concept is threatened,
even in a character as healthy as Candida. However, if Twos are seen as
lovable, they gain confidence at their Four security point to explore their
own deepest feelings.
The fact that Twos have no interior
line touching the head triad has of course no relation to their intelligence;
it simply means that thinking is not Twos' first priority.
The Wings of Two
contrast between the One wing and the Three wing is strong, with One's
dutifulness reinforcing the Two's caretaking aspect, while Three's need
to present a successful image emphasizes the self-serving motivation that
is ever-present beneath the Two's stance of helpfulness.
with a One wing tend to be more emotionally controlled and tense than Twos
with a Three Wing. Preoccupied with what is right and proper, they are
more likely to devote themselves to fostering others' growth and healing.
One wing is visible in his anxiety about his children, his conscience over
his infidelities, and his attention to keeping his household uncluttered.
His preoccupation with the social usefulness of his writing is also a mark
of the average Two with a One wing.
Caulfield, who also has a One wing, is rigid in his judgments of others'
cruelty and uncompromising in his desire to find a profession that is compatible
with an ethical life. The One-ish black-and-white thinking he exhibits
is a factor in his nervous breakdown.
with a Three wing tend to be more seductive, playful, and conscious of
the image they present to the world. Both Two and Three are "image" points,
defining themselves through the feedback they get from others, so Twos
with a Three wing need more admiration and validation from the world than
Twos with a One wing, who are more in touch with an inner compass.
Candida is a Two with a Three wing, her high level of health shows in her
generosity to others and her lack of expectation of any quid-pro-quo.
Only when her husband treats her with extreme insensitivity does she remind
him how much he actually depends on her.
To The Lighthouse
Ramsay, the protagonist of Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse, offers
an example of a healthy Two with a One wing. A 50-year-old mother of eight
and wife of a professor of literature, she is in Scotland for the summer
with her family and assorted house guests. Typically, she is the glue that
holds together this disparate group, and she continually focuses on serving
them: feeding them, making them feel valued, using her superb social skills
to encourage appropriate romantic matches.
Two's focus on helping others is visible in Mrs. Ramsay's discussion with
her husband about sailing to the nearby Lighthouse the following day. When
he argues that the weather looks unpromising, she is distressed about disappointing
her six-year-old son, James:
'But it may be fine--I expect it will be fine,' said Mrs. Ramsay, making
some little twist of the reddish-brown stocking she was knitting, impatiently.
If she finished it to-night, if they did go to the Lighthouse after all,
it was to be given to the Lighthouse keeper for his little boy, who was
threatened with a tuberculous hip; together with a pile of old magazines,
and some tobacco, indeed whatever she could find lying about, not really
wanted, but only littering the room, to give those poor fellows who must
be bored to death sitting all day with nothing to do but polish the lamp
and trim the wick and rake about on their scrap of garden, something to
amuse them. For how would you like to be shut up for a whole month at a
time, and possibly more in stormy weather, upon a rock the size of a tennis
lawn? she would ask; and to have no letters or newspapers, and to see nobody;
if you were married, not to see your wife, not to know how your children
were--if they were ill, if they had fallen down and broken their legs or
arms; to see the same dreary waves breaking week after week, and then a
dreadful storm coming, and the windows covered with spray, and birds dashed
against the lamp, and the whole place rocking, and not be able to put your
nose out of doors for fear of being swept into the sea? How would you like
that? she asked, addressing herself particularly to her daughters. So she
added, rather differently, one must take them whatever comforts one can.
Mrs. Ramsay's Two empathy is
evident in her vivid imagining of the lighthouse keepers' situation. Her
focus on helping them allows her to push aside her own feelings, especially
her impatience with her husband--which, if admitted, might threaten the
serenity of their relationship. Her response shows the repression that
is the Two's characteristic defense mechanism.
later passages we see Mrs. Ramsay's understanding of what her husband needs
from her: in particular, reassurance about the value of his scholarly work:
It was sympathy he wanted, to be assured of his genius, first of all, and
then to be taken within the circle of life, warmed and soothed, to have
his senses restored to him, his barrenness made fertile, and all the rooms
of the house made full of life--the drawing-room; behind the drawing-room
the kitchen; above the kitchen the bedrooms; and beyond them the nurseries;
they must be furnished, they must be filled with life.
She is successful in shoring up her
husband's self-respect, but the effort is not without cost to her; being
a healthy Two, she is able to acknowledge this:
Tansley thought him the greatest metaphysician of the time, she said. But
he must have more than that. He must have sympathy. He must be assured
that he too lived in the heart of life; was needed; not here only, but
all over the world. Flashing her needles, confident, upright, she created
drawing-room and kitchen, set them all aglow; bade him take his ease there,
go in and out, enjoy himself. She laughed, she knitted. Standing between
her knees, very stiff, James felt all her strength flaring up to be drunk
and quenched by the beak of brass, the arid scimitar of the male, which
smote mercilessly, again and again, demanding sympathy.
was a failure, he repeated. Well, look then, feel then. Flashing her needles,
glancing round about her, out of the window, into the room, at James himself,
she assured him, beyond a shadow of a doubt, by her laugh, her poise, her
competence (as a nurse carrying a light across a dark room assures a fractious
child) that it was real; the house was full; the garden blowing. If he
put implicit faith in her, nothing should hurt him; however deep he buried
himself or climbed high, not for a second should he find himself without
her. So boasting of her capacity to surround and protect, there was scarcely
a shell of herself left for her to know herself by; all was so lavished
and spent. (p. 42)
Filled with her words, like a child who drops off satisfied, he said, at
last, looking at her with humble gratitude, restored, renewed, that he
would take a turn; he would watch the children playing cricket. He went.
