🌹 (la_petite_singe) wrote in ohnotheydidnt,

The 50 Most Hated Characters in Literary History

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?

2.) Cholly Breedlove
The Bluest Eye
Author: Toni Morrison

Fictional or not, any man who repeatedly rapes his own young daughter, eventually impregnating her and driving her to madness will never earn his fair share of fans. Toni Morrison, of course, does show that even victimizers suffer stints as victims without excusing any atrocities committed.

3.) Holden Caulfield
Catcher in the Rye
Author: J.D. Salinger

As with many of literature’s most hated characters, some have an equally ardent cult following as well. Such is the case with Holden Caulfield, whose negative attitude and isolation simultaneously attracts and repels with very few readers walking away feeling lukewarm. His status as an unreliable narrator does him no favors when it comes to general audiences.

4.) Scarlett O’Hara
Gone With the Wind
Author: Margaret Mitchell

For every fan who finds Scarlett O’Hara romantic and admirable, there is another who thinks her a selfish, altogether loathsome figure with few redeeming qualities.

5.) Iago
Author: William Shakespeare

The scheming, slimy, relentlessly evil Iago largely shares a “love to hate” relationship with readers. Most of them find his manipulative and selfish antics so over-the-top appalling that they delight in despising him – a truly effective villain indeed!

6.) Anita Blake
The Anita Blake series
Author: Laurell K. Hamilton

At first, professional necromancer Anita Blake started off as a three-dimensional, take-no-prisoners kinda girl. After a while, though, fans turned away from her series when she transmogrified into Laurell K. Hamilton’s self-insert Mary Sue completely incapable of doing wrong and repelling men.

7.) Tom Buchanan
The Great Gatsby
Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald

In a book overflowing with intentionally insufferable characters, Tom Buchanan and his racist, misogynistic hypocrisies stand out as particularly offensive.

8.) Heathcliff
Wuthering Heights
Author: Emily Brontë

Some fans of Wuthering Heights tend to interpret Heathcliff as a romantic figure, but a hefty portion of readers hate him for his abusive, manipulative and negligent behavior towards the people in his life.

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. (LOL @ her being higher than Voldemort!)

10.) Dorian Gray
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Author: Oscar Wilde

When Dorian Gray finally receives his morbid, disfigured comeuppance after a life brimming over with frivolity and hedonism, no reader mourned him. (I don't know, I actually think Lord Henry is worse.)

11.) Albert
The Color Purple
Author: Alice Walker

Although he redeems himself in the end by realizing his gross mistreatment of wife Celie, throughout the entire book Albert (also known as Mr.___) does nothing but keep her suppressed and neglected.

12.) Ayla
The Earth’s Children series
Author: Jean M. Auel

Like Anita Blake, Ayla’s fans began turning on her when Jean M. Auel started portraying her as a wholly flawless figure imbued with radiant, unearthly beauty and limitless intelligence and resourcefulness.

13.) John Willoughby
Sense and Sensibility
Author: Jane Austen

Just because his philandering, lying actions make for compelling reading does not mean that John Willoughby is a particularly likable character. In the end, though, revelations regarding the permanent repercussions of his mistakes and manipulations serve as extremely appropriate punishments.

14.) Rhett Butler
Gone With the Wind
Author: Margaret Mitchell

Just as many fans utterly despise Rhett Butler’s roguish charms as love them. Regardless of his iconic status, his womanizing ways turn offmany readers who think of him as far more repulsive than romantic.

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. (I was always irrationally mad at the way she never used contractions.)

16.) Humbert Humbert
Author: Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov intentionally made Humbert Humbert a squirmingly pathetic, entirely despicable protagonist in spite of his 3-dimensional characterization. Manipulative, lying, parasitic and pedophiliac, he is one of the most recognizable “love to hate” literary figures.

17.) Daisy Buchanan
The Great Gatsby
Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald

Although not as repugnant as her husband Tom, the flighty, self-absorbed Daisy is no real prize herself. Jay Gatsby, however, seems to be the only one who thinks otherwise. And look where it got him.

18.) Catherine Earnshaw
Wuthering Heights
Author: Emily Brontë

Like many other romantic heroines on this list, the fiery Catherine seems to be divided between lovers and haters with equally weighted passions. Those who can’t stand her see a character just as venomous and relentlessly cruel as her negligent lover Heathcliff.

