Tag: Scout Finch

8 of Literature Worst Monsters (Who weren’t all that bad)

Who are literature’s worst monsters, but aren’t actually all that bad? Who has a silver lining that we can look into? Who are the almost monsters of literature that are almost terrible but not quite?

Let’s find out!

 

 

8-Vernon Dursley

Vernon Dursley

Image Via Cat and Ellie’s Bookcase – WordPress.com

 

At least Umbridge told Harry the truth! At least she told him that he shouldn’t lie!

Not only did this pig in a human suit lie to Harry, but he abused him since he was a BABY. He’s not even magical.

Objectively, of all the characters from the Harry Potter series, Vernon Dursley is just the worse. He’s human, so we can judge him as much as we want, for keeping a baby in a closet under the stairs for ELEVEN YEARS. Voldemort had the decency to try and kill Harry, Umbridge at least spoke in a nice voice, but Vernon just yelled at him, smacked him around, lied about his parents, and threw him under a closet for ELEVEN YEARS.

To make matters worse, no one called the cops. At least Petunia kept the blanket Harry came in when he was a baby.

At least Umbridge told Harry the truth! At least she told him that he shouldn’t lie!

Voldemort had the decency to try and kill Harry, Umbridge at least spoke in a nice voice, but this pig in a human suit just yelled at him, smacked him around, lied about his parents. At least Aunt Petunia kept the blanket Harry came in when he was a baby. Of all the characters in the Harry Potter series, he’s not even magical, but he’s certainly one of the worse.

OR IS HE?

Horcruxes can influence those around them and Voldemort made one out of Harry. Thus the Dursleys’ dislike of him was exacerbated by Voldemort’s magic.

 

J K Rowling
Image Via Parade

 

Granted, J K Rowling said this:

James was amused by Vernon, and made the mistake of showing it. Vernon tried to patronise James, asking what car he drove. James described his racing broom.

Vernon supposed out loud that wizards had to live on unemployment benefit. James  explained about Gringotts, and the fortune his parents had saved there, in solid gold.

Vernon could not tell whether he was being made fun of or not, and grew angry. The evening ended with Vernon and Petunia storming out of the restaurant, while Lily burst into tears and James (a little ashamed of himself) promised to make things up with Vernon at the earliest opportunity.

Either way, Vernon might not be as bad we thought he is (though he’s still pretty terrible)

 

7-Moby Dick

Moby Dick

Image Via Public Radio International

 

The titular character from Moby Dick, at the end of the day, is a WHALE. It has no concept of good of evil, it’s just a big whale.

 

Captain Ahab

Image Via The Guardian

 

Captain Ahab is the rotten one here. Blame him, not the whale!

 

 

6-Alexandra Finch Hancock

Image result for Aunt Alexandra
Image Via To Kill A Mocking Bird.com

 

While not the worse character in To Kill a Mocking Bird (the real monster is Bob Ewell), Aunt Alexandra is a racist piece of crap. The formidable matriarch of the Finch family, Aunt Alexandra is the king of woman who wears a corset even under her bathrobe. Before she even comes onto the page, Scout compares her to Mount Everest: “throughout my early life, she was cold and there,” but when she comes on the page she far exceeds our expectations of her.

Bossy, hyper-critical, Aunt Alexandra likes thinks done her way or the highway. Imagine the pressure poor Atticus is under when she targets him, taking umbrage with his client, Tom Robinson, noting that the case might endanger the Finch reputation.

She forgoes human decency because of the family. To her, “what is the best for the family” is more important than the family itself.

Aunt Alexandra, in underlining the moral of young Sam Merriweather’s suicide, said it was caused by a morbid streak in the family. Let a sixteen-year-old girl giggle in the choir and Aunty would say, “It just goes to show you, all the Penfield women are flighty.” Everybody in Maycomb, it seemed, had a Streak: a Drinking Streak, a Gambling Streak, a Mean Streak, a Funny Streak.

She’s obsessed with family streaks, hinting that she believes that the Finches are destined to be superior. In a book about racism, the real reason Aunt Alexandra doesn’t think Atticus should take the case are clear.

She also uses it to beat Scout over the head with.

Oh, yeah, Scout is in her line of sights as well. Scout is a tomboy, Aunt Alexandra is a proper lady, the pinnacle of the South. Thus, Alexandria sets to work trying to quash Scout’s tomboyish tendencies and forge a new identity for her.

Aunt Alexandra’s vision of my deportment involved playing with small stoves, tea sets, and wearing the Add-A-Pearl necklace she gave me when I was born; furthermore, I should be a ray of sunshine in my father’s lonely life.

But it’s not just racism, Aunt Alexandra is also a classist. When Scout wants to play with Walter, a poor boy, Aunt Alexandra:

…took off her glasses and stared at me. “I’ll tell you why,” she said. “Because—he—is—trash, that’s why you can’t play with him. I’ll not have you around him, picking up his habits and learning Lord-knows-what.”

 

Image result for Atticus Finch and Aunt Alexandra
Image Via PInterest

 

However, are we judging her too harshly? Is our picture of her incomplete?

After Tom is killed, family affection that looms largest for Aunt Alexandra, telling Miss Maudie:

“I can’t say I approve of everything he does, Maudie, but he’s my brother, and I just want to know when this will ever end. […] It tears him to pieces”

She’s concerned for her brother, standing by him even when she disagrees with him. Make of that what you will, but at least she’s not Bob Ewell, a man so terrible that I’ll bet when Boo Radley killed him no one in town even batted an eye. Not even his daughters.

