Monday, February 3, 2014

The One About Villains

I got a suggestion for a post on villains-- "who I really love to loathe."

Okay, let's start with Jane Austen. (Surprise there, right?)  Which do I hate the most... Willoughby (Sense and Sensibility), Wickham (Pride and Prejudice) and Henry Crawford (Mansfield Park) are the first three who come to mind.  Not sure which one is the worst... the W's are both similar; they put on a show of being splendid, dashing, honorable gentleman, when in fact they are dishonorable and have sordid pasts involving women.  (eww.)  Willoughby seems a little less scoundrel-y in some ways... he shows a bit of remorse for some of his actions (although mainly because things didn't work out the way he wanted) and seemed to have more real feeling.  However, he purposely set out to amuse himself by winning Marianne's heart only to break it.  That's just evil.  Wicked Wickham didn't exactly do that... but but he's more all-around jerk-like and slime-bag-ish, I think. Sort of less human, almost, than Willoughby.  But... I hate them both.

And Henry Crawford... ugh.  Some people seem to think he shouldn't have ended up being the villain, to which I say, WHAT.  Um.  Just don't get me started, okay?  HATE. THE. RAT.

Oh, and John Thorpe (Northanger Abbey) is SO. ANNOYING.  That's the main thing with him--he just drives me up the wall.  Frederick Tilney actually has more dastardly-villain material... CREEP.  But he isn't mentioned much.

William Elliot (Persuasion) deserves a good deal of villain points, and I give more of said points to Frank Churchill (Emma) than the average person seems to. ;)

Moving on from Jane Austen... Charles Dickens seems to have a good collection of dastardly villains.  I hate them in different ways.  Some of them are less of the evil-scheming-villain type and are more disgustingly annoying.  Examples: Mr. Smallweed (Bleak House... pictured above, see how gross? :P), and Mr. Squeers (Nicholas Nickleby).  Although the latter had his share of deviousness, too.  Mr. Pecksniff in Martin Chuzzlewit REALLY rubs me the wrong way... but at least he gets somewhat of a comeuppance.

There are the ones who just seem slimy (Uriah Heep, David Copperfield) and the ones who totally creep me out... like Bradley Headstone (Our Mutual Friend), John Jasper (The Mystery of Edwin Drood, at least the BBC version... some people say he isn't really a villain, but he creeps me out, okay?), and certainly not least of all, Blandois/Rigaud from Little Dorrit.  That guy is probably the worst Dickens villain out there, but I don't really love to loathe him.  I just shudder and wait for him to die. :P

I really, really, really hated Jonas Chuzzlewit in Martin Chuzzlewit.  I just... have no words.  UGH.  He combines disgustingly-annoying with you-make-me-so-mad-I-wish-somebody-would-push-you-off-a-cliff. The uncle in Nicholas Nickleby was of the cold-hearted and devious sort who makes me quite angry... he and Mr. Tulkinghorn from Bleak House seem like two of a kind.

It seems like a lot of my favorite stories don't really have particular villains that really make me pay attention to them... one I have to mention, though, because I hated him so much, was Mr. Grandcourt from Daniel Deronda.  I watched this with someone who employed the fast-forward button not infrequently, haha, but I saw enough of him to know that he was very evil and wicked and black of heart, and nearly the whole entire time I was just WILLING him to DIE.

Yeah.  Anyways.

There.  Was that enough ranting for today?

Oh, yeah, that creepy villain dude in Lorna Doone.  Ew.  He's another one where I wish he would go jump off a cliff.  Or into some quicksand or something. :P


Caroline L. said...

Hehe... excellent list of literary villains. Yes, in my mind Frank Churchill isn't classified amongst the evil "bad guys," he was more of a spoilt, lonely child. =[

Aw! I actually liked Carver Doone! MUCH more than John Ridd (DON'T get me started. UG!).

Esther Romaine said...

To start with I'm going to agree with Caroline L. and say I think Carver Doone is leaps and bounds ahead of John Ridd.

I could also write a lengthy essay on why John Jasper is amazing! But, I won't do that.

On the other hand I also don't understand why people don't see Henry Crawford as a major villain. Seriously people his behavior was atrocious.

At any rate it was a lovely rant. Thank you for sharing Miss Melody!

Hamlette said...

Hahaha! This part made me laugh aloud:

I don't really love to loathe him. I just shudder and wait for him to die.

Excellent post! And I agree with most of them, if not quite the ordering (I hate John Thorpe way more than Wickham, Willoughby, or Henry Crawford. Blech.)

Livia Rachelle said...