Mrs. Ramsay seemed to fold herself together, one petal closed in another,
and the whole fabric fell in exhaustion upon itself, so that she had only
strength enough to move her finger, in exquisite abandonment to exhaustion,
across the page of Grimm's fairy story, while there throbbed through her,
like the pulse in a spring which has expanded to its full width and now
gently ceases to beat, the rapture of successful creation.
throb of this pulse seemed, as he walked away, to enclose her and her husband,
and to give to each that solace which two different notes, one high, one
low, struck together, seem to give each other as they combine. Yet, as
the resonance died, and she turned to the Fairy Tale again, Mrs. Ramsay
felt not only exhausted in body (afterwards, not at the time, she always
felt this) but also there tinged her physical fatigue some faintly disagreeable
sensation with another origin. Not that, as she read aloud the story of
the Fisherman's Wife, she knew precisely what it came from; nor did she
let herself put into words her dissatisfaction when she realized, at the
turn of the page when she stopped and heard dully, ominously, a wave fall,
how it came from this: she did not like, even for a second, to feel finer
than her husband; and further, could not bear not being entirely sure,
when she spoke to him, of the truth of what she said. Universities and
people wanting him, lectures and books and their being of the highest importance--all
that she did not doubt for a moment; but it was their relation, and his
coming to her like that, openly, so that any one could see, that discomposed
her; for then people said he depended on her, when they must know that
of the two he was infinitely the more important, and what she gave the
world, in comparison with what he gave, negligible. But then again, it
was the other thing too--not being able to tell him the truth, being afraid,
for instance, about the greenhouse room and the expense it would be, fifty
pounds perhaps, to mend it; and then about his books, to be afraid that
he might guess, what she a little suspected, that his last book was not
quite his best book (she gathered that from William Bankes); and then to
hide small daily things, and the children seeing it, and the burden it
laid on them--all this diminished the entire joy, the pure joy, of the two
notes sounding together, and let the sound die on her ear now with a dismal
flatness. (pp. 43-45)
At the end of a particularly convivial dinner party, Mrs. Ramsay takes
pleasure in the thought that the experience she has created for her guests
will ensure her own immortality, in a sense. She sees her party as part
of the social fabric that will find its continuity through others such
as the newly engaged Paul and Minta. Even though Mrs. Ramsay has a sense
of her own impending death, she feels no fear about it:
that was done then, accomplished; and as with all things done, became solemn.
Now one thought of it, cleared of chatter and emotion, it seemed always
to have been, only was shown now, and so being shown struck everything
into stability. They would, she thought, going on again, however long they
lived, come back to this night; this moon; this wind; this house: and to
her too. It flattered her, where she was most susceptible of flattery,
to think how, wound about in their hearts, however long they lived she
would be woven; and this, and this, and this, she thought, going upstairs,
laughing, but affectionately, at the sofa on the landing (her mother's)
at the rocking chair (her father's); at the map of the Hebrides. All that
would be revived again in the lives of Paul and Minta; 'the Rayleys'--she
tried the new name over; and she felt, with her hand on the nursery door,
that community of feeling with other people which emotion gives as if the
walls of partition had become so thin that practically (the feeling was
one of relief and happiness) it was all one stream, and chairs, tables,
maps, were hers, were theirs, it did not matter whose, and Paul and Minta
would carry it on when she was dead. (pp. 129-130)
Mrs. Ramsay's joy in the universal connectedness of all human beings and
her consciousness of having a place in the social fabric even beyond her
physical life is a mark of the highest level of health in all Enneagram
styles, though each style experiences this awareness in its distinctive
Antony and Cleopatra
offers a classic example of a Two with a Three wing: seductive, passionate,
capricious--one moment vain and shallow, the next deeply loving and generous. Antony
and Cleopatra tells the story of the ill-fated love affair between
the Queen of Egypt and Antony, a rebellious Roman soldier. Antony, an Eight,
and Cleopatra are not only lovers but also allies, and at a crucial moment
during a sea battle with the Roman fleet the ship carrying Cleopatra retreats.
Antony, fearful for her safety, follows her, abandoning the battle and
thereby losing it. Cleopatra, aware of his rage, hopes to rekindle his
love by sending word that she has killed herself. But her false report,
coupled with Antony's shame at having fled the battle, provokes him instead
to suicide. After his death Cleopatra takes her own life rather than be
led in triumph by the victorious Caesar.
Early in the play Shakespeare shows us the volatility of this pairing of
Two and Eight. We see the lovers continually jockeying for control of the
CLEOPATRA. If it be love
indeed, tell me how much.
ANTONY. There's beggary in the love
that can be reckon'd.
CLEOPATRA. I'll set a bourn how
far to be beloved.
ANTONY. Then must thou needs find
out new heaven, new earth.
[Enter an Attendant.]
ATTENDANT. News, my good lord, from
ANTONY. Grates me: the
CLEOPATRA. Nay, hear them, Antony:
Fulvia [Antony's wife] perchance
is angry; or, who knows
If the scarce-bearded Caesaar have
His powerful mandate to you, 'Do
this, or this:
Take in that kingdom, and enfranchise
Perform't, or else we damn thee.'
ANTONY. How, my
CLEOPATRA. Perchance! Nay, and most
You must not stay here longer, your
Is come from Caesar; therefore hear
it, Antony. . . .
Call in the messengers. As I am
Thou blushest, Antony; and that
blood of thine
Is Caesar's homager; else so thy
cheek pays shame
When shrill-tongued Fulvia scolds.
ANTONY. Let Rome in Tiber melt,
and the wide arch
Of the ranged empire fall! Here
is my space. . . .
Why did he marry Fulvia, and not
I'll seem the fool I am not; Antony
Will be himself. (I, i, 18-43)
This mixture of sexual and power
games that we see throughout the first half of the play turns deadly when
Antony discovers in the heat of battle that he cannot depend on Cleopatra's
Two manipulativeness, combined with her Three wing's deceit, is evident
in the following passage, which shows the calculation behind her efforts
to fascinate her lover:
CLEOPATRA. Where is he?
CHARMIAN. I did not
see him since.
CLEOPATRA. See where he is, who's
with him, what he does:
I did not send you: if you find
Say I am dancing; if in mirth, report
That I am sudden sick: quick, and
CHARMIAN. Madam, methinks, if you
did love him dearly,
You do not hold the method to enforce
The like from him.
CLEOPATRA. What should
I do, I do not?
CHARMIAN. In each thing give him
way, cross him in nothing.
CLEOPATRA. Thou teachest like a
fool; the way to lose him. (I, iii, 1-10)
When a messenger comes to tell her that Antony, for political reasons,
has married Octavia, Caesar's sister, Cleopatra flies into a rage and assaults
MESSENGER; Madam, he's married
CLEOPATRA. The most infectious pestilence
[Strikes him down]
MESSENGER. Good madam, patience.
CLEOPATRA. What say you? Hence.
Horrible villain! Or I'll spurn
Like balls before me; I'll unhair
hales him up and down]
Thou shalt be whipp'd with wire,
and stew'd in brine,
Smarting in lingering pickle.
