The Most Divisive Characters in Literary History

By Emily Temple

Bella Swan, Holden Caulfield, Patrick Bateman, and the other literary creations we continue to fight over

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Last week, we read an article that sought to answer one of life's most troubling questions: "Is Holden Caulfield Obnoxious?" Though the Flavorpill office is largely split on this point, your humble author has been squarely in the "yes" camp since she picked up the book at age 13 and put it down ten pages later, brushing off Holden as a pretentious jerk unworthy of her attention. However, I have to admit that this article swayed my feelings a little bit—quite a feat, with such an old grudge on the table.

Regardless, Holden Caulfield remains one of the most controversial literary characters of all time—some love him, some hate him, and some love to hate him. There may even be some people out there who hate to love him. However, Holden's sheer divisiveness is one of the things that makes him such an interesting character and cultural icon, so we started thinking about a few more of the literary characters we're destined to keep fighting over for years to come.

This post also appears on Flavorpill, an Atlantic partner site.

Image credit: Lions Gate Films

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2012/03/the-most-divisive-characters-in-literary-history/253985/