Literature is full of countless incredible female characters, and many of them are able to make a mark on the worlds they inhabit. Some, though, aren’t so lucky. Some don’t get the happy endings they deserve. Let’s take a look at some wronged women from classic literature.
Lydia Bennet – Pride & Prejudice
Image via PandPvsLBD
Okay, so things work out a LITTLE less tragic for this version of Lydia, but overall she should’ve had more help. All those sisters, and no one to protect her from Wickham. She carries on a whole secret affair and actually runs away with him, and no one’s any the wiser. Lydia is only fifteen, and even though Wickham is eventually forced to marry her, basically satisfying everyone, she deserved so much better than that user. It’s honestly hard to watch. Know your value, girl!
Morgan Le Fay – Arthurian Legend
Image via Twitter
Morgan Le Fay has been reimagined countless times since her legendary origins, and it seems like every time she gets a little more evil. Sure, from the beginning she was ambiguous, and who could blame her? Of course, she was always ambiguous, but so were her motives. The supposed half sister of King Arthur, and possible lover of Merlin, it’s not clear how Morgan gained her powers. She’s married off almost as soon as Arthur is born. Nevertheless, she’s a powerful character, and doesn’t need to be vilified.
Ophelia – Hamlet
Image via Vulture
Ophelia is maybe the classic example. What did she ever do to anybody? Okay, so she isn’t perfect, but being constantly yelled at and gaslit by the rest of the cast would make anyone a little jittery. Sometimes Hamlet acts like he cares about her, sometimes he doesn’t. On several occasions he’s extremely, senselessly cruel. Her father is a little better. Ophelia just gets tossed around by the rest of the plot, trying to live her life when no one has the least interest in her. She deserved a lot better.
The Netflix/Lifetime show You,an adaptation of the novel of the same name, has been a controversial one. While receiving critical acclaim, including a 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, rave reviews, and a reneweal for a second season, the show, has garnered criticism for what some view as its overly sympathetic portrait of the show’s protagonist and narrator, Joe Goldberg, portrayed by Penn Badgley. Despite Badgley’s character engaging in stalking and eventually murder, the character sparked considerable sympathy from fans of the show, a lot more than perhaps the creators intended, despite his horrific and creepy actions throughout the season.
The latest opinion on the series comes from the King of Horror himself, Stephen King, who tweeted his thoughts on the series. The tweet can be seen seen below:
YOU: Interesting adaptation of the Kepnes book. What's fascinating is the contrast between Joe's relationship with Beck (inward and neurotic) and his relationship with Karen, which seems more outward and adult.
It is clear that King, like so many others, enjoyed the adaptation and considered it an ‘interesting’ counter to the book. He seems to praise Joe in particular as a fascinating character, considering the two sides to his personality depending on who he interacts with. It would be great to get King’s opinion in the form of a longer piece but considering his writing schedule, we doubt he has any time.
What do you think of You? Do you agree with King’s opinion? What do you think of the adaptation and the novel? Tell us!
An opinion piece was released in The New York Times on Sunday entitled Save Barnes & Noble!which detailed the financial distress the bookstore chain is currently in and how, if we don’t speak out now, the entire company could go under and we could lose Barnes & Noble for good.
This prompted a slew of response pieces, along with the Twitter trend Save Barnes & Noble. Many Twitter users were quick to protect the bookstore chain, leaping to it’s defense:
Make no mistake: the loss of over 600 more bookstores would be a cataclysmic blow to literacy and reading and empathy in America. We need Barnes & Noble. We need all bookstores, indie and chain. Pure and simple, we need books. https://t.co/uBGKAta4pL
Other users, however, were quick to point out that, at the end of the day, Barnes & Noble is still a Fortune 500 corporation. And that back in the 1970s and 1980s, the expansion of the chain, along with the discounted prices they began to heavily advertise, put thousands of independent and mom & pop bookstores out of business.
Respectfully disagree with the premise of @DLeonhardt‘s “Save Barnes & Noble.” Amazon disrupted B&N’s business model, just as B&N did to smaller books stores 25 years ago.
