50 Most Hated Characters in Literary History, From Bella Swan to the Devil

Voldemort. Dorian Gray. Heathcliff. Some of literature's most memorable personalities are also truly despicable. The blog Library Science Degree has compiled a wide-ranging list of the 50 most hated characters in literary history—a list touches on everything from teenybopper fiction...

1.) Bella Swan and Edward Cullen

The Twilight series

Author: Stephenie Meyer

Sure Twilight has somehow attracted a legion of fans (some surprisingly sane), but a significant amount of people despise the idealized central couple as well. Hardly surprising, considering the 2 share a vomitously unhealthy, co-dependent and emotionally abusive relationship packaged and sold as romantic. Do couples counselors not exist in the Meyerverse?

... to Nobel prize-winning literature ...

2.) Cholly Breedlove

The Bluest Eye

Author: Toni Morrison

Fictional or not, any man who repeatedly rapes his own young daughter, eventually impregnating her and driving her to madness will never earn his fair share of fans. Toni Morrison, of course, does show that even victimizers suffer stints as victims without excusing any atrocities committed.

.... to the Bible.

50.) Satan

The Bible

Author: Various

A literary figure so hated, entire religions have sprouted up with keeping him at bay as one of their primary objectives. 'Nuff said.

And it's sure to provoke controversy both for the characters on the list (is Catcher in the Rye's Holden Caulfield really hateful? And why is Hamlet on there but not Polonius?) and those left off (Death of a Salesman's Willy Loman is pretty infuriating. And if fiction for young people is fair game, what about the cat from The Cat in the Hat?).

Read the full list at Library Science Degree.

Presented by

Eleanor Barkhorn is a former senior editor at The Atlantic.

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