7 of the Most Annoying Literary Characters
- September 1, 2015
How much do we loathe these fictitious figures? Let us count the ways...
- Holden Caulfield from The Catcher in the Rye. Whiny, pampered, annoying at almost every level. ~David O. Stewart
- Aeneas from The Aeneid. He enters wailing about how sorry he is for himself and goes on to make a lot of people sorry they ever met him. ~Alice Padwe
- Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights. As far as romantic heroes go, he sucks. Can you say whiny? Ugh. Even when I was a tortured, self-absorbed teen, I still found him annoying and wanted him to put on his big-boy pants. ~Meg Opperman
- Meursault from The Stranger. I can look past the fact that he’s a murderous sociopath, but his sin of being boring is unforgivable. He really puts the “meh” in Meursault. ~Holly Smith
- Lord Peter Wimsey. All the Dorothy L. Sayers fans I know will shoot me, but…even as I enjoy Sayers' writing and absolutely adore Harriet Vane (especially in Gaudy Night, one of my favorite mysteries of all time), Wimsey frequently grates my last nerve. ~Art Taylor
- Beowulf from Beowulf. He needs to get over himself. Grendel is clearly the cooler character here. ~Tara Laskowski
- Angel Clare from Tess of the d'Urbervilles. Ostensibly, the guy is Tess' high-minded love interest. But to modern readers, he's a hypocritical, self-important prig. Maybe his flaws are intended to reflect society's shortcomings, but that's no consolation for scorned Tess. ~Carrie Callaghan
Which fictional characters do you find most irritating? Tell us about them in the comments section below!