My “Most Hated” Literary Characters

I recently finished reading Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris, which is a psychological thriller that examines the darkest side of human nature. And my extreme hate for the antagonist got me thinking about all of the other literary characters that I completely despise.* Most were intentionally written to be vile and get under your skin, but I know there will probably be a few unpopular opinions on this list! So, here are ten of my “most hated” literary characters!

  1. Miss Trunchbull (Matilda) – A sadistic headmistress who takes immense joy in finding ways to torture the children left in her care, Miss Trunchbull might have been the first literary character I truly despised.
  2. The White Witch (The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe) – Winter without Christmas? What an absolute witch. And don’t forget she also took away all happiness and hope and turns her enemies to stone.
  3. Dolores Umbridge (Harry Potter series) – Utter revulsion is the phrase that comes to mind when I think of the immensely insufferable toad that is Dolores Umbridge. The pure evil that runs through her veins is hardly masked by her perfectly pink wardrobe and terrifyingly girlish voice.
  4. Heathcliff (Wuthering Heights) – Manipulative and abusive, I like to describe Heathcliff as a tyrannical jerk. And his mutually destructive relationship with Catherine reflects a kind of obsessive love that really gets under my skin.
  5. Daisy Buchanan (The Great Gatsby) – I wouldn’t consider any of the characters in The Great Gatsby to be a shining example of humanity, but Daisy Buchanan is ahead of the pack when it comes to being the worst. She’s the epitome of shallowness, and every time I read a bit of her dialogue, it was like nails on a chalkboard.
  6. Bob Ewell (To Kill A Mockingbird) – I think we can all agree that Bob Ewell is a racist asshole: it’s heavily implied he sexually abuses his daughter; he spends all of his government relief money on alcohol…not on his 8 children who need to be taken care of; he falsely accuses Tom Robinson of raping his daughter simply because he is black; and, he gloats about Tom’s death.
  7. Bella Swan (Twilight series) – My first big issue is that Bella is so whiny! It’s ridiculous. The second (bigger) issue is her relationship with Edward. It’s a terribly unhealthy, co-dependent, emotionally abusive relationship covered in glitter and sold as romantic.
  8. William Hamleigh (Pillars of the Earth) – William Hamleigh is an arrogant, selfish creep with an unnatural relationship with his mother. But that’s not all! He’s also a rapist and an attempted murderer .
  9. President Coin (The Hunger Games series) – It takes a truly evil person to give someone hope and then tear it away. By hiding her true intentions, President Coin hid her true nature, but she proves to be just a merciless and power hungry as her counterpart (President Snow).
  10. Jack Angel (Behind Closed Doors) –  the newest addition to my list, Jack Angel is a monster. And he’s the most terrifying kind of monster, the kind that no one ever suspects. His wife describes him best when she says “it’s a shame he’s such a sadistic bastard, because he has wonderful manners.”

Question of the Week: Which literary characters would you add to this list?

*Just because I hate a character doesn’t mean I didn’t love the book. Sometimes the truly evil characters are what makes a book so great!