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.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A Stop-Motion Tour of New York City

A filmmaker animated hundreds of still photographs to create this Big Apple flip book

Video

The Absurd Psychology of Restaurant Menus

Would people eat healthier if celery was called "cool celery?"

Video

This Japanese Inn Has Been Open For 1,300 Years

It's one of the oldest family businesses in the world.

Video

What Happens Inside a Dying Mind?

Science cannot fully explain near-death experiences.

More in Entertainment

Just In