MESSENGER. Gracious madam,
I that do bring the news made not
CLEOPATRA. Say 'tis not so, a province
I will give thee,
And make thy fortunes proud: the
blow thou hadst
Shall make thy peace for moving
me to rage;
And I will boot thee with what gift
Thy modesty can beg.
MESSENGER. He's married, madam.
CLEOPATRA. Rogue, thou hast lived
MESSENGER. Nay, then I'll
run. (II, v, 60-74)
The above passage shows the Two
moving to her Eight stress point. The average-level Two with a Three wing,
thwarted in love, is apt to indulge in rages.
by Caesar's men from stabbing herself with a dagger after Antony's death,
Cleopatra ultimately succeeds in taking her life by arranging for poisonous
snakes to be brought to her in a basket of figs. At the end of the play,
Shakespeare gives this volatile and sometimes treacherous woman tragic
stature in the face of death:
CLEOPATRA. Give me my robe,
put on my crown; I have
Immortal longings in me: now no
The juice of Egypt's grape shall
moist this lip:
Yare, yare, good Iras; quick. Methinks
Antony call; I see him rouse himself
To praise my noble act; I hear him
The luck of Caesar, which the gods
To excuse their after wrath: husband,
Now to that name my courage prove
my title! (V, ii, 282-290)
Even in the process of taking
her life, Cleopatra imagines her lover praising her for her nobility, exemplifying
the Two's massive need for appreciation. The arc of Cleopatra's character--from
shallow sexual gamesmanship, hysterical rages, and political power plays
to a final dignified embrace of Death as a lover--shows the emotional range
of the Two with a Three wing. In her suicide she becomes at last truly
queenly, moving to her Four security point and making her end one of beauty
Subtypes of Two
Twos focus on gaining the love and gratitude of others, though their strategies
for doing this vary with their individual subtype.
of the Self-Preservation subtype, which Oscar Ichazo characterizes
as "me-first," feel entitled to special treatment because of all they have
done for others. There is a childish, tender quality to this subtype, especially
in the average levels. These are the classic caretaker Twos, who project
their own needs onto others and then feel resentful if they do not receive
special privileges in return. The "giving to get" motivation is particularly
evident in this variant.
of this subtype in literature include Shakespeare's King Lear, Aroon in
Molly Keane's Good Behaviour, Little Dora in David Copperfield and Baby Kochamma in The God of Small Things.
King Lear offers a powerful example of the Self-Preservation subtype. When
we first meet Lear, he is about to divide his kingdom between his three
daughters, but before giving each one her portion he demands to know how
much she loves him:
LEAR: Tell me,
(Since now we will divest us both
Interest of territory, cares of
Which of you shall we say doth love
That we our largest bounty may extend
Where nature doth with merit challenge.
Our eldest-born, speak first. (I,
The two older daughters, Goneril
and Regan, are profuse in their expressions of love, but the youngest,
Cordelia, is unable to voice her feelings to her father's satisfaction.
LEAR. How, how, Cordelia?
Mend your speech a little,
Lest you may mar your fortunes.
CORDELIA. Good my lord,
You have begot me, bred me, loved
Return those duties back as are
Obey you, love you, and most honor
Why have my sisters husbands, if
They love you all? Haply, when I
That lord whose hand must take my
plight shall carry
Half my love with him, half my care
Sure I shall never marry like my
To love my father all.
LEAR. But goes thy heart with this?
CORDELIA. Ay, my good lord.
LEAR. So young, and so untender?
CORDELIA. So young, my lord and
LEAR. Let it be so, thy truth then
be thy dower!
For, by the sacred radiance of the
The mysteries of Hecate and the
By all the operation of the orbs
From whom we do exist and cease
Here I disclaim all my paternal
Propinquity and property of blood,
And as a stranger to my heart and
Hold thee from this for ever. (I,
Lear's anger at Cordelia's refusal
to emulate her sisters' hypocrisy is a typical reaction for a low-average
level Self-Preservation Two. His motive for giving away his kingdom--getting
love and praise from his daughters--is transparent, and his anger may be
partly based on his game having been called by Cordelia. Being a One, she
is just the person to do this. We see Lear's hot temper in his quick move
to Eight, the Two's stress point.
Cordelia has been cast out and Kent, one of Lear's loyal followers, banished
for defending Cordelia's loyalty, the two older daughters band together
to deal with their father. Regan, his younger daughter, comments, "'Tis
the infirmity of his age, yet he hath ever but slenderly known himself."
(I, i, 295-296)
know themselves "slenderly," repressing their own needs while focusing
on having their worth acclaimed by others. Denied the special treatment
he feels he deserves, Lear, like other average and unhealthy individuals
of this subtype, behaves like a spoiled child.
tirades increase in intensity as he realizes that his two older daughters,
now in control of the kingdom, are unsympathetic with his demands. Cut
to the quick by their ingratitude, he vows vengeance:
LEAR: I will have such revenges
on you both
That all the world shall--I will
do such things--
What they are, yet I know not; but
they shall be
The terrors of the earth. You think
No, I'll not weep.
I have full cause of weeping, but
Shall break into a hundred thousand
Or ere I'll weep. O Fool, I shall
go mad! (II, iv, 270-285)
In the next scene, doing battle
with his own colossal pride, Lear does indeed descend into madness: rushing
out onto the heath in the midst of the storm, stripping off his clothes,
trying to out-shout the tempest in his helpless rage.
even in the midst of his despair and oncoming madness, Lear shows typical
Two empathy for his jester, concerned about the boy's misery in the midst
of the storm:
My wits begin to turn.
Come on, my boy. How dost, my boy?
I am cold myself. Where is this
straw, my fellow?
The art of our necessities is strange,
That can make vile things precious.
Come, your hovel.
Poor Fool and knave, I have one
part in my heart
That's sorry yet for thee. (III,
In this extremity, Lear is still
aware of his common bond with another human being--in contrast to the pride
that formerly prevented him from acknowledging his own needs. This is a
turning point in the play, and we sense that Lear may ultimately find his
way through his madness to a new humility and humanity.
meanwhile, has landed on English shores with an army, having learned of
her father's plight. Lear, ashamed, is at first reluctant to confront the
daughter he treated so badly. When he is finally brought to her, her loving
attitude overwhelms him, and he kneels before her:
look upon me, sir,
And hold your hand in benediction
You must not kneel.
do not mock me:
I am a very foolish fond old man,
Fourscore and upward, not an hour
more nor less;
And, to deal plainly,
I fear I am not in my perfect mind.
