It is currently Thu May 24, 2018 3:38 pm

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 78 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 3:22 pm 
Offline
Best friends forever
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:33 pm
Posts: 11961
Location: Over there.
I don't know if this is the right forum for this, but it's an interesting topic.

Who's your least favourite/most hated character, and why?

Mine is Isabel Archer, in Portrait of a Lady. I thought she was a pig-headed blind fool.

Some people hate Emma. How about you?

_________________
Dig deeper.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 3:59 pm 
Offline
Just Keep Singin'
User avatar

Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2005 12:35 am
Posts: 4649
Location: Boston, MA
I hated Amy in "Little Woman." I thought she was a whiny, spoiled brat.

But I didn't really like the book in the first place. I much more enjoyed "Little Men."

I hated everyone but the father in "Pride and Prejudice." I thought they were all annoying. But I couldn't get past the first few chapters of that book, even though I tried several times.

_________________
"Live! Live! Live! Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!" - Auntie Mame

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 4:00 pm 
Offline
Pleasantly Twisted
User avatar

Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 6:35 pm
Posts: 8996
Location: Black Creek Bottoms
We should draw up a checklist of traits:

1) Young and self-involved (old and self-involved isn't annoying, just sad)
2) Obliviousness/stubbornness--they go together so often
3) First person narrator (being in an annoying person's head is even worse than being around them)
4) Possibility of improving that's never fulfilled, or only happens at the end.

_________________

Resentment is no excuse for baldface stupidity.
-- Garrison Keillor

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 4:07 pm 
Offline
Living in hope
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:43 am
Posts: 39067
Location: Sailing the luminiferous aether
Emma. Got it. :P Though she grates on me far less now than she did when I was in my twenties.

A key element for me is that the character is presented as one we should sympathize with, usually one of the protagonists of the book. Austen and Dickens and Trollope and many others are all full of brilliantly annoying minor characters, but we can enjoy them because they exist to be annoying, usually in the most entertaining way possible. The "off" quality of a really unlikeable character we're supposed to like is what gets under my skin.

Have to revisit this question after coffee.

_________________
“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 4:26 pm 
Offline
Just Keep Singin'
User avatar

Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2005 12:35 am
Posts: 4649
Location: Boston, MA
My daughter could barely finish "Great Expectations" (she had to read it in High School) because she DETESTED Pip.

:D

_________________
"Live! Live! Live! Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!" - Auntie Mame

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 4:51 pm 
Offline
Best friends forever
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:33 pm
Posts: 11961
Location: Over there.
I loved Pip. Still do. He's a real person, more than usual with Dickens. Not perfect, though.

I wonder how much of our dislike of certain characters is because the "reason" for a character being written is different nowadays? Most novels now aren't written as social or religious tracts, but many were in the past. The character existed as a type, not a person. He or she was there to "be" a certain way for a reason.

As for Emma? I like Emma and always did. She grows up as we read the book - she does not remain static.

Whereas, most of Dickens' characters never change. They are one way forever. Except parts of Pip.

_________________
Dig deeper.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 4:58 pm 
Offline
Just Keep Singin'
User avatar

Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2005 12:35 am
Posts: 4649
Location: Boston, MA
This is a stupid question, but who is "Emma?"

_________________
"Live! Live! Live! Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!" - Auntie Mame

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 5:24 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2006 1:15 pm
Posts: 439
JewelSong wrote:
This is a stupid question, but who is "Emma?"

The heroine of Emma, by Jane Austen. Austen said something along the lines of that she had created a character that only she would like.

Cathy in Wuthering Heights is pretty annoying. Tom Brown in Tom Brown's schooldays is also annoying to me, but I think that that is because I read Flashman first, and I can only see things through his eyes. Causubon in Middlemarch is, but that is intentional.

I quite like Pip but never understood why he didn't take Magwitch's money on the river.

If one elevates Pratchett to Literature I will condemn the Nac Mac Feegle. They really irritate me.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 6:06 pm 
Offline
Hobbit
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2006 7:45 pm
Posts: 5087
Location: Missouri
Why wouldn't Pratchett's work be literature? :scratch: Doesn't literature refer to any story written down?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 6:10 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2005 5:02 am
Posts: 3613
Aravar wrote:
If one elevates Pratchett to Literature I will condemn the Nac Mac Feegle. They really irritate me.

They irritated me a lot in Carpe Jugulum, but I found I liked them a lot in the Tiffany Aching series. ( Full disclosure: have only read the first two in the series to date. )


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 6:22 pm 
Offline
Living in hope
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:43 am
Posts: 39067
Location: Sailing the luminiferous aether
I like Emma now, for the reasons you gave, vison. She's definitely one of Austen's two most real heroines (the other being Anne in Persuasion). But that's because I'm no longer the same age as Emma is and confident that I have it all figured out. :P

_________________
“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 6:52 pm 
Offline
Meanwhile...
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:31 pm
Posts: 13503
Location: Out on the banks
I actually found the father in Pride and Prejudice utterly annoying. He seems utterly unconcerned with the fate of his daughters, which would be dire if they don't marry; and if they lack refinement, isn't it his fault?