19.) Mr. and Mrs. Samsa
The Metamorphosis

Author: Franz Kafka

When Gregor Samsa awakes one morning as an entomologist’s dream come true, only his sister Grete shows him any degree of sympathy. His parents, on the other hand, react with scorn, with his father even throwing an apple that gets stuck in his carapace. Considering how hard he works to care for them, this adds an extra dimension of tragedy to Samsa’s story.

20.) Estella Havisham
Great Expectations
Author: Charles Dickens

Raised by the cracked, bitter Miss Havisham, Estella mirrors her adopted mother’s spite towards the world (particularly men), taking sadistic delight in turning sweet protagonist Pip’s little infatuation against him.

21.) Robert “The Sentry” Reynolds
Marvel Universe
Not even “the power of a million exploding suns” could save ol’ Bob from fan outrage, who decried…pretty much everything about him. The boring, dangerously Mary Sue-ish Jessica “Jewel” Jones surprisingly earned a lesser degree of hatred when she joined the Avengers!

22.) Broud
Clan of the Cave Bear
Author: Jean M. Auel

In the first of the Earth’s Children series, the sociopathic son of the chief is as insufferably horrific as his rival Ayla is insufferably perfect. His series of egotistical and shocking mistakes culminates in raping and impregnating the protagonist.

23.) Edward Rochester
Jane Eyre

Author: Charlotte Brontë

As one of the quintessential brooding men of Victorian literature, Edward Rochester enjoys his fair share of fans. However, modern audiences are turned off by his callous, dishonest treatment of the titular heroine. Though leaving Bertha in the attic and causing her to mentally deteriorate even faster makes for an even more appalling offense.

24.) Mrs. Ferrars
Sense and Sensibility
Author: Jane Austen

Utterly without any shred of redemptive qualities, Mrs. Ferrars stays within no boundaries when it comes to trying to get her sons to marry and – most importantly – marry well. And not in any endearingly comedic way, either.

25.) Bob Ewell
To Kill a Mockingbird
Author: Harper Lee

In one of the most disgusting and degrading acts in American literature, the selfish and socially parasitic Bob Ewell frames the innocent Tom Robinson for the rape of his daughter for no reason other than because he’s black.

26.) Hamlet
Author: William Shakespeare

Although the protagonist, many readers think of Hamlet as the Elizabethan precursor to the emo movement, whining constantly about his sorry life without ever really doing much to change it for the better. Of course, Shakespeare plays being Shakespeare plays, his true complexity often challenges this perception.

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.

28.) Patrick Bateman
American Psycho
Author: Bret Easton Ellis

Only the most twisted of individuals would admire Patrick Bateman, a slick, privileged executive who also enjoys murder, rape, cannibalism, torture, necrophilia and other wholesome activities.

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.

30.) Rufus
“The Lame Shall Enter First”
Author: Flannery O’Connor

Adopted by the pathetic and misguided (yet sympathetically well-intentioned, to an extent) Sheppard, clubfooted Rufus takes disgusting advantage of the man’s kindness. Demanding his adopted father’s full attention, the young ruffian forces him to ignore his own son – eventually driving the innocent boy to suicide.

31.) Stanley Kowalski
A Streetcar Named Desire
Author: Tennessee Williams

Any man who rapes a woman to “put her in her place,” as it were, fully deserves the ire of his readers. Add in his persistent abuse of pregnant(!) wife Stella and the fact that he feels absolutely no sense of shame for any of the atrocities he commits and the character just boils over with hate.

32.) Emma Bovary
Madame Bovary
Author: Gustave Flaubert

In spite of her protagonist status, a goodly amount of readers find Emma Bovary insufferable in her flightiness, entitlement, obsession with social status and ignorance mind-blowingly ridiculous rather than compelling or admirable.

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.

35.) Ignatius J. Reilly
A Confederacy of Dunces
Author: John Kennedy Toole

Readers were never meant to sympathize or empathize with the self-aggrandizing delusions by whiny A Confederacy of Dunces antihero Ignatius J. Reilly. Some find his Pulitzer-winning antics hilarious, whereas others just wish he were real so they could punch him in the jaw.