Methinks I should know you and know
Yet I am doubtful; for I am mainly
What place this is, and all the
skill I have
Remembers not these garments, nor
I know not
Where I did lodge last night. Do
not laugh at me,
For, as I am a man, I think this
To be my child Cordelia.
CORDELIA. And so I am, I am.
LEAR. Be your tears wet? Yes, faith.
I pray, weep not.
If you have poison for me, I will
I know you do not love me; for your
Have, as I do remember, done me
You have some cause, they have not.
CORDELIA. No cause,
(IV, vii, 57-75)
Cordelia wants an accounting from her sisters for their treatment of Lear,
but he wants only to enjoy his loving relationship with her. Now at his
Four security point, he is far from his former desire--at his Eight stress
point--for vengeance on Goneril and Regan.
CORDELIA . Shall we not
see these daughters and these sisters?
LEAR. No, no, no, no! Come, let's
away to prison:
We two alone will sing like birds
i' th' cage:
When thou dost ask me blessing,
I'll kneel down
And ask of thee forgiveness: so
And pray, and sing, and tell old
tales, and laugh
At gilded butterflies, and hear
Talk of court news . . . . (V, ii,
The Two, grateful and humble,
now wants only to stay with authentic feeling and relationship, jettisoning
all other considerations.
moment of joy is not destined to last. The enemy forces having overwhelmed
Cordelia's camp, father and daughter are taken away to prison. Even though
her army eventually wins the day, the order that has been given for Cordelia's
execution is fulfilled before it can be rescinded. As Lear re-enters the
scene with the dead Cordelia in his arms, his anguish fulfills his own
prediction of heartbreak early in the play. But it is a transformed man
whose colossal grief we now witness. The suffering is ultimately too much
for him, and he is mercifully released in death.
LEAR. And my poor fool is
hanged: no, no, no life?
Why should a dog, a horse, a rat,
And thou no breath at all? Thou'lt
come no more,
Never, never, never, never, never.
Pray you, undo this button. Thank
Do you see this? Look on her. Look,
Look there, look there. He
(V, iii, 307-313)
It is significant for Lear as
a Two that, with almost his last breath, he asks for and receives help
from another person, to release a button on his clothing. His simple "Thank
you, sir" implies his respect for his helper and marks the completion of
an archetypal Two character arc from pride to humility through his enduring
of the terrible suffering and madness that seem to burn away his Two limitations
of vision. Throughout King Lear, which many regard as Shakespeare's
greatest play, the theme of seeing and blindness is explored, and this
theme has its culmination in Lear's final lines, when, freed from his pride,
he finally sees the world with new eyes.
find a strong example of a female Self-Preservation Two in Molly Keane's
novel Good Behaviour. The main portion of the story takes place
in Ireland from the eve of the first World War through the 1920s. Aroon,
a daughter of country gentry, recalls her childhood and adolescence in
the venerable country house called Temple Alice. The story is presented
as a comedy of manners, and Aroon in some ways resembles Jane Austen's
Emma--both Twos and both often mistaken about the motives of others. However,
in contrast to the elegant and charming Emma, whom I'll be discussing under
Social subtypes, Aroon is overweight, unattractive, and extremely needy.
In the course of the story, Aroon becomes infatuated with Richard, a close
friend of her brother Hubert, never realizing that Richard and Hubert are
lovers. After Hubert is killed in an accident, Aroon continues to fantasize
about Richard, ignoring clear implications that he is homosexual.
are adept at repressing not only their own hunger for love but also any
information that might contradict their self-image as both loving and beloved.
Aroon fails to recognize that her adored father has carried on love affairs
with many women, including two on the household staff. Aroon's bitterness
toward her unloving and critical mother leads her to cruel behaviors that
the reader comes to understand in the course of the story.
the first scene of the book--which takes place chronologically at the end
of the story--we see Aroon serving her elderly, bedridden mother a rabbit
mousse she has personally prepared, ignoring her mother's long-established
repugnance for rabbit. The mother takes one whiff of the dish and dies.
Rose, their servant, accuses Aroon of deliberately bringing on her mother's
". . . Madam's better off
the way she is this red raw minute. She's tired from you--tired to death.
Death is right. We're all killed from you and it's a pity it's not yourself
lying there and your toes cocked for the grave and not a word more about
you, God damn you!"
Yes, she stood there across
the bed saying these obscene, unbelievable things. Of course she loved
Mummie, all servants did. Of course she was overwrought. I know all that--and
she is ignorant to a degree, I allow for that too. Although there was a
shocking force in what she said to me, it was beyond all sense or reasons.
It was so entirely and dreadfully false that it could not touch me. I felt
as tall as a tree standing above all that passionate flood of words. I
was determined to be kind to Rose. And understanding. And generous. I am
her employer, I thought. I shall raise her wages quite substantially. She
will never be able to resist me then, because she is greedy. I can afford
to be kind to Rose. She will learn to lean on me. There is nobody in the
world who needs me now and I must be kind to somebody. . . .
All my life so far I have done everything
for the best reasons and the most unselfish motives. I have lived for the
people dearest to me, and I am at a loss to know why their lives have been
at times so perplexingly unhappy. I have given them so much, I have given
them everything, all I know how to give--Papa, Hubert, Richard, Mummie.
At fifty-seven my brain is fairly bright, brighter than ever I sometimes
think, and I have a cast-iron memory. (pp. 8-11)
The Two's pride in her own kindness
is unshakable, even as she is behaving with appalling cruelty and insensitivity.
Aroon's assessment of her own acuteness is a joke--she understands nothing,
and age has not increased her perceptiveness. This is the Two at her most
remainder of the novel shows us the events that led up to this climactic
scene, and by the end of the story we understand why Aroon behaved as she
did. Throughout her life, we see that Aroon has been unloved and unlovable,
continually misunderstanding others' motives and assuaging her neediness
through stuffing herself with food. Always a "big" girl, she becomes in
the end gargantuan, and her fixation on food as a self-comforting mechanism
is typical of Self-Preservation Twos.
is deprived of emotional warmth from the beginning of her life, and the
only people who seem truly to care for her, her brother and her father,
both die. Just before her brother's death in a car accident, his lover,
Richard, comes into Aroon's bedroom one night. He kisses her--no more--and
makes a good deal of noise in leaving, to be sure her father hears him--thus
warding off the father's suspicion that Richard and his son are lovers.