Instead of trying to save Barnes & Noble, who put so many small book stores out of business, maybe people should try getting their local governments to increase funding for libraries. You know, that place you can go any time to browse physical books and take them out for free.
Personally, I feel pretty torn about this on so many levels. I do believe that it is vital for us as a society to protect and support independent booksellers, as opposed to the large capitalist corporations that already sort of run the world. And, as the author points out in this opposing articlehere, B&N being out-sold by a corporation as big as Amazon isn’t necessarily a bad thing. On Amazon, consumers are purchasing items through independent sources that then go through the Amazon website, resulting in a profit for both. So in a way, Barnes & Noble is actually losing out to the very bookstores they ran out of town years ago.
Still, it’d be hypocritical of me to say I don’t appreciate Barnes & Noble, corporation and all. I love B&N. It’s been my home away from home for so many different points in my life. When I lived wifi-less for six months, the B&N cafe was where I went to work. When I’ve needed a restroom, fast, while running around out in the world, I could always find a Barnes & Noble nearby. I met my favorite author there once and greeted him through a mess of shaky tears and nervous gyrating.
Whenever I’ve been in the mood to just wander around somewhere that smells like books, (mmmmmm… books) Barnes & Noble has been right where I needed it.
The loss of Barnes & Noble could potentially result in bookstores no longer being readily available in certain areas and that is both heartbreaking and nauseating on so many levels. People need books. People need bookstores. Bookstores will always act as a safe haven for many and we should ensure that they are easily accessible for all.
It is immensely important that everyone has equal access to books; books are essential to us as a society. And, without Barnes & Noble, they may be in danger.
It’s a tough situation for all. Still, if I had to choose, I think I’d risk being owned by a Fortune 500 company for the sake of keeping 600 bookstores afloat.
A friend recently asked me what my go-to genre of book is and I drew a complete and total blank. Had someone asked me in elementary school, I might’ve said anything non-fiction à la Mitch Albom’s Tuesdays with Morrie. In middle school I would’ve said Sarah Dessen’s romance novels without missing a beat. High-school me might’ve said “Salinger is my genre,” before moodily sliding back into marching band practice.
But grownup me can’t even pretend to have any sort of clue. My favorite genre changes hourly, or more realistically, depending on my mood. Sometimes I want an easy breezy book of comedic short stories. Sometimes I want only the classics.
So I’ve decided to compile a list of some of my go-to books under some different genres:
This novel still sparks an immense amount of controversy, as it should. Still, there’s something so eerily haunting about the humanization and empathy you begin to feel for protagonist Humbert Humbert, despite knowing everything he’s doing is wrong, so very wrong. The story never fails to keep me hooked while making me dizzy and uncomfortable in a way I’ve never felt before, and I think that’s something books were meant to do. Also, it’s so beautifully well-written it contains some of my favorite lines in literature of all time:
This then is my story. I have reread it. It has bits of marrow sticking to it, and blood, and beautiful bright-green flies.
I’m not really sure how to describe this story without revealing too much. Even if you’ve seen the adaptation starring Scarlett Johansson (which was incredible in it’s own, completely independent way) you can trust that, although similar, the two plots are very, very different. The first time I read this novel I went into it completely blind, which made watching the story unfold as Isserley learns more and more about herself, this new planet she inhabits, and the humans she sees a journey in itself. I would (and usually do) recommend this book to any and everyone. It’s one of the most unique and heartbreakingly stunning novels I have ever read.
The past was dwindling, like something shrinking to a speck in the rear-view mirror, and the future was shining through the windscreen, demanding her full attention.
This novel is unique because the entire storyline unfolds within dialogue between three friends, Emily, Vincent, and Marsha. The three thirty-something painfully narcissistic-yet-loving artists go through the trials and tribulations of money, sex, love, gossip, and friendship while lounging at their beach house in The Hamptons during the summer of 1965. It’s hilarious, charming, and relatable in the most unflattering of ways.