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.

37.) Madame Defarge
A Tale of Two Cities
Author: Charles Dickens

Ominous Madame Defarge knits the names of her victims into different pieces with nothing but vengeance on her mind. She spends a healthy chunk of the book screaming for the head of protagonist Charles Darnay against the backdrop of the bloody French Revolution.

38.) The Joker
DC Universe
Forget Heath Ledger for a moment and think about the original Joker. The sociopathic clown amongst sociopathic clowns shot Barbara “Batgirl” Gordon in the spine, crippling her permanently, murdered the second Robin Jason Todd, and…well…inspires either hate or “love to hate” in comic book fans.

39.) O’Brien
Author: George Orwell

At first, hero and Outer Party member Winston Smith sees Inner Partier O’Brien as a valuable ally and confident. In reality, however, he is tasked with reining in Smith’s antiestablishment sympathies and tortures him in Room 101 until he eventually complies with Big Brother’s demands.

40.) Faye Greener
The Day of the Locust
Author: Nathanael West

If Faye Greener were a real person alive today, she would be absurdly famous for no reason other than her complete lack of shame, tact and talent. An attention-monger of Tequila-esque proportions, Greener’s persistent need for male validation eventually culminates in a Hollywood riot that injures – even kills – people.

41.) Miss Havisham
Great Expectations

Author: Charles Dickens

If Estella is going to be on this list, then by gosh and by golly so too should the woman who made her such a manipulative ice queen in the first place! Jilted by the man she meant to marry, the elder Havisham coops herself up in her musty old mansion and uses her ward to carry out her vengeance on the Y chromosome.

42.) Jack Merridew
Lord of the Flies
Author: William Golding

The personification of humanity’s inherent savagery, young Merridew slowly succumbs to bloodlust while stranded with his classmates. He rises to power over his own small tribe of boys, using torture and domination to brutally keep them in line.

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.

44.) Abigail Williams
The Crucible
Author: Arthur Miller

Innocent women find themselves accused of witchcraft and thrown into prison thanks to the selfish machinations of Abigail Williams. Hoping to marry John Proctor, she executes a calculated series of lies in order to see his wife (and anyone else who stands in her way) killed off.

45.) Amanda Wingfield
The Glass Menagerie
Author: Tennessee Williams

Pathetic and pressuring Amanda Wingfield spends so much time mired in mourning for her own lost youth and beauty she ignores the REAL needs of her children. Both Laurie and Tom suffer quietly beneath her squelching expectations until the latter’s anger eventually boils over.

46.) Kay Scarpetta
The Kay Scarpetta series

Author: Patricia Cornwall

Like many contemporary protagonists, Kay Scarpetta suffers from chronic Mary Sue syndrome, which renders her completely unable to fail at anything ever and places her at the center of the entire universe.

47.) The Second Mrs. de Winter
Author: Daphne du Maurier

Contemporary audiences find The Second Mrs. de Winter – first name unknown – far too cowardly when grappling against the overbearing housekeeper Mrs. Danvers. Oddly enough, more hatred seems to be flung in her direction than the raging lunatic obsessed with Maxim de Winter’s first wife…

48.) Melanie Hamilton Wilkes
Gone With the Wind
Author: Margaret Mitchell

Along with chief romantic rival Scarlett O’Hara, Melanie Hamilton Wilkes garners quite a bit of hatred as well. Many readers think of her as far too perfect to be relatable, insufferable at worst and boring at best.

49.) Godot
Waiting for Godot
Author: Samuel Beckett

What kind of man keeps his friends inquiring about his whereabouts for all eternity?

50.) Satan
The Bible
Author: Various

A literary figure so hated, entire religions have sprouted up with keeping him at bay as one of their primary objectives. ‘Nuff said. (One of my all-time favorite fictional characters. Anyone else?)

This is a weird list because it's a mixture of love-to-hate and supposed-to-hate, but I thought it was fun. I'd also like to submit Esther Summerson--ugh, Mary Sue bitch--and Mrs. Bennet. Who else? ETA: Oh, and Dimmesdale!! My God, whiniest twat EVER.
Tags: books / authors, harry potter, list, twilight
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