January 29, 2013

Top Ten Most Frustrating Characters

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the bloggers of The Broke and the Bookish. This week we are all recounting some of the most frustrating literary characters we've ever come across.


Mrs. Bennet from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen — Mrs. Bennet does provide some comic relief to the story, but I honestly have no idea how her family is able to put up with her dramatics. I certainly couldn't.
Cornelius Fudge from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling — Fudge has SO many opportunities throughout the book to help prepare the Wizarding world for Voldemort's return. Instead he chooses to deny all potential bad news until it's too late. He's not an evil person, but certainly a terrible leader.
The Giving Tree of The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein — My friend Anna put it best when she said: STOP GIVING, TREE!
Beatrice Lacey from Wideacre by Philippa Gregory — Oh Beatrice. I understand that she cares about Wideacre above all else. But the measures she resorts to to keep her claim there are ridiculously over-the-top and, shall we say, quite incestuous. 
Macbeth from Macbeth by William Shakespeare — No, Macbeth, you were not really predestined to commit any of those horrible crimes. You have choices, so many choices, and you just keep making the wrong ones.
Scarlett O'Hara from Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell  — I love Scarlett and how self-serving she is. I just wish she realizes she needs Rhett sooner and can admit that they are alike so that there's no need for that ending to happen. 
Edna Pontellier from The Awakening by Kate Chopin — Maybe now that I'm older and a little wiser than my high school self I could appreciate Chopin's work a little more. All I remember of my reading experience was how frustrated I was with Edna, who would rather end her own life than put up with her husband and children.
Fanny Price from Mansfield Park by Jane Austen — Fanny is one of the most passive characters I've ever read. I get that you're humble and moral, but please assert yourself every once and a while!
Bella Swan of the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer — I'm not sure I understood the concept of a Mary Sue until I read Twilight. Is it too much to ask for a protagonist with a bit of a personality?

Don Quixote from Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes — Don Quixote is at least an amusing character. But his misadventures start to fade together after a while. Can no one really talk any sense into him?
 
Agree with any of my choices? Let me know which characters you think are the most frustrating!
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Amanda

Amanda loves few things better than sitting down with a cup of tea and a book. She frequently stays up far too late, telling herself she just needs to finish one more page. When she's not wrapped up in the stories of others, Amanda works as a children's librarian in a public library.

20 comments:

  1. I've never actually read Macbeth, but Shakespeare could create frustrating characters, that's for sure. Hamlet made my list, and either Romeo or Juliet could have easily made the list as well. Scarlet. Oh, yes. I've never made it through Gone with the Wind--in fact, I've never made it past the first hundred pages-- because I find Scarlet so frustrating.

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    1. Oh, you should read Macbeth at some point. One of Shakespeare's most famous works, and also there are still cultural references to witches and spells and insanity from it. And Scarlett is definitely a difficult character to like, but I think that's just part of her charm. :)

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  2. Mrs Bennett's 'nerves' made me so frustrated whilst reading P&P. I can't imagine somebody getting away with that excuse nowadays 'I can't come into work today because I've had an attack of the nerves.' Lol x

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    1. haha so true! I'm guessing she'd be diagnosed with some sort of anxiety issue in today's society.

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  3. I totally agree about Mrs.Bennett- great pick. I never would have thought of her but your right, she does make me nuts! Check out our TTT http://yafictionandwhiskeysours.blogspot.com/

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    1. haha I think most people do feel that way.

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  4. Good list! I do love THE GIVING TREE though. But it is sad at the end :(. I agree about Mrs. Bennett. How does her husband deal with that? She needs to be stopped! You're totally right about Fanny too. I definitely wanted her to STAND UP FOR HERSELF. Bella is on a lot of lists, and she is annoying for lots of reasons. Harry Potter has many frustrating characters, Fudge is a good one.

    My TTT

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    1. It is totally sad! I really do think that guy was just taking advantage of her. And she's too giving to ever say no. It is sad. And Harry Potter does! I chose essentially good characters who are frustrating, so for me it's a tie between Fudge and Percy.

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  5. Scarlett is on my list too. It isn't because I hate her, but because you are right...she is down right frustrating when it comes to Rhett, and she can be so horrible to people.

    MY Top Ten

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    1. Exactly! I greatly admire Scarlett's character. And Rhett does too. I just wish she could have realized that earlier.

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  6. Scarlett topped my list too. Not because I hated her, but because she was just so dang frustrating. Mrs. Bennett and Fudge should have been on my list.

    I wanted to like Enda, but I just didn't. She frustrated me so badly. And Bella was at the top of my list too. Thanks for sharing.

    Here's mine

    ~Danica Page@Taking it One Page at a Time

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    1. Ugh I don't see how anyone could possibly like Edna. She's way too self-righteous and self-pitying at the same time (not quite sure how that's possible but it totally is!).

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  7. Oh my gosh, Scarlett O'Hara...yessss... perfect choice. She is SO incredibly frustrating. So shallow and self serving. So stubborn and judgemental. But her "I will survive at any cost!" mentality will always make her one of my all time favorite characters (even though she annoys the crap out of me too:)

    You should read The Trouble with Flirting by Claire Lezebnik. It comes out Feb 26 and it's loosely based on Mansfield Park. I think you will like her version of Fanny MUCH better:)


    My TTT

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    1. Yay glad you feel the same way I do about Scarlett, Heather! :) Hmm and I'll definitely have to look into that book. I need to reread Mansfield Park. It's been about 3 years since I first read it. But then I'll definitely be open to reading retellings of it!

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  8. I agree with practically ALL of these, but I do have to say that I just LOVE Scarlett. Even though I do find her EXTREMELY frustrating, I just adore her. SO. Much. :) Lovely list, Amanda! :D

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    1. I love Scarlett too haha! That doesn't mean she isn't a frustrating character for me as well. :)

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  9. Umbridge is actually the first character that comes to mind. I think I actually hated her more than Voldemort! I think I actually really hurt my jaw from clenching my teeth so much the first time I read Order of the Phoenix. But Fudge is plenty frustrating, too! And Rita Skeeter! Oh Jo, how you are able to create so many characters that you just want to throttle is so impressive.

    It's so funny to me that every other Top Ten list that I've perused today have also had Bella on their list. Every single one!! But I think she'd be on mine, too.

    Heh, love that you included The Giving Tree on your list!!

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    1. I agree. I hated Umbridge! But hatred isn't the same as frustration for me. None of the characters listed here are those I hate, just those I have issues with their behaviors and choices. Rita Skeeter is another frustrating character for sure.
      And that's what happens when you create a character with literally no personality who somehow manages to attract the attention of two attractive guys. Bella isn't worth any stronger feelings than frustration, IMO.
      haha thank you. :) I feel both sad and annoyed by the trees' constant sacrifices. If you read the book keeping the tree's perspective in mind, it's really a depressing book.

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  10. FUDGE. YES. He so belongs on this list.

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