Diagnosis: Wolfe

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Diagnosis: Wolfe

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Mar 30, 2008, 10:18 pm

I thought I'd open another lovely can of worms and speculate about how Wolfe would be "diagnosed" these days. As obsessive compulsive (the bottle caps and the schedule)? As agoraphobic (never wants to leave the house)? The discomfort with women is interesting, too. Of course, another way to read him is to see him as a civilized person in an uncivilized world who nonetheless, grudgingly, needs to make a living to pay Archie, Fritz, Theodore, and the bills. My favorite quirk is that he always wants "eyes at level."

Mar 31, 2008, 9:19 am

Another quirk: his reluctance to shake hands. More symptoms for OCD?

Mar 31, 2008, 4:40 pm

Well, perhaps a refined introvert? I'm sure he would like your last option of a description ostrom. :)

Perhaps OCD makes for good detective material. Sort of putting your thoughts into compartments and seeing things differently than others? I know nothing about the medical diagnosis of OCD, I'm just working from Monk here. :) By the way, my DH is quite Monkish, though he can be talked out of a lot of it. I have sorting/organizing issues, don't like to leave my house and would prefer not to shake hands, but I'm not a genius, nor rich enough to get away with it. That, in my opinion influences the diagnosis. Can you pay for your eccentricities? Are you celebrity enough for people to want to ignore them? Are you fairly harmless to yourself and others?

Wolfe gets away with it because he's usually right and others need him, so they have to put up with it.

Mar 31, 2008, 7:22 pm

I plead guilty to giving Wolfe rather too much of the benefit of the doubt, although some of his habits I find civilized in the best sense of the word (agreeable, not snobbish). And yes, Stout and Archie make it quite clear that Wolfe gets away with the quirks because he earns a good living as a "genius" and can hole-up in the brownstone.

Editado: Abr 1, 2008, 6:31 am

He reminds me a little of the "Data" character from "Star Trek, The Next Generation", but without out "Data's" empathy.

I don't think I agree with the obsessive compulsive diagnosis; I prefer your "civilized person in an uncivilized world" description. I am taken by Wolfe's description of his past life as a "government agent" from Too Many Cooks, and had always assumed that his behavior was (1) a rejection of the chaos he was forced to endure in that role; and (2) an embittered soul coping with the realities of a tortured world political and social climate.

Edit: I have had second thoughts on "embittered"; it implies a failure of character. I am more inclined to alienated or estranged.

Abr 1, 2008, 1:12 am

"his behavior was (1) a rejection of the chaos he was forced to endure in that role; and (2) an embittered soul coping with the realities of a tortured world political and social climate"

That is beautifully put, cogitno.

To be serious, I wouldn't say Wolfe has OCD either. To me, his quirks don't rule his life. He is able to leave the house, shake hands or break his schedule; he just doesn't want to.

Abr 1, 2008, 12:03 pm

Yes, I think OCD is a stretch. Borderline agoraphobic, maybe. Archie just sort of surfs on the chaos. Wolfe doesn't like it one bit, and who can blame him?

Abr 2, 2008, 4:56 am

I like that description of Archie, ostrom - perfect! I don't think he likes disorder and complications any more than Wolfe, because they are similar characters, but Archie goes with it instead of building defences against the world.

Maio 21, 2008, 12:56 pm

I agree with teh idea that maybe Wolfe is a "civilized person in an uncivilized world", but if i must think in a diagnose maybe i think in Asperger Sindrome

Jul 20, 2008, 10:12 am

#9 Asperger's is interesting, but those that I know with Asperger's are more compulsive than Wolfe. Their variant on autism makes successful communicating with others very difficult. For instance, much of our communication is based upon body language and metaphorical uses of words. Most people with Asperger's simply don't get it, and therefore, misinterpret much of what is being communicated. Wolfe could not be a successful detective if he couldn't accurately read the verbal and non-verbal clues. I also find a strong and rigid control element in those with Asperger's; Wolfe doesn't exhibit rigidity - schedule, yes, but not rigidity. See Monk for rigidity.

Jul 20, 2008, 10:13 am

Is Wolfe an ISTP?

Jul 20, 2008, 11:18 am

What is an ISTP?

Jul 20, 2008, 12:13 pm

Oh, Myers-Briggs type

Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiver

maybe , he's INTJ or INTP - an intuitive thinker. See Keirsey's "Please Understand Me."

A lot of Wolfe's personality characteristics are listed in these descriptions. You can also find groups on LT and the web. In particular, Keirsey lists an INTJ as a Mastermind, and an INTP as an Architect. Both strategize and work with mental systems. Both have deep concentration, and both would rather work alone.

Jul 20, 2008, 2:08 pm

I would have to say that Wolfe is J vs. P. That rigid schedule and house rules are the antithesis of P behavior.

Editado: Jul 20, 2008, 2:13 pm

An interesting thread. I don't see Wolfe as an OCD personality either -- he only counts bottlecaps as a way of physically reining in his drinking -- and as saxhorn and Rullakartiina both note, he breaks that "rule" and many of his others when he feels the need.

As a teacher I'm dealing with more and more students who have been diagnosed with Ausperger's Syndrome and I agree with saxhorn that Wolfe doesn't fit in that category -- he is able to both think and speak on a metaphorical level that many of my students are unable to understand.

I concur with cogitno that if Wolfe is agoraphobic it is more of a reaction to his past life and current ability to shut out those aspects of the world he no longer enjoys.

And bottom line -- MrsLee and ostrom are right in that Wolfe's material success allows him to insulate himself from the rules that we mere mortals must too often comply with.

BTW, add my plaudits to AdonisGuilfoyle's -- what a great description of Archie's approach to life, ostrom!

edited to add the final sentence.