Dolores Umbridge from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
I think that Dolores would feature on this list for anyone who has read Harry Potter. There are fictional characters who are bad or evil and yet you understand their motivation. Even You Know Who is motivated by the prophecy. Dolores seems to just enjoy seeing people suffer. She smiles at the torture. I see her as more wicked than Voldemort.
The White Witch from The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
My disgust with the White Witch comes partly due to my love of Christmas. Christmas is a season of love, giving, thinking of others, and every good thing. You must be a truly evil person to want to rid the world of such happiness.
Mrs. Danvers from Rebecca
Throughout Rebecca, Mrs. Danvers is a proud woman who seems to delight in making the protagonist feel as uncomfortable as possible. She is a real mischief maker with an obsession that drives her every action, causing as much pain and angst for Mrs. DeWinter as she can and finding satisfaction in her success.
Lady Catherine De Bourgh from Pride and Prejudice
Catherine De Bourgh is an unmitigated snob. She wants to see people fawning sycophantically at her feet and dislikes any individual who has the ability to stand up for themselves. She likes the world to know that she is better than anyone else. Even when she is being generous it comes across as parading her wealth and patronage. I love watching Lizzie Bennet stand up for herself and argue back, destroying all of Lady Catherine De Bourgh’s arguments with her wit and intelligence.
King Clarkson from The Selection Series
King Clarkson is a character I simply do not understand. He is a controlling, cruel and abusive tyrant. I cannot comprehend treating anyone the way he does.
Hilly Holbrook from The Help
She’s the interfering, author of the toilet initiative. She treats her mother with disdain and bullies and blackmails all she associates with. The one redeeming quality is that she does love her children, but this isn’t enough to make me not enjoy watching her eat a certain chocolate pie. There is a satisfaction that comes with seeing those who have been bullied by her, finally find the courage to stand up to her.
Bob Ewell from To Kill a Mockingbird
A drunken, abusive, unemployed father of eight who shirks all parental responsibility. I would pity him if it weren’t his own laziness holding him back from improving his social standing. After costing Tom Robinson his life, he then threatens all who tried to provide a fair trial.
President Coriolanus Snow from The Hunger Games
The tyrannical leader of Panem has shown that he is willing to stop at nothing to keep hold of absolute power in his dictatorship. All negative adjectives can be used to describe this evil character. His acts of murder and torture are truly disgusting and I cannot help but want him to fail. He also uses the white rose (a symbol of purity) in an attempt to mask his wicked acts, this for me only adds to my revulsion for him. In this way, I understand completely the nausea Katniss feels in his presence.
Fanny Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility
Her selfishness drives me crazy. She is manipulative and tries to disguise her greed as concern for her son. She also manages to induce her husband to break the promises he made to his Father. Leaving his mother and sisters in near poverty is despicable. Once her sisters-in-law have made, what she considers worthwhile acquaintances in the Middletons, she suddenly doesn’t mind associating with them. Fanny is incredibly egotistical. She doesn’t necessarily do anything evil herself, but she has huge powers of influence. She chooses to use this influence for the negative – to persuade her husband to neglect his family. I wish John had more of a backbone when it comes to dealing with his wife.
Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights
I know there are a lot of people who claim Heathcliff as a romantic hero. I just don’t see it. He is malicious and vengeful, among other negative qualities. I struggle to find a quality I like or admire in him at all.
Which literary characters do you love to hate?