Around this incident Aroon builds a fantasy of romance, repressing all
subsequent evidence that Richard is homosexual.
father suffers a stroke but lives on for many years, cared for by Rose,
one of the servants, who clearly is providing him with sexual comforts--
though Aroon, being sexually inexperienced, fails to pick up on this. After
her father dies--in the midst of a sexual encounter with Rose--Aroon heads
back to her room, leaving Rose to lay out the body:
Out again in the dark
corridor, alone with the thought of my cold bed, I felt a sick shivering
go through me. I thought what a crash there would be if I fell, and I almost
wished for a disturbance that would bring me some pity. But there was no
such thing. Only good behaviour about Death. So I sat down on the floor
before I fell down and waited for the weakness to pass over. Sitting there
I felt my grief for Papa and my lost love for Richard as joining together.
Only Papa had known that we were lovers. Now half my despair was my own
secret. No one could take it from me, or lessen it, or tell of it. My great
body had been blessed by love. True. It was true. Some merciless shaft
had been ready to pierce me with denial. I must run from it, and keep that
truth whole for myself. I could hear Rose stirring busily, sure-footed,
behind Papa's door, and the idea that soon she might be going to the bathroom
for water got me onto my feet.
Here we see Aroon moving to her
Four security point, holding on to her fantasies about Richard as her lover,
longing for the illusory image she has created for herself.
plans are made for Aroon's father's funeral, Richard's father announces
his intentions to attend, and Aroon is delegated to meet his boat-train.
In the station she asks him for news of Richard and learns that he has
gone back to Africa with a man who was one of his schoolmates. Trying hard
to keep her repressions from surfacing, Aroon drinks too much at the station,
passes out, and misses her father's funeral. Everyone is shocked at her
bad behavior. However, with the reading of her father's will, all is redeemed
when she learns that her father has left the bulk of his estate to her.
"Yes. Do you understand?--He's
left everything to you." [the solicitor says]
I wondered if I could go on
breathing naturally, through the delight that lifted me. Twice over now
this euphoria of love had elevated my whole body; I was its host. Then
the vision changed; it was as though the face of my old world turned away
from me--a globe revolving--I was looking into a changed world, where I was
a changed person, where my love was recognised and requited. Through the
long assuring breaths that followed my sobbing I drew in the truth: that
Papa loved me the most. Explicit from the depths of my breathing, like
weed anchored far under sea water, I knew a full tide was turning for me.
Love and trust were present and whole as they had been once on a summer
afternoon. Inexactly present, inexactly lost, the memory fled me as a seal
slides into the water with absolute trust in its element. A disturbance
on the water closes and there is nothing again. I particularly wanted Rose
to hear it again. I was claiming what was mine--his love, his absolute love.
I wanted them to understand that he had loved me most. . . . They [her
mother and Rose] must be minding dreadfully. Empowered by Papa's love I
would be kind to them. Now I had the mild, wonderful power to be kind.
Or to reserve kindness. I looked at them with level, considerate eyes.
At last Aroon feels the confirmation of her father's love, but so unhealthy
is she that she cannot admit even to herself the vengeance she longs to
take--and subsequently will take--on her disdainful mother and her mother's
ally, Rose. The arc we see in this Self-Preservation Two--in contrast to
Lear's "upward" arc toward self-understanding and humility--is a "downward"
arc toward increasing self-delusion and pride.
The Social Two, which Ichazo associates with "ambition," is familiar in literature.
Typical Social Twos seek to enhance their position in society through making
connections with others, matchmaking, and hosting social events. Popularity
is a sign that they are loved, and they bask in being a key figure in their
social network. Adept at social climbing, they maneuver to become indispensable
to important people. In unhealthy versions, they can become classic co-dependents.
Two examples include Mrs. Ramsay in To the Lighthouse, Garp, Holden
Caulfield, Jane Austen's Emma, Flora Poste in Cold Comfort Farm,
Barbara in Major Barbara, Esther in Bleak House, Nana, Will
Ladislaw in Middlemarch, and Amanda in The Glass Menagerie.
The title character in Jane
Austen's Emma, a Two with a One wing, is an excellent example of
the Social subtype. Emma's attempts to help others to romance invariably
turn out badly. Sensitive to the feelings of others, she has little awareness
of her own deepest feelings and desires. Although her manipulations cause
distress to a number of characters, she does no permanent harm, and the
book has the "happily ever after" ending common to many Two stories.
Near the beginning of the novel
we see Emma, her father, and their friend and neighbor Mr Knightley, a
One, in conversation about the recent marriage of Emma's governess. Emma's
pride in her matchmaking ability is evident:
'Dear Emma bears every thing so well,' said her father. 'But, Mr Knightley,
she is really very sorry to lose poor Miss Taylor, and I am sure she will miss her more than she thinks for.'
turned away her head, divided between tears and smiles.
is impossible that Emma should not miss such a companion,' said Mr Knightley.
'We should not like her so well as we do, sir, if we could suppose it.
But she knows how much the marriage is to Miss Taylor's advantage; she
knows how very acceptable it must be at Miss Taylor's time of life to be
settled in a home of her own, and how important to her to be secure of
a comfortable provision, and therefore cannot allow herself to feel so
much pain as pleasure. Every friend of Miss Taylor must be glad to have
her so happily married.'
you have forgotten one matter of joy to me,' said Emma, 'and a very considerable
one--that I made the match myself. I made the match, you know, four years
ago; and to have it take place, and be proved in the right, when so many
people said Mr Weston would never marry again, may comfort me for any thing.'
Knightly shook his head at her. Her father fondly replied, 'Ah! My dear,
I wish you would not make matches and foretel things, for whatever you
say always comes to pass. Pray do not make any more matches.'
promise you to make none for myself, papa; but I must, indeed, for other
people. It is the greatest amusement in the world! And after such success,
you know! Every body said that Mr Weston would never marry again. Oh dear!
no! . . . If I had not promoted Mr Weston's visits here, and given many
little encouragements, and smoothed many little matters, it might not have
come to anything after all. I think you must know Hartfield enough to comprehend
that.' (pp. 10- 11)
Emma takes under her wing Harriet Smith, a Nine, an illegitimate girl whose
simplicity and attractiveness interest Emma--and whose gratitude is especially
appealing to a Two. Note that Harriet's social position and limited intelligence
offer no threat to Emma, who--being a Social subtype--is keenly competitive
for popularity in her circle of friends.