I don’t think novels can be written without the very sad and pitiful knowledge that they are totally self-conscious and ridiculous and untrue. I’m curious to see what Marsha does with hers. At least it’ll be true.
When I was fourteen, my older sister bought this book at a Targetbecause she thought the cover was cool, leant it to me, and my life was forever changed. Burroughs’s story of being legally adopted by his delusional mother’s unorthodox (and completely insane) psychiatrist is hilarious and heartbreaking all at once. This book is so addicting it’s impossible to put down (or even just read once). And, another very cool thing is that Burroughs has gone on to release a slew of other memoirs that are just as incredible, making him one of my favorite authors of all time. I recommend anything he has ever written.
My mother began to go crazy. Not in a ‘Let’s paint the kitchen red!’ sort of way. But crazy in a ‘gas oven, toothpaste sandwich, I am God’ sort of way.
This story centers around two teenage girls who form a friendship that quickly becomes co-dependent and destructive as they navigate high-school and girlhood in the 1990’s. It all sounds simple enough, until it begins to unravel down a dark and chilling path that will leave any reader disturbed. I’m not really sure what I can even say to do this novel justice. This is a book that (seriously) messed me up for a long time. I had nightmares for weeks. Still, it’s haunting in all the right ways, illuminates the power and vulnerability of youth, and shows how far people will go to keep their friendships intact. I think it’s something everyone should read.
Girls had to believe in anything but their own power, because if girls knew what they could do, imagine what they might.
This stunning story centers on Toru, a college student in Tokyo, and his relationship (and near-obsessive love) with his old friend, Naoko, as she struggles more and more with her own mental health and emotional well-being. The story is so honest, relatable, and tragic in the most beautiful way. I’m not sure I’d even call it a romance novel (I mostly just wanted to put it on this list) because, at the core, it’s really just a story about humanity, growth, and what it means to mourn.
If you’re in pitch blackness, all you can do is sit tight until your eyes get used to the dark.
Didion is one of the most iconic writers of all time, and for good reason. This was her first nonfiction release and contains her greatest Vogue essays (ie On Self-Respect) and more. Each piece is comforting, educational, and unique. Didion will make you think about the own ways in which you move about the world. She’ll also take you back to the sixties so you can witness the birth of the hippy movement and the shifts in music, drugs, and culture. This collection is never not exciting to read.
Janis Joplin is singing with Big Brother in the Panhandle and almost everybody is high and it is a pretty nice Sunday afternoon.
This book is a collection of photographs, interviews, and first-hand accounts from a young reporter’s journey into the subway tunnels of New York City in 1993 and the communities that resided there. It’s an incredible look at homelessness that will educate you, crush any biases you may have, and break your heart all at once. It should be required reading.
The tunnels comfort me, I guess, because they’re mine. They know what’s inside me and they feel the way I do. Always. Like, you know, when you bomb a test but it’s sunny outside? Well, that doesn’t happen in the tunnels,” she laughs. “They’re always dark inside, like me, but inside, I’m like the tunnel—dark, winding, and twisting.
The more J.K. Rowling tweets, the more annoyed I get with her. Don’t get me wrong, I love Harry Potter. Love it, binged it, revisit it every so often. But all these little extra pieces of info Rowling spouts via her Twitter are really ruining it for me.
When asked if there are any Jewish students in Hogwarts:
There’s just one. And he’s stereotypically named, and never mentioned in any of the 4,224 pages of the series. And it’s the same thing with Dumbledore’s sexuality. I’m all for a pivotal, respected character to be a part of the LGBT community, but why only disclose it after the series wraps?
Oh yeah, and then not include that information in the upcoming Fantastic Beasts sequel. For someone who calls themselves an ally of the LGBT community, Rowling sure isn’t representing the community well.
Then there’s her defense of Johnny Depp, despite the allegations surrounding his divorce. Though allegations probably (definitely) isn’t the right word to use.
And of course, there’s this mess with Lavender Brown: