Top Five Literary Figures I Want To Punch In The Face

This post really does what it says on the tin. Here is my list of those nightmare characters who I wish were real just so I could strangle them.

Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austin.

As I mentioned in my "Guilty Pleasures" post, I just can't stand this protagonist. I know she's meant to be a feminist heroine, but all she does is listen to gossip. Furthermore, she spawned Bridget Jones. Euch.

Edward Cullen from Twilight et al, by Stephenie Meyer.

It's not just the fact that Robert Pattinson is now irrevocably attached to the name, although that does doom it somewhat. Mostly, I hate Edward's chauvinistic, over-protective sense of superiority when it comes to Bella. He practically kidnaps her at one point! He's just a bit too Heathcliff for me.

Harold Lauder from The Stand, by Stephen King.

King sure knows how to write characters who get under your skin and gnaw at you. Harold Lauder was one of these characters. A coward, a perv and a killer. Something about the way King writes Harold makes you feel like you need to scrub under your nails after reading about him.

Mrs Carmody from The Mist, by Stephen King.

Another astoundingly annoying bint created by my hero. This religious fanatic's blind evil made me want to crawl into the pages of the novella and remove each of her teeth with a set of pliers.

Gwendoline Mary Lacey from Malory Towers, by Enid Blyton.

I think maybe everyone knew a Gwendoline while they were growing up. Not the name, but the character. The pretty, vapid idiot who only had to bat a perfect eyelash or shed a phony tear to get just what she wanted.  Readers of this series put up with six years of Gwendoline's crap and I'm sure it wasn't just me who wanted to pluck every silky blonde hair from her perfectly empty head!

So. Now that I've written down the first five which popped into my head, I can think of a million more characters who got on my nerves. However, I'm really more interested in your top five. What characters made you grit your teeth so hard that your jaw ached? Share in the comments all!



  1. 1. I thought, like you, I'd start with an Austen. It was a tough call between Marianne Dashwood (Sense and Sensibility) and Fanny Price (Mansfield Park), but in the end I went for Fanny. Possibly the most unlikeable, sanctimonious heroine in all literature.

    2. The Second Mrs De Winter (Rebecca). Reading this as a teenager, I was on her side, but rereading it as an adult I was rooting for crazy Danvers all the way. Grow a spine you priss.

    3. Josie Pye (Anne of Green Gables). What a bitch.

    4. Laoghaire MacKenzie (Cross Stitch). Another bitch.

    5. Isabella Linton (Wuthering Heights). "Oh look, there's that psychotic bloke who's in love with my sister-in-law. He has this massive vendetta against my whole family, but I'm sure he must really love me and he'll treat me like a princess." Idiot.

  2. Oooooooooooh all of the above! You could add every other bugger in Wuthering Heights to the list. I couldn't stand anyone in that book!

  3. I only have one character who grates on me so much I refused to finish the text (despite it being a requirement for my degree) and that was Mosca in Ben Johnson's play Volpone.

    I had an almost instant dislike to the character whom I openly labelled a bottom feeder of the (ironically) highest order. The character made my teeth itch and I couldn't stand holding the book that contained him. Even now my skin is crawling a bit...

  4. I just wish to thump Lyra Silvertongue, from His Dark Materials. There is just something about how useless she is in everything, and yet apparently is so important. Luckily she does have Pan.

  5. He he. His Dark Materials is such an amazing series. When I re-read it these days I find myself powering through the first book (even though I love it) as I much prefer Will as a protagonist.

    I think the girl they cast in the movie may have added to the thumpability factor too. It's a shame the movie sucked so would have been nice to see who they would cast as Will.

    Ooo and Mrs Coulter has a definite "punch in the face" sort of quality. She was so piously evil!


  6. P.S. I so want a daemon! (Ooo...inspired me, you have, Algernon. And talking like Yoda I am...)


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