Wickham is worse than Willoughby because everthing Wickham does is cold-blooded and calculated. He never really loves anyone. Willoughby did really fall in love with Marianne. I think I hate Henry Crawford the most, perhaps because I have heard people sympathize (horrible, ignorant moderns who don't understand the concept of morality-why read Jane Austen if you cannot except the basic tenets, hello, what is the point! Aside from the Biblical framework; I don't believe Austen was a Christian, most Anglicans probably were not) and because his sister tried to vindicate him. When a bad guy gets sympathy that often makes me hate them more. I have to disagree about Frank Churchill. He deceived people, but he did not intend to make Emma seriously in love with him and he really did almost tell her. He was selfish and foolish, but he was not immoral and he really was sorry. He was HUMAN. I am not saying he was right, but there aren't just angels and villains. I don't really think that you can rate deception as worse than say Darcy's pride or so much worse Edward Ferrar's deception (yes, he DID deceive Elinor, albeit more "innocently"). I don't remember enough of Northanger Abbey, but Mr. Elliot was definitely a villain because of the mistress affair and his cheating or whatever of Mr. Smith. We literally just finished watching Persuasion. I love these sorts of JA conversations. I have yet to read many Dickens novels and Lorna Doone (I have been thinking of starting).

Miss Dashwood said...

Do you ever wonder what became of Marianne's other shoe, the one Willoughby took off when he examined her ankle? Because in that picture at the beginning, she's got one shoe off and one shoe on, diddle dumpling, she got rescued by John...
...okay, that was stupid. :P


I've told you about the thing, yes? With Willoughby, Wickham and William Elliot? Ehehehehehe.

I can never decide which of the first two W's I hate more, btw. I'm kind of apathetic when it comes to Mr. Elliot... he's slimy and rather horrid but I don't really care about him. Snort.

BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA the look on Lizzy's face. I love that.

Henry Crawford is indeed a rat. And John Thorpe is a snuffly pig. And Frank Churchil... eh, I'm so on the fence with him. BUT STILL hahahahaha.

I reallllly want to see The Mystery of Edwin Drood and see if John Jasper creeps me out, too, but I must finish DCTP before I do so. Don't want to be prejudiced against the Darcy in that version, ehehehe.


And Coffee Doone is too hilariously fun to hate. I mean, he's evil and all, but he's so Interesting. And his hair is most humorous, most humorous indeed.

Was that stuff really quicksand, though? I always thought it was just a muddy swamp. o.O

I notice there are no female villains in this post... can we expect another at a later date with them, hmmmmm? Blanche Ingram, Caroline Arless, Jen Pringle.... it could be quite inTEResting.

Melody said...

I do not understand how all you people cannot hate Carver Doone. He's such a CREEP. And he attempted to KILL the woman he supposedly LOVED because she was going to marry someone else and not him. Ummmmmmm. UGH.

Moving on. :P

Caroline L.,
I never said that Frank was a bad guy... or a villain. I merely said that I gave him more points in that direction than the average person seems to. ;)

Haha, I'll admit John Jasper was not your usual villain... but he still creeped me out. And he really didn't treat Rosa well. But THANK YOU for agreeing about Henry Crawford. :)

Glad to make you laugh! :D John Thorpe is indeed awful in his own way. Whenever he's in the book I'm like, not you again. GO AWAY. :P

Livia Rachelle,
Again, I didn't say that Frank was a villain. I merely mention him because there was not a particular villain in Emma... and I dislike him more than most people seem to. ;) But I have a VERY easy time rating is deception as worse than Darcy's pride... purposely setting out to deceive someone is a lot worse, I think. Darcy's pride was his own thing... Frank made everyone believe things that weren't true on purpose merely for his own benefit. And that's not what Edward Ferrars to did, either-- and I'm not saying he was entirely right, but he was a lot more right than Frank was. Haha.
And William Elliot is definitely a villain... I just didn't talk much about him not because he isn't bad, just because I didn't feel particularly inspired to rant about him. :P

Yes, you told me about the www... the first time was in the very early days of our email correspondence, heehee. :D
And YES. Exactly, about Mr. Elliot.
But still... ;) Heeheehee.
Really, you must watch the other good Dickens before Edwin Drood. They are much superior. :D And yes, definitely finish DCTP first, by all means. Heehee.
I did call him that, yes. HE IS. Also full of sin and vile of soul and filthy of spirit. :P
HOW CAN YOU NOT HATE COFFEE DOONE. Seriously. UGH. He's DISGUSTING. And what I said at the top of this before addressing particular people. :P
And I didn't say that he went into quicksand. I merely said I wished he would go jump into some. *innocent look*
Those are not villains. They are female antagonists. :P Or villainesses. :P

Melody said...

Oh, and as to the shoes, Amy-- Marianne is still wearing one, and I think Margaret picked up the other one and ran home with it. That's what little sisters are for. ;)

Would you rather hear the story...

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