Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Top Ten Tuesday | Characters Who Deserved Better

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week you compile a list of ten books which coincide with that week's theme. You can find everything you need to know about joining in here!

This week's theme is 'Top Ten Books With Characters Who ___'. I wasn't sure what I was going to do for this at first, but a previous TTT topic got me thinking about the characters out there who deserved so much better than what they got.

Some of these characters were the victims of their circumstances, and others were just treated terribly by their authors. Only one of the people on this list is a man.

Frankenstein's Monster from Frankenstein by Mary Shelley: A lot of the stuff this guy does is very bad indeed, but when you read this classic it's difficult not to empathise with him, even just a little.

Susan Pevensie from The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis: I will forever be unhappy with how Lewis treated Susan, with how he criticised her for wanting to grow away from Narnia. She is described as "no longer a friend of Narnia" who is "interested in nothing now-a-days except nylons and lipstick and invitations". Lewis himself said: "The books don't tell us what happened to Susan. She is left alive in this world at the end, having by then turned into a rather silly, conceited young woman. But there's plenty of time for her to mend and perhaps she will get to Aslan's country in the end." When we're younger it's easy for us to dislike Susan - why would anyone want the real world when you could live in the world with centaurs and queens and talking lions? - but when we grow older and we see the religious aspects to Narnia, this view on Susan becomes rather sinister. How dare she like lipstick when she could have Jesus!

Bertha Rochester from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë: If someone told me to choose between Mr. Rochester and Heathcliff I'd choose Mr. Rochester in a heartbeat, because Heathcliff is a whole other kind of messed up. But Rochester's hardly a catch himself. Yes he's educated and wealthy and, let's face it, quite sassy, but when he asks Jane to marry him he fails to mention he's already married, and his mentally ill first wife is locked up in the attic. Real husband material. I suppose we can argue that it's something of a mercy that poor Bertha wasn't sent away to an asylum, but locking her up in the attic was hardly a good idea either.

Elinor Mompellion from Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks: Despite including her on this list, I can't say a lot about Elinor without giving too much away. All I will say is that something is revealed near the end of the book which infuriated me, but kudos to Brooks because I didn't see it coming!

Margaret Prior from Affinity by Sarah Waters: Yet another character who I can't talk about too much without spoiling the ending of Affinity. Let's just say that Affinity is probably Waters' gloomiest novel, and those of you who've read it will know why poor Margaret made this list.

Agnes Magnúsdóttir from Burial Rites by Hannah Kent: Here I'm talking about Agnes the character, because for all I know the real Agnes - the last woman to be executed in Iceland - really was a violent murderer. The Agnes that Kent writes, however, just breaks your heart.

Nancy from Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens: Nancy is one of the few decent people in Oliver Twist, and the person who gets dealt the worst hand. I had an illustrated version of this book when I was a little book and when I first read it, the scene where Nancy is murdered terrified me. Her death has haunted me ever since.

Sirius and Regulus Black from the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling: We could probably argue that pretty much every single one of the Marauders deserved better, but the Black brothers make my heart ache like no others. Poor Regulus's courage was practically forgotten, and Sirius, the most loyal friend anyone could ask for, had to spend thirteen years of his life imprisoned for something he didn't do, only to be confined in a house full of horrid childhood memories when he escaped until he was eventually killed. I just have a lot of feelings about these boys, and I'm never going to be over Sirius.

Tess Durbeyfield from Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy: Alec d'Urberville and Angel Clare are both awful human beings and I hate them both in equal measure. That is all.

Katniss and Primrose Everdeen from The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins: Don't mind me, I'll just be over in that corner. Weeping.

Who made your list?


  1. All of these are so true! Your first three are probably the ones I agree with the most, especially the Monster in Frankenstein. Just thinking about him breaks my heart. Great list!

  2. Wow that is a great idea for a list. So often I read books and I am just sadden by the way they have been treated or the hand they have been dealt or just that they deserved a better book. Happy readings :)

    My TTT https://jazminjade.wordpress.com/2015/04/28/top-ten-tuesday-childrens-books-featuring-death/

  3. I LOVE your twist on this week's Top Ten Tueday, what a brilliant topic! I've never managed to get all the way through the Narnia books, but what you've said about Susan is sad indeed. I like that your choices were so varied as well from classics to YA. :)

  4. This is a great list! I've only read a couple of these books, so I need to get on the rest of them.

  5. I haven't read any of the Narnia books yet, and the religious aspect makes me a little leery to pick them up, but perhaps I will someday. I plan on reading Tess this year and I'm really looking forward to it!
    Great List!

  6. Great topic! I could definitely make a long list of characters I think deserved better. Sirius :( He was my favorite character in the whole series and J.K. had to go and rip my heart out. I also agree about Katniss and Prim (even if Prim did get on my nerves at times).

    Thanks for stopping by my list!

  7. Wonderful topic^^ I will also be FOREVER unhappy with how CS Lewis treated Susan in the Chronicles of Narnia. It's one of my biggest literary regrets, I still get upset thinking about it D: And as much as Frankenstein's Monster was awful at times, I've always felt that if his maker hadn't abandoned him and had loved him instead, he might have been very different. He didn't ask to be brought to life that way after all O.O Sirius SO.DESERVED.BETTER. Sure all the Marauders did but man Sirius paid the biggest price of all I think. So tragic :*( And same goes for poor Katniss and Prim. *sobs*

    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews

  8. Fantastic list Jess. Very unique! :-) Thank you for stopping by my blog earlier.

  9. I love your topic! I totally agree with you about Primrose! I'm anxious to see how they pull off her fate in the last Hunger Games movie, but when I read about her in the last book I was absolutely floored regarding her fate!

    Thanks for stopping by my post this week!

    -Cristina @ I don't know if my last comment posted, but Kestrel and Kami Glass are great choices! (I've only read the first book in the Lynburg Legacy series though, I miss the original cover!)

    -Cristina @ Girl in the Pages

  10. This is such a great topic! I LOVE. And of course, I must agree with Katniss and Prim. But i have to add Finnick, Annie, and the baby too. Because... I am still crying over here haha. And poor Bertha! Jeez. And Nancy and those Harry Potter kids too. This is an unfortunate group!

    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

  11. Oh oh I completely agree about Nancy. :( That was SO UNFAIR. and yes to Katniss and Prim. I mean, at least Katniss LIVED but Prim, oh little Prim, that shouldn't have happened. I can't ever forgive Gale. I CAN'T. Just in case. I Can't. *cries forever* ohh, but also YES to Susan Pevensie. That forever broke my heart. They could just dismiss and cut her off like that. It wasn't even a real explanation. GAH. LEWIS. HOW COULD YOU.
    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

  12. Oh, definitely a good list! Prim... <3