Top Ten Tuesdays #2 Ten Greatest Literary Rebels

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovelies at The Broke and the Bookish

This week’s Top Ten theme is: 


Oooo, now this has been fun to think about. I'll number them 1-10 but they're in no particular order! Trying to actually rate them would be way to difficult for my fragile little mind!

1. Atticus Finch 
From Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird.

He rebelled against a culture of prejudice and racism to defend a Tom Robinson, a black man who is accused of assaulting and raping a white woman. 

2. Andy Dufresne 
From Stephen King's Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption.

Andy rebels against those who would wrongly keep him imprisoned for a crime he didn't commit. He outwits the guards and warden of the corrupt prison by letting himself hope. 

3. Calvin 
From Bill Waterson's Calvin and Hobbes series.

The tricky and ingenious little fella that can't stop getting himself into trouble, always taking his stuffed tiger, Hobbes, along for his rebellious ride. 

4. Aibileen, Minny and Skeeter.
From Kathryn Stockett's The Help. 

Okay, it's technically three rebels but I'll tackle them all in one go. These three rebel against a culture of segregation and silence in order to give voice to the oppression of black "help" in Southern America. Amazingly brave and engaging characters.  

5. Harrison Bergeron
From Kurt Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron.

I first encountered this short story when I was sitting my GCSE and I fell in love with it. In a society where everyone is forced to be equal (meaning that everyone is equipped with weights or mental befuddling devices so that everyone is stuck at the lowest common denominator), Harrison Bergeron is the physical embodiment of rebellion.  An amazingly powerful dystopian piece. 

6. Randle Patrick McMurphy
From Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

Randle fakes insanity to serve a prison sentence in a mental health hospital . While there, he rebels against the evil Nurse Ratched and her staff in order to to give his fellow patients a taste of life and hope. He has plenty of serious flaws, but he is, without a doubt, a literary rebel.

7. Shug Avery
From Alice Walker's The Color Purple.

Shug rebels against all sorts of conformity in this amazing epistolary novel. She changes the timid Celie's life and gives her the confidence to grow. She introduces Celie to new ways of thinking, the pleasures of the body and also helps her to discover things from her past which have been hidden for so long. Shug is a brash, promiscuous and extroverted black woman who has power in a time when women were meant to be seen and not heard, and black women were meant to not even be seen if they could damn well help it. 

8. Will Parry and Lyra Silvertongue.
From Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials.

These two pre-pubescent rebels manage to challenge the tyrannical system of organised religion and even help in the taking down of the Metatron. Pretty damn rebellious, eh?

9. Wanda
From Stephenie Meyer's The Host.

Wanderer is a "soul": an alien life-form who has to attach herself to a human host in order to live. Unfortunately, her host, Melanie Stryder, is still lurking in the back of her mind. Wanda rebels against her own species in order to track down the brother and boyfriend she remembers through Mel's thoughts. Hers is a peaceful rebellion, but powerful too. 

10. Joan D'Arc.
From George Bernard Shaw's Saint Joan.

One of my favourite historical figures. I'm not exactly big on the whole religion thing, but this lady fought for what she believed in; she defied female subjection; she fought the church, armies and also shares my birthday. =)

So there's my list. I've noticed as I write how my favourite literary rebels have had to pay dearly (no spoilery details being given here!) for their defiance of the rules and societies in which they live. And yet, I guess they are remembered. No 10 was a literal martyr to her cause, and I guess the others are literary martyrs to theirs. 

I hope you like the list. Who would you have added? 

P.S. I'm already thinking of about a dozen more. Must. Stop. Typing. 


  1. Heck yea, Wanda! I love that book.

  2. This one was fun to do! I definitely had The Help on my list too! :)

  3. Jeanne d'Arc= one of my favorite historical people, too! I read a really good book about her once, though I don't think it was the one you mentioned. Will and Lyra are high-achieving rebels, indeed-- Lyra was on my list as well. :) And Calvin-- great, original pick!

    Thanks for stopping by my Top Ten. :) I'm a new follower.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Thanks for visiting my blog. Calvin is a great addition to your list.

  6. Ah! I love that we both have Atticus on our lists. Classic rebel.

  7. awww, Andy Dufresne is a great character. I loved the short story but it's also one of my favourite films. Could never tire of watching it.

  8. I love that you put Calvin on your list, and I can't believe I forgot R.P. McMurphy! He is such a GREAT rebel.

  9. McMurphy: yes! And Atticus too, according to the definition we were given.

  10. Calvin! What a perfect choice!

  11. I love that you included Calvin! My favorite comic of all time and my favorite little rebel.


I am an attention seeker and, as such, I HEART comments! Let me know what you are thinking and it will put a smile on my face!