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Meme: I just don't like them!

I am breaking my rule of not posting twice in one day to post this excellent meme.

Tahleen of The Broke and the Bookish came up with this meme to name one’s top 10 most dislikeable characters in literature, and boy, did I have fun deciding!

I haven’t numbered them because I really can’t decide which ones I like the least.

  • Dolores Umbridge from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling. She is a cruel, sadistic, bigoted, bureaucratic toady who will use any means to achieve her goals – even ones she would be shocked to see others use. She is unable to accept facts that are under her nose and she shows not regret over her actions, in fact it never even occurs to her that she is anything but one of the good guys. Caveat: I just finished re-reading the book, so this was the very first character that sprung to mind. On a different day I might not even have remembered her, but re-reading the book brought back to me why I found it so uncomfortable to read (Harry’s stupidity throughout the story was another - I constantly wanted to yell at him to grow a brain)
  • Raskolnikov from Crime and Punishment by Dostojevski. The book is brilliant and the story about Raskolnikov’s breakdown utterly believable, but he is still loathsome and unsympathetic in the extreme, which just goes to show how well he is written.
  • Fanny Price from Mansfield Park by Jane Austen. She’s just so hopelessly wet.
  • Catherine Earnshaw from Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. She’s a proud, bratty, selfish bitch...
  • ...which brings me to Heathcliff from the same book. He is vindictive, cruel and a sore loser who can’t stand anyone around him being happy. I will never, ever understand how anyone could think him romantic.
  • Angel Clare from Tess of the D’Urbervilles. I hate double standards, especially when those double standards cause preventable tragedies. Alec d’Urverville may be a villain, but Angel is a monster.
  • Scarlett O’Hara from Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. See the description for Catherine Earnshaw.
  • Rose Mortmain from I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. Shallow, avaricious and stupid and may have destroyed Cassandra’s chance of happiness with her behaviour.
  • Tom Ripley from The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith. She manages to make him sympathetic but that doesn’t change the fact that he is a psychopath par excellence, devoid of conscience and unlikely ever to change. He is so evil, in fact, that you end up hating yourself for liking him.
  • The last is a tie between Mary Sues and Gary Stus of all kind.
Interestingly, only one of these characters (Umbridge) seems to have been written expressly to be disliked/hated by readers. The hero-villains Raskolnikov and Ripley and victim-villain Heathcliff are written in such a way as to make them somewhat sympathetic, and the others were not written as villains.

Note: This list is subject to change.


Dorte H said…
Dolores Umbridge is a fabulous choice! And Angel Clare is another character I love to hate.
danya said…
Yes to Umbridge, Raskolnikov (who made my list as well), and Catherine & Heathcliff (actually I disliked just about every character from Wuthering Heights). Great list!

A Tapestry of Words
Margot Kinberg said…
Oh, these are good choices! I have to agree on all of them, actually.
Bibliophile said…
Dorte - I would love to see your list :-)

Danya, thanks. I've only read 2 of the books on your list, so I can't really comment on it, but Raskolnikov seems to appear on about half the lists entered.

Margot, thanks.
Dorte H said…
I find it very easy to comment on other people´s lists, but I am hopeless at coming up with my own - a serious memory deficiency, I believe ;)
Bibliophile said…
Hehe, Dorte, I have that too, but not where books are concerned.

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