She was not struck
by any thing remarkably clever in Miss Smith's conversation, but she found
her altogether very engaging--not inconveniently shy, not unwilling to talk--and
yet so far from pushing, shewing so proper and becoming a deference, seeming
to pleasantly grateful for being admitted to Hartfield, and so artlessly
impressed by the appearance of every thing in so superior a style to what
she had been used to, that she must have good sense and deserve encouragement.
Encouragement should be given. . . . She would notice her; she would
improve her; she would detach her from her bad acquaintance, and introduce
her into good society; she would form her opinions and her manners. It
would be an interesting, and certainly a very kind undertaking; highly
becoming her own situation in life, her leisure, and powers. (p. 19)
Emma encourages Harriet to turn
down a proposal from a young farmer, and to believe that Mr Elton, the
minister, is an appropriate match for her. Harriet is heartbroken when
it turns out that Mr Elton had in mind a match with Emma, and Emma is stricken
with remorse for her manipulations:
The hair was curled, and the maid sent away, and Emma sat down to think
and be miserable.--It was a wretched business, indeed!--Such an overthrow
of every thing she had been wishing for.--Such a development of every thing
most unwelcome!--Such a blow for Harriet!--That was the worst of all. Every
part of it brought pain and humiliation, of some sort or other; but, compared
with the evil to Harriet, all was light; and she would gladly have submitted
to feel yet more mistaken--more in error--more disgraced by misjudgment,
than she actually was, could the effects of her blunders have been confined
I had not persuaded Harriet into liking the man, I could have borne any
thing. He might have doubled his presumption to me--But poor Harriet!'
she could have been so deceived!--He protested that he had never thought
seriously of Harriet--never! She looked back as well as she could; but it
was all confusion. She had taken up the idea, she supposed, and made every
thing bend to it. His manners, however, must have been unmarked, wavering,
dubious, or she could not have been so misled. (p. 103)
Emma's One wing is evident in
her self-accusations, but her Two pride characteristically reasserts itself.
basic competitiveness--and her lack of awareness of it--is visible in her
instinctive dislike of the beautiful and accomplished Jane Fairfax. Her
continual comparisons of Jane's musical gifts with her own--to her own detriment--shows
the Two's link to the Four's characteristic envy.
Why she did not like Jane
Fairfax might be a difficult question to answer; Mr Knightley had once
told her it was because she saw in her the really accomplished young woman,
which she wanted to be thought herself; and though the accusation had been
eagerly refuted at the time, there were moments of self-examination in
which her conscience could not quite acquit her. . . .
was a dislike so little just--every imputed fault was so magnified by fancy,
that she never saw Jane Fairfax the first time after any considerable absence,
without feeling that she had injured her; and now, when the due visit was
paid, on her arrival, after two years' interval, she was particularly struck
with the very appearance and manners, which for those two whole years she
had been depreciating. Jane Fairfax was very elegant, remarkably elegant;
and she had herself the highest value for elegance. . . . elegance, which
whether of person or of mind, she saw so little in Highbury. There, not
to be vulgar, was distinction, and merit.
short, she sat, during the first visit, looking at Jane Fairfax with twofold
complacency; the sense of pleasure and the sense of rendering justice,
and was determining that she would dislike her no longer. (pp. 125-126)
Knightly--who loves Emma and who, being a One, is determined to make her
see the truth about herself--consistently offers her excellent advice, which
she continually ignores, assuming with typical Two pride that she knows
has again tried to make a match for Harriet and has again ended up hurting
her, she comes to understand with a shock that Harriet has set her sights
on Mr Knightley. Suddenly Emma's own feelings for Mr Knightley become clear
Why was it so much worse
that Harriet should be in love with Mr Knightley, than with Frank Churchill?
Why was the evil so dreadfully increased by Harriet's having some hope
of a return? It darted through her, with the speed of an arrow, that Mr
Knightley must marry no one but herself!
own conduct, as well as her own heart, was before her in the same few minutes.
She saw it all with a clearness which had never blessed her before. How
improperly had she been acting by Harriet! How inconsiderate, how indelicate,
how irrational, how unfeeling had been her conduct! What blindness, what
madness, had led her on! It struck her with dreadful force, and she was
ready to give it every bad name in the world. (p. 308)
As Emma broods on the inappropriateness
of the prospective match between Mr Knightley and Harriet, she finally
becomes aware of the role her own pride has played in her life. Her One
wing comes into play, and she lacerates herself for having brought about
the whole situation through her own folly:
vanity had she believed herself in the secret of everybody's feelings;
with unpardonable arrogance proposed to arrange everybody's destiny. She
was proved to have been universally mistaken; and she had not quite done
nothing--for she had done mischief. (p. 312)
now regrets having slighted Jane Fairfax, a far more suitable friend, in
embracing Harriet, to whom she could feel superior.
Mrs. Weston's communications
furnished Emma with more food for unpleasant reflection, by increasing
her esteem and compassion, and her sense of past injustice towards Miss
Fairfax. She bitterly regretted not having sought a closer acquaintance
with her, and blushed for the envious feelings which had certainly been,
in some measure, the cause. (p. 318)
Mr Knightley finally declares his feelings to Emma, we see that, even in
the midst of her own happiness, she can still empathize with others' pain:
While he spoke, Emma's
mind was most busy, and, with all the wonderful velocity of thought, had
been able--and yet without losing a word--to catch and comprehend the exact
truth of the whole; to see that Harriet's hopes had been entirely groundless,
a mistake, a delusion, as complete a delusion as any of her own--that Harriet
was nothing; that she was every thing herself; that what she had been saying
relative to Harriet had been all taken as the language of her own feelings;
and that her agitation, her doubts, her reluctance, her discouragement,
had been all received as discouragement from herself.--And not only was
there time for these convictions, with all their glow of attendant happiness,
there was time also to rejoice that Harriet's secret had not escaped her,
and to resolve that it need not and should not.--It was all the service
she could now render her poor friend. . . . Her way was clear, though not
quite smooth.--She spoke then, on being so entreated.--What did she say?--Just
what she ought, of course. A lady always does.--She said enough to show
there need not be despair--and to invite him to say more himself. . . .
