Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Hated Characters?

I just read this post at the Library Science Degree blog about the 50 most hated characters in literary history, and I had to share. It made me laugh that Karen Brewer (from the Babysitters Club)was above Voldemort on the list, but I will have to say I've heard similar things about all of these character before! Here are some highlights:

1.) Bella Swan and Edward Cullen
The Twilight series
Author: Stephenie Meyer
Sure Twilight has somehow attracted a legion of fans (some surprisingly sane), but a significant amount of people despise the idealized central couple as well. Hardly surprising, considering the 2 share a vomitously unhealthy, co-dependent and emotionally abusive relationship packaged and sold as romantic. Do couples counselors not exist in the Meyerverse?

9.) Dolores Umbridge
The Harry Potter series
Author: J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter fans almost collectively despise the froglike visage, commanding, controlling actions and questionable (at best) ethics of Hogwarts’ temporary Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher.

15.) Karen Brewer
The Babysitter’s Club series
Author: Ann M. Martin
Ann M. Martin thought that Kristy Thomas’ little stepsister Karen would endear readers with her precociousness. Yeah, no. She irritated them with her insufferable brattiness instead.

27.) Voldemort
The Harry Potter series
Author: J.K. Rowling
Deliciously evil, Voldemort pulled from traditional villain archetypes and became an instant classic that Harry Potter love to hate.

29.) Big Brother
Author: George Orwell
Although a metaphor for a totalitarian government rather than an actual person, the citizens of dystopian Oceania considered it as such. Agents of Big Brother were literally able to get inside the populace’s heads and convict them for merely thinking against the collective.

33.) Beth March
Little Women
Author: Louisa May Alcott
Contemporary audiences find the archetype of the overly pious, good woman 1-dimensional and completely boring. Suffice to say, Beth March and her quiet perfection land her a spot on more than a few “most hated literary characters” list.

34.) Napoleon
Animal Farm
Author: George Orwell George Orwell used Joseph Stalin as the basis for the pig Napoleon, who manipulates his fellow farm animals into revolting – only to turn their efforts into a mere stepping stone for his own selfish ends.

36.) Romeo Montague
Romeo and Juliet
Author: William Shakespeare
Oftentimes depicted as the ultimate romance, many contemporary readers think of Romeo as a detestable young man who breaks a young woman’s heart in order to pursue Juliet. The 2 end up committing suicide because of their dueling families and lack of perspective, but many readers place the brunt of the blame on Romeo’s insensitive treatment of Rosaline.

43.) Robert Langdon
Angels & Demons, The Da Vinci Code andThe Lost Symbol
Author: Dan Brown
Historical and religious inaccuracies aside, one of the biggest complaints that readers had against Robert Langdon is his veritable Mary Sue status. The man can do no wrong and has no discernable flaws, making him exceptionally boring and frustrating to read about.