I adore Emma, on the other hand, and I love the Feegles. They are so unsquashable.

The hero of the Polish classic, With Fire and Sword, annoyed the hell out of me. I've never rooted so hard for the "bad guy" to get the girl. The hero learns that his love was caught in a besieged city, which means she was probably raped when it fell, and he's all, "Oh, I'll just find her and take he to a monastery," the little twit. Good thing the "bad guy" saved her.

If you see the movie of that tile, I highly recommend it. That's how you film historical epics.

_________________
Image
‘There’s no greys, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.’
‘It’s a lot more complicated than that -’
‘No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.’
Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 8:20 pm 
Offline
Hobbit
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2006 7:45 pm
Posts: 5087
Location: Missouri
axordil wrote:
We should draw up a checklist of traits:

1) Young and self-involved (old and self-involved isn't annoying, just sad)
2) Obliviousness/stubbornness--they go together so often
3) First person narrator (being in an annoying person's head is even worse than being around them)
4) Possibility of improving that's never fulfilled, or only happens at the end.


This list just about sums up what I didn't like about the main character in the "Hunger Games" trilogy that we just finished. It was an absorbing (if somewhat horrific) tale but when we got done with it, I couldn't help but be relieved. It's an unforgettable story, but I didn't much like the main character.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 8:37 pm 
Offline
Lali Beag Bídeach
User avatar

Joined: Fri Dec 16, 2005 4:42 pm
Posts: 13428
Location: Rivendell
I also didn't like Catherine in Wuthering Heights.

I'm sure there are more, but I can't think of any at the moment. I intensely dislike Ernest Hemingway, so I'm sure there's a character or two there that I find annoying.

Bartleby by Herman Melville made me want to poke my eyeballs out with a pencil, so maybe that counts?

_________________
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 8:44 pm 
Offline
Just Keep Singin'
User avatar

Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2005 12:35 am
Posts: 4649
Location: Boston, MA
I am not a fan of Jane Austen. At all. I have tried mightily to get through even one of her books and failed. Miserably.

Maria, I loved the Hunger Games and I loved Katniss, the main character. The person I found annoyingly self-absorbed was Gale. My daughter and I are very much looking forward to the movie coming out in March 2012.

_________________
"Live! Live! Live! Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!" - Auntie Mame

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 9:02 pm 
Offline
Lali Beag Bídeach
User avatar

Joined: Fri Dec 16, 2005 4:42 pm
Posts: 13428
Location: Rivendell
(So is my daughter, Jewel! She really loved the series. I haven't read it yet.)

_________________
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 9:12 pm 
Online
not something I would recommend
User avatar

Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 11:13 pm
Posts: 13105
Location: Florida
Perhaps a more interesting question is characters you couldn't stand in books you otherwise loved. :)

_________________
everything happens so much

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 9:18 pm 
Offline
Just Keep Singin'
User avatar

Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2005 12:35 am
Posts: 4649
Location: Boston, MA
I think, for me, if it's a main character I can't stand, then it affects my enjoyment of the book.

IOW, I wouldn't love a book if I hated the main character.

_________________
"Live! Live! Live! Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!" - Auntie Mame

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 9:29 pm 
Offline
Pleasantly Twisted
User avatar

Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 6:35 pm
Posts: 8996
Location: Black Creek Bottoms
JS--It's certainly starting at a disadvantage. But I think I'd rather actively hate a protagonist than find them annoying. I'm reading a book right now with a pretty loathsome guy--so far--as the main character. But the world he's in is equally loathsome, so I'm trying to take that into account somewhat, and the writing is good (prose, setting, tension building, etc).

But he's not annoying. :D

_________________

Resentment is no excuse for baldface stupidity.
-- Garrison Keillor

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 9:40 pm 
Offline
Hobbit
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2006 7:45 pm
Posts: 5087
Location: Missouri
JS,
I found the whole Hunger Games trilogy appalling. It was well written enough that I kept to it in morbid fascination, but I found many things about Katniss that annoyed the heck out of me. Her vascillation between the two love interests, her failure to figure things out faster than I could. Her constant conviction that everything bad happening was her own fault and not that of the Evil Overlords. (I just can't refrain from calling their government that!)

In short, the teen angst annoyed the heck out of me... but I suppose the target audience liked it well enough, considering how popular it is.

I saw the trailer and cried all the way through it. I doubt I'll see the movie. It's a horrible, horrible world that author has created, and I don't want to go there again.

But, I admit, it probably wouldn't have been so bad in print. Hearing it read keeps one at a pace that is infuriating in parts. I *so* wanted to chipmunk it through several sections.... but I refrained.

It was a good story, but too dark for my taste.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 78 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group