Emma, the essence of the Social
Two, understands how to behave appropriately even when her heart is overwhelmed.
The reader feels that, through her sufferings, she has grown sufficiently
to be worthy of the superb Mr Knightley.
less healthy version of the Social Two is Dave Jacobs, a character in Alice
Adams's novel Medicine Men. When his lover, Molly, a One, develops
a brain tumor, Dave, who is a physician, insists of overseeing her medical
care. More sensitive to the medical hierarchy and his own place in it than
he is to Molly, Dave overwhelms her with his sexual demands, insisting
that sex is good for what ails her:
Many women complain, with reason, of too little sex in their lives. . .
. But Dave overdid it, so that Molly began to feel that he was engaged
in some contest with himself. She was sure that he was counting: four times,
not bad for a guy almost sixty. Try for five? But that was several too
many times for Molly; she could not, was not thirsty anymore. . . .
is actually what she felt with Dave. Assaulted. He almost never let her
peacefully sleep; he kept waking her, prodding her, turning her over. And
while he talked a lot about love, how much he loved her, how wonderful
to find love twice in his lifetime, to Molly it did not feel like love
but rather a form of aggression. She could have been anyone at all, Molly
thought, and she often wondered, Why me?
complained, "You've got to let me sleep. This is crazy. You don't listen.
I need more sleep, and I need to be sort of alone to sleep."
you're so terribly attractive to me. Aren't you glad?"
she was not glad, but she did not feel that she could tell him that, and
so she only repeated, "I've got to get more sleep. I'll never get well
with no sleep."
is the greatest cure," he told her, sententiously. (pp. 58-59)
Like most unhealthy Twos, Dave
has no idea how overwhelming he can appear to someone in an intimate relationship
takes great pleasure in organizing Molly's medical appointments, using
her, in a sense, to enhance his networking in the medical establishment.
He takes pride in making himself the hero of the situation, with Molly
playing a minor role:
"So lucky I could
get this appointment." Dave said this many more times than twice when they
drove south, down the Peninsula toward Mt. Watson Hospital, and the famous,
marvelous Dr. William Donovan. Molly, repeating those words back to herself,
became interested in their order, which clearly put the emphasis on "I
could get." On "I." Dave was to be the hero of this episode in her life,
Molly clearly saw, and in a blurry way she wondered just what her own role
was to be; she felt that if Dave was to be heroic she was not. (p. 97)
When Molly finally confronts Dave about his refusal to explain such important
issues as the side effects of her radiation treatments, he tries to make
her feel guilty for failing to appreciate him sufficiently:
"You're getting the best possible, state-of-the-art medical care. I've
seen to that. You don't appreciate--"
never finished that sentence, at that time or later, ever; he never actually
said, "You don't appreciate me. But that was a continual subtext, and of
course he was right; Molly did not appreciate him, nor what he had done
for her. From whatever motives--and whose are ever pure? He had gone and
he continued to go to enormous trouble for her. He had taken her to the
surgeon who had managed to "get it all," very likely had saved her life.
Could another surgeon have done the same? This of course was something
Molly would never know. And she tended to focus on the impurity of Dave's
motives rather than the results of what he had actually done. She concentrated
on his needs to control her, and to be with her, as well as his busy joy
in a medical setting--and she thought much less of the fact that she was okay.
She was well, or she would be well, once she got over the effects of radiation--whatever
those effects were to be. (pp. 127-128)
The Two's certainty about his own helpfulness, even when he is most off-base,
is common to all subtypes. When Molly asks Dave a question about medical
ethics, he leaps to erroneous conclusions and refuses to be deterred from
[I]n a tired way, as she
listened to Dave's rant, Molly recognized that literally nothing she could
say would change his view. It was less a question of not believing her
than of refusing to hear her. On and on he ranted, his anger fueled by
years of righteous, obstinate fury at shrinks (they had no proof,
they charged high fees, no specific results), plus all his current rage
and frustration at the sheer, simple, and inexplicable fact that Molly
would not love him. He sometimes suspected that she did not even like him
very much. . . . Listening, as she had to do--they were face-to-face,
she on her sofa, he on the adjacent leather chair--Molly felt a heating
of her blood, and quickening, tightening breath; pure rage is what she
felt. The shrieking anger of an overpowered child. Though actually she
was neither shrieking nor overpowered.
stood up. "Dave, now listen to me. Now listen. I don't want to hear
this crazy stuff. You're just totally, absolutely wrong--" and, as his rant
continued--"Dave, just shut up. SHUT UP! Dave, you have to go now. I'm tired.
I don't want to see you. Dave, did you hear me? I'm through."
ostentatiously, slowly, Dave looked at his watch, and only then he too
stood up. "Lord, I'm running late," he said, as though she had not said
anything at all.
smiled, with all his big strong bright teeth, and he said, "I'll call you
later." (pp. 204-205)
An unhealthy Social Two with
a Three wing--aggressive in the pursuit of success both in his medical world
and in his social connections--can actually fail to hear words that threaten
his self-image. Rather than suffer damage to his pride, Dave summons a
virtually unassailable combination of defense mechanisms: the Two's repression
and the Eight's outright denial. Dave's move to Eight rage under stress
reveals the underlying power game he is playing and indicates that it is
a game he will do anything to win.
The Sexual subtype, which Ichazo associates with "aggression," is characterized by
intense focus on emotional and physical intimacy in one-to-one relationships.
The seductive Sexual Two wants to be deeply involved in the partner's life
and keep him or her entranced through an impressive repertoire of manipulations
and sexual games. If it appears that the object of the Two's affections
is losing interest, the Sexual subtype will pursue the lover relentlessly.
In unhealthy individuals, this subtype can be overwhelming and even dangerous
to those fleeing their unwelcome attentions.
Twos in literature include Shakespeare's Cleopatra, Jean Brodie in Muriel
Spark's The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Norman in Ronald Harwood's The
Dresser, Annie in Stephen King's Misery, Molina in Manuel Puig's The
Kiss of the Spider Woman, and Zola's Nana.
The Kiss of the Spider Woman
Puig's novel The Kiss of the Spider Woman tells the story of two
men sharing a cell in an Argentine prison: Molina, a gay window dresser
who is a Sexual Two, and Valentin, a dedicated revolutionary who is a One.
