Personality type has a great impact on writing style, with each preference shaping the way an author forms and translates what’s on their mind. Sensors tend to write in a linear fashion; with numerous picturesque details highlighting their stories. Intuitives use metaphor and rich symbolism in their storytelling. Their stories are generally less linear and tend to jump around in time. Most of these authors were typed by famous psychiatrists; Carl Jung liked studying historical figures and authors to determine if they used Sensing or Intuition. Psychologist David Keirsey also enjoyed typing famous authors and public figures by reading their autobiographies, interviews, and books.
Are you a sensor? Check out the sensor authors here!
I hope you enjoy this list! Please feel free to comment with your suggestions and thoughts!
Dante Alighieri was an Italian poet and moral philosopher best known for the epic poem The Divine Comedy, which is an allegory of life and God and the afterlife as revealed to a pilgrim. His writing is epic and beautiful, full of symbolism and meaning. He pleads with mankind to steer itself to righteousness, and gives a stunning account of how he views the outcome of man’s choices. Dante captures the symbolism and depth of meaning that INFJs infuse into their world and their actions. INFJs are often thinking far ahead into the future and trying to determine how their present actions will play out someday. INFJs are also extremely idealistic in their views of how mankind should live. They hold very tightly to their moral beliefs and believe that life should not be spent without serving humanity in some great way.
“Consider your origin. You were not formed to live like brutes but to follow virtue and knowledge.”
– Dante Alighieri
Other Notable INFJ Authors: Leo Tolstoy, Soren Kierkegaard, Emily Dickinson, Stephen King, J.K. Rowling
“All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.”
Edgar Allan Poe’s writing captures the vivid imagination and passion of the INFP personality. He is best known for his short stories and poems, including “The Fall of the House of Usher”, “The Tell-Tale Heart”, “The Murders in the Rue Morgue”, and “The Raven”. Poe was able to write about romance and horror with equal adeptness, and his stories still move audiences today. We can see Poe’s use of Intuition in the way he employs frequent symbolism throughout his poetry and is always looking into the meaning behind things. His use of feeling shows up in the way he used poetry to express his philosophical ideals and intense inner emotions. Poe was constantly trying to be more truthful and to clearly translate his unique vision of the human condition to his readers.
American poet, James Oppenheim, said of Poe: “Everything about him suggests introversion, self-immersion, mood, mystery. Everything suggests a man seeking his own soul.”
“From childhood’s hour I have not been. As others were, I have not seen. As others saw, I could not awaken. My heart to joy at the same tone. And all I loved, I loved alone.”
– Edgar Allan Poe, INFP
Other Notable INFP Authors: George Orwell, A.A. Milne, Albert Camus, William Shakespeare, J.R.R. Tolkien, Antoine de Saint-Exupery, Bill Watterson, Franz Kafka, Hans Christian Anderson
“I’m convinced of this: Good done anywhere is good done everywhere. For a change, start by speaking to people rather than walking by them like they’re stones that don’t exist. As long as you’re breathing, it’s never too late to do some good.”
Maya Angelou is a renowned American poet, memoirist, educator, and civil rights activist. Some of her most famous works include: A Brave and Startling Truth, Mom & Me & Mom, The Heart of a Woman, and I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Angelou’s life was far from easy; she dealt with poverty, sexual abuse, and racism, but she never lost her unquenchable faith in the human spirit. She cared deeply about others, and was determined to make a difference in the world. She spoke out about racism and educated people around the world, from all backgrounds, about art and expression. Her desire to improve life for others, her insight into the human spirit, and her symbolic word usage are all core ENFJ traits.
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you”
– Maya Angelou
Other Notable ENFJ Authors: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Desiderius Erasmus
“Whatever I have tried to do in life, I have tried with all my heart to do it well; whatever I have devoted myself to, I have devoted myself completely; in great aims and in small I have always thoroughly been in earnest.”
Charles Dickens is the author of many of our most beloved classic novels. Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol, David Copperfield, A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations are just a few of his many masterpieces. Dickens’s writing is famous for its symbolic comparisons, intricate characters, and whimsical sense of humor. We can see Dickens Intuition in the symbolic and poetic comparisons he makes to people and things. We also see his Intuition in the way his numerous intricate storylines come together in one meaningful message to the reader. We see his depth of feeling and values (Introverted Feeling) in the way he fiercely defied and spoke out against poverty and the social stratification of Victorian society. There is empathy in Dicken’s writing, even for villains and thieves.
“Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts.”
– Charles Dickens
Other Notable ENFP Authors: Anne Frank, Upton Sinclair, Dr. Suess,
“No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be.”
Isaac Asimov used science fiction to explore his insight into humanity and the unseen future. He delivered a plethora of gripping tales filled with technological advances and theoretical possibilities. His intuition and strong sense of logic guided all his stories, and his various perspectives allowed him to write not only about science fiction, but religion, astronomy, biology, and even literary biography. In his lifetime, Asimov wrote over 515 books, not including his short stories. Some of his most famous works are I,Robot and the Foundation trilogy. We can see Asimov’s use of Intuition in his constant quest to determine what the future might hold for humanity. We also see the characteristic INTJ skepticism in his interviews and quotes. He regularly questioned what is, what will be, and what was commonly accepted as the standard. He had a great hunger for knowledge that could never be satisfied, but he was determined to bring what he did know to the public.
“A subtle thought that is in error may yet give rise to fruitful inquiry that can establish truths of great value.”
– Isaac Asimov
Other Notable INTJ Authors: Jane Austen, Ayn Rand, Friedrich Nietzsche.
“As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kinds of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.”
Henry David Thoreau is one of New England’s most famous philosophers, poets, and essayists. His most famous work, Walden, is a book that is part memoir and part spiritual quest. In Walden, Thoreau wrote his reflections upon living in natural surroundings at a cabin near Walden Pond. During this time, he had no support of any kind, and was able to gain a more objective understanding of society through his personal introspection and connection with nature. Thoreau had a great respect for nature and preserving it.
We can see Thoreau’s use of Extraverted Intuition in the way he encouraged and explored scientific enquiry and observation. He was curious and fascinated with the world around him, and instead of seeking a successful career in law or medicine after graduating from Harvard, he instead took to exploring the natural wonders of the earth on his own. He sought a simple life, and experimented with working as little as possible. Thoreau was skeptical of laws and traditions, something that INTPs are famous for. Thoreau’s skepticism and anti-authoritarian beliefs sometimes caused him personal struggles. He spent a night in jail after refusing to pay a poll tax. This experience led him to write one of his best-known and most influential essays, “Civil Disobedience”. Thoreau held strong political views, opposed slavery, and made a strong case for acting on one’s own individual conscience.
“If the machine of government is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law.”
– Henry David Thoreau
Other Notable INTP Authors: Hannah Arendt, John Locke, Lemony Snicket
“Every country is like a particular type of person. America is like a belligerent, adolescent boy; Canada is like an intelligent, 35-year-old woman. Australia is like Jack Nicholson. It comes right up to you and laughs very hard in your face in a highly threatening and engaging manner.”
Douglas Adams was one of Britain’s most esteemed authors, scriptwriters, essayists, humorists and satirists. He is best known as the author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul. Adam’s writing captures the inquisitive, playful, future-oriented nature of the ENTP. We can see his use of Intuition in the way he is always forward-thinking and future-oriented in his writing; he deals in theoretical universes and possibilities. We see his combined use of Intuition and Thinking in the way he remained skeptical of commonly accepted traditions and was always determined to expand his knowledge base. He was fascinated by technology and understanding systems; a core ENTP trait. He also displays the characteristic ENTP dark, offbeat humor in nearly all of his stories.
“It is a well known fact that those people who most want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it. To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.”
– Douglas Adams
Another Notable ENTP Author: Niccolo Macchiavelli
“Until the men of action clear out the talkers, we who have social consciences are at the mercy of those who have none.”
George Bernard Shaw was an Irish playwright and critic who wrote more than sixty plays, including major works such as Man and Superman, Pygmalion, and Saint Joan.
Shaw was known for his aggressive and energetic voice and his bold way of expressing opinions. He wasn’t afraid to express controversial views on anything from Britain’s involvement in World War I to alphabet reform to opposing vaccination. His public stature was often negatively impacted by his strong political opinions and beliefs, and he often felt despair over being so publicly criticized for his opinions and ostracized in his adopted homeland of Great Britan. Some of his despair seeped into his work; particularly in his play Heartbreak House. Regardless of the critical opposition he faced, Shaw continued to write groundbreaking plays and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1925.
We can see Shaw’s use of Extraverted Thinking in the way he boldly spoke out against perceived injustices and, in his opinion, illogical rules and standards. In typical ENTJ fashion, Shaw shunned traditions and higher authority and spoke his mind with zeal and power. He tried to remain rational at all times, and remove any emotional or personal bias from his opinions. His intuition is evident in his writing; he sought to reform society and was always thinking of the future and how he could make an impact with his writing and his voice.
“People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.”
– George Bernard Shaw
Other Notable ENTJ Authors: Sheryl Sandberg, Robert James Waller
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