Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Despicable Women in Literature

A Top Ten Meme from The Broke and The Bookish

This week's topic is "Mean Girls" but since I don't much read YA I don't generally run into girls who are mean but more women who are despicable. Ten was a bit of a reach, so I came up with four.

1. Mrs Danvers the creepy housekeeper from Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.

2. Mrs Schmitz from The Reader by Bernhard Schlink. I know she tried to redeem herself in the end, but there are some crimes that are just too heinous . . .

3. Mildred the waffling anemic girlfriend from Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham.

4. Mrs. Reed the mean old aunt from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.

Previous Top Tens:
~Bookish Peeves
~Books That Should Be Made Into Movies
~Favorite Places to Read

21 comments:

Tracy said...

I certainly agree with Mrs Danvers and Mrs Reed - I'd add Mrs Norris from Mansfield Park and Nurse Ratchett from One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest.

Karen said...

I found this difficult too and I used to be a YA reader. A fair few of my list are from classics including Mrs Danvers. I forgot about Mrs Reed from Jane Eyre.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Good choices. I was trying to think of more, but it's way too early and I've only had one cup of coffee so far...LOL

Sophia said...

Yes, it was tricky this week - I thought I'd have no problem finding ten but in fact it took me ages to come up with some. Mrs Reed was a good choice.

http://sophiasbookblog.blogspot.com/2011/04/top-ten-mean-girls-in-books.html

Trish said...

tracy - I haven't read either of those, but when I do I'll be looking out for their despicableness.

karen - the classics have some good ones, don't they?

diane - I threw this together last night and thought I'd come up with a few more by morning. I'm still waiting for inspiration . . . More coffee might help ;)

sophia - well I'm glad to hear other people were having trouble too. I thought it was just me and my poor memory. I'll probably be reminded of more as I check out other lists.

Anne said...

Mrs. Danvers is a good one. I forgot about her!

Bibliophile said...

I decided to interpret "girls" in the widest meaning of the word so I could include bitchy women as well.

Sarah said...

I forgot about Mrs. Danvers! And Rebecca herself could be included. Great picks - I'm loving reading everyone's lists!

Trish said...

anne - it's probably because I just recently read the book so she is still fresh in my mind.

bibliophile - yes, bitchy women are just mean girls all grown up.

sarah - so true about Rebecca. I've seen her mentioned several times.

gautami tripathy said...

You listed good!

Check out my bad girls in my Top Ten post!

Red said...

I didn't think about it before, but I think you're right that YA fans probably had an easier time with this topic! I didn't even think about Mrs. Reed but she's so awful!

Two Bibliomaniacs said...

Thanks for stopping by! Mrs. Reed would have easily made my honorable mention list! Have a great week!

kaye said...

I've really got to re-read Rebecca. I read it so many years ago I can barely recall the details. I've seen the book on all kinds of lists and reviews. I loved your list and thanks for stopping by today. Kaye—the road goes ever ever on

Loni said...

Most of my list didn't come from YA. Austen's works are full of literary b*%@$#s.

Skye said...

This was hard, mine was more just plain evil characters than mean.Lol.
I totally forgot about Mrs. Reed, gosh I hated her!

Sidne,the BCR said...

hmmm, I thought i was following you, well, i am now. i think i'm going to join this meme. sound fun.

kathy@bookskidslike.com said...

Thanks for stopping by my Top Ten. I haven't read any of these except Jane Eyre. The Reeds were quite despicable!

Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

Fabulous list. I so agree. Mrs. Reed is extra awful.

Trish said...

gautami - thanks! I'll be over to see your picks soon.

red - I was thinking they would probably have an advantage, but the classics haven't done so badly either.

bibliomaniacs - Mrs Reed was an easy choice lol.

kaye - I had a hard time remembering some worthy characters just because it had been years since I read them. Seeing other people's lists has really jogged my memory.

loni - yes, true. It took me a little while, but they're coming back to me now.

skye - I had to rethink 'mean' to be more 'unlikeable'. 'Bitchy' is an appropriate term too lol.

sidne - yeah, I thought I was too. Hmm I wonder what happened? I'll have to come over and re-follow you.

kathy - you're welcome. Yes, Jane Eyre was good, and I would recommend Rebecca too.

alexis - she was, wasn't she? Totally evil.

Dani said...

Ugh, Mildred. I always get so mad at Philip for crawling back to her - she's unbelievable!

Phanee said...

Yep! Definitely agree with Mrs Danvers and Mrs Reed! But I don't think Hannah Schmitz was really mean. Sure, she committed crimes and they were heinous, but I never thought of her as mean.