Molina is obsessed with the fantasy and romance of the movies, and he periodically
recounts film stories in an effort to captivate his fellow prisoner. Much
of the novel is told in segments of cinematic dialogue between the two
following passage, Molina describes his ideal man, a married waiter he
met while dining in a restaurant. He describes to Valentin his dream of
bringing the waiter to live with him:
--That he might come
to live with me, with my mom and me. And I'd help him, and make him study.
And not bother about anything but him, the whole blessed day, getting everything
all set for him, his clothes, buying his books, registering him for courses,
and little by little I'd convince him that what he had to do was just one
thing: never work again. And I'd pass along whatever small amount of money
was needed to give the wife for child support, and make him not worry about
anything at all, nothing except himself, until he got what he wanted and
lost all that sadness of his for good, wouldn't that be marvelous? (p.
Molina's aggressiveness in pursuing
the object of his obsession is characteristic of the Sexual Two.
Molina explains his sexual orientation to the heterosexual Valentin, the
Sexual Two's characteristic identification with the feminine becomes apparent:
--Well, don't get the
idea anything's strange, but if I'm nice to you . . . it's because I want
to win your friendship, and, why not say it? . . . your affection. Same
as I want to be good to my mom because she's a nice person, who never did
anybody any harm, because I love her, because she's nice, and I want her
to love me . . . And you too are a very nice person, very selfless, and
you've risked your life for a very noble ideal . . . And don't be looking
the other way, am I embarrassing you?
--Yes, a little . . . But I'm
looking at you, see? . . .
--And because you're that way
. . . I respect you, and I'm fond of you, and I want you to feel the same
about me, too . . . Because, just look, my mom's affection for me is, well,
it's the only good thing that's happened to me in my whole life, because
she takes me for what I am, and loves me just that way, plain and simply.
And that's like a gift from heaven, and the only thing that keeps me going,
the only thing. (p. 203)
Later it becomes clear that Molina is not only identified with the passive
sexual role but also aroused by the danger involved. When Valentin suggests
that he should have more self-respect than to submit to another male, Molina
--But if a man is .
. . my husband, he has to give the orders, so he will feel right. That's
the natural thing, because that makes him the . . . man of the house.
--No, the man of the house
and the woman of the house have to be equal with one another. If not, their
relation becomes a form of exploitation.
--But there's no kick to it.
--Well, this is very intimate,
but since you're asking about it . . . The kick is in the fact that when
a man embraces you . . . you may feel a little bit
frightened. (pp. 243-244)
Here we see the psychological
dynamic behind the Two's preference for a dominant partner. This paradoxical
combination of aggressiveness and a desire to serve is characteristic of
many Twos, quite apart from their sexual orientation. This may help us
understand why Two and Eight is a common combination in couples.
Molly Bloom in James Joyce's Ulysses is a classic Sexual Two. In the last section of the novel we see her ruminating
about her intimacies with her husband and lovers and fantasizing about
further sexual adventures. The sexual voraciousness of this subtype is
especially evident in the following passage:
of course a woman wants
to be embraced 20 times a day almost to make her look young no matter by
who so long as to be in love or loved by somebody if the fellow you want
isn't there sometimes by the Lord God I was thinking would I go around
by the quays there some dark evening where nobodyd know me and pick up
a sailor off the sea thatd be hot on for it and not care a pin whose I
was only to do it off up in a gate somewhere or one of those wildlooking
gipsies in Rathfarnham had their camp pitched near the Bloomfield laundry
to try and steal our things if they could (p. 762)
Throughout the long stream-of-consciousness monologue that ends Joyce's
novel, Molly ruminates about sex. In the final passage of the book she
remembers the sensuality and beauty of the day her husband proposed to
the sun shines for you he
said the day we were lying among the rhododendrons on Howth head in the
grey tweed suit and his straw hat the day I got him to propose to me yes
first I gave him the bit of seedcake out of my mouth and it was leapyear
like now yes 16 years ago my God after that long kiss I near lost my breath
yes he said I was a flower of the mountain yes so we are flowers all a
womans body yes that was one true thing he said in his life and the sun
shines for you today yes that was why I liked him because I saw he understood
or felt what a woman is and I knew I could always get round him and I gave
him all the pleasure I could leading him on till he asked me to say yes
and I wouldn't answer first only looked out over the sea and the sky I
was thinking of so many things he didn't know of . . . O and the sea the
sea crimson sometimes like fire and the glorious sunsets and the figtrees
in the Alameda gardens yes and all the queer little streets and pink and
blue and yellow houses and the rosegardens and the jessamine and the geraniums
and cactuses and Gibraltar as a girl where I was a Flower of the mountain
yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall
I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought
well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again
yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and
first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could
feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes
I said yes I will Yes. (pp. 767-768)
Molly's link to her Four security
point is clear in her sensuous appreciation of beauty, seen here in potent
combination with the Sexual Two's characteristic manipulativeness.
focus on love that we see in Molly Bloom is common to all Twos, and individuals
of this style often fail to understand their own neediness. The degree
of self-delusion ranges from such unhealthy examples as Dave in Medicine
Men and Aroon in Good Behaviour to the extraordinary self-awareness
of Mrs. Ramsay in To the Lighthouse. In rare examples there may
even be a transcendence of Enneagram style, such as we see in King Lear.
CHAPTER TWO SOURCES
Adams, Alice, Medicine Men.
(New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1997)
Austen, Jane, Emma (London:
The Zodiac Press, 1955) First published 1816
Irving, John, The World According
to Garp. (NY: Ballantine, 1978)
Joyce, James, Ulysses. (New
York: The Modern Library, 1934) First published 1914
Keane, Molly, Good Behaviour.
(New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1981)
Puig, Manuel, Kiss of the Spider
Woman, trans. Thomas Colchie. (New York,
Alfred A. Knopf, 1979)
Salinger, J.D., The Catcher in
the Rye. (Boston: Little, Brown, 1951)
Shakespeare, William, Antony
and Cleopatra. First performed 1606-7
Shakespeare, William, King Lear.
First performed 1603-1606
Shaw, Bernard, Candida, in Selected
Plays with Prefaces (New York: Dodd,
Mead, 1948) First produced
Woolf, Virginia, To the Lighthouse (NY: Alfred A. Knopf). First published 1927