 

5-Grendel’s Mother

Image result for Grendel's Mother
Image Via ArtStation

 

Depending on your translation of Beowulf, she is either called Grendel’s mother or Grendel’s dam, but I’d liked to call her Mother-whose-son-had-his-arm-ripped off.

I think we can all sit down and agree that Grendel is a monster. He terrorized a village and Beowulf was in the right in defending the town against that monster, but Grendel’s Mommy isn’t that bad. Her son was returned to their cave mortally wounded, one of his two arms (or claws) ripped from its shoulder socket and now hanging in a mead-hall as a grotesque trophy.

Of course she’s going to be mad. And you know what? Good for her for stealing her son’s arm back. Why’d they even want it so bad?

 

Grendel's Mother decapitated

Image Via PInterest

 

But Beowulf just had to come, invading her home, and decapitating her.

Her motive is human and, from her point-of-view, she’s lived there over a hundred years and was never a problem. She just wanted her son’s arm, but they just had to kill her because she was a monster. As Tyrion once said, “I wish I was the monster you think I am!”

 

 

4-Cholly Breedlove

Image Via Baakari Wilder

 

Pecola Beedlove, a young black girl, is routinely mocked by other children for her physical appearance. The only person to find her desirable is her father.

Cholly Breedlove makes this list. To make a long story short, he abuses his wife, he burns down his family home, and repeatedly rapes his own daughter.

But he’s not quite the evilest character Toni Morrison has ever created. In his one and only appearance in The Bluest Eye, we learn quite enough about him that creates a picture of how abusive is cyclical.

 

Cholly Breedlove

Image Via Youtube

 

Abandoned in a junk heap as a baby, Cholly is taken in by two white men who force him to perform sexually for their amusement. When he finally meets his father, he shits his pants.

Thrown in a world where people abuse him, Cholly grows up into a man who doesn’t care about life. He’s free, but he cannot love or be loved. He does what he wants, uncaring for what happens him.

He rapes his daughter to remind himself that he is alive. He rapes her to feel the pain he felt as a child because that’s all he knows. He’s a monster made from monsters who tries to make his own daughter into a monster, all the time thinking ‘monster’ is synonymous with ‘human.’

 

3-Jaime Lannister

Jaime Lannister
Image Via A Wiki of Ice and Fire – Westeros

 

Kingslayer.

Oathbreaker.

Snobbish, rude, Jaime Lannister is in a relationship with his twin sister, Cersei, making three bastards that are set to become Kings and Queens themselves without the actual King Robert none the wiser. He even throws Bran out a window when he catches him having sex with his sister, crippling the boy.

But do I even need to explain why this character from George R R Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series just isn’t as bad as he sounds?

At the age of fifteen Jaime become the Kingsguard to the Mad King, Aerys II Targaryen. He took an oath to defend the King no matter what, and he broke that oath.

 

Jaime Lannister

Image Via PInterest

 

Yeah, he killed the king, but for two years he witnessed the Mad King’s growing insanity and tendency for burning men alive first hand. One night after burning someone alive, Aerys visited the chambers of his wife and raped her. During this time, Jaime was outside, telling his fellow Kinsguard that they were sworn to protect the queen as well, to which he was told, “but not from him.”

Later, during a rebellion, Aerys devised a plot to burn the entire city to the ground rather than lose it. Upon learning about this plan, the Hand to the King resigned and Aerys burned him alive. Jaime stood back.

When Aerys ordered the city to be burned, Jaime killed everyone involved, including the King, an action which saved the whole city and caused them to hate Jaime for breaking his oath. Even after he was pardoned, even Jon Snow, who “[knows] nothing,” notes that “[t]hey called him the Lion of Lannister to his face and whispered ‘Kingslayer’ behind his back.”

 

2-The Wicked Witch of the west

The Wicked Witch of the West

Image Via THe Vintage News

 

Don’t judge a book by its cover, and don’t judge a witch by their name. Plus, odds are this witch only chose the name because of the alliteration. Ignoring the film adaptation and the musical and book the musical is based on, the original Frank L Baum book introduced her only when some magician tells Dorothy to murder her.

Taking the film into consideration, however, the Wicked Witch is still sympathetic. Dorothy murdered her sister, dropping a house on her head, and then her sister’s body disintegrated. The last thing the Witch has to remember her sister by is a pair of shoes, which Dorothy can’t give her and Glinda refuses to take off her feet.

 

Wicked

Image Via IMDB

 

Imagine if your sibling was murdered and the murderer had their prized heirloom on their feet, refusing to give it you because they didn’t like you. And why doesn’t Dorothy try to talk to the Witch? Is it because she’s Green?

The Witch was in the right. She might not have gone about it the right way, but Dorothy is a murderer hanging out with a discount iron man, a scarecrow (don’t give him any fear toxin), and a lion.

Plus, Wicked, both book and musical changed our minds about this Witch.

 

 

1-The SharkJaws

Image Via Amazon

 

IT’S A SHARK! It has no concept of good of evil, just food and hunger. Both in the Peter Benchley novel and the Steven Spielberg film, it is a big hungry shark.

 

Image Via MovieFanFare

 

The mayor should have closed the beaches. Blame him (or the mob), not the shark.

 

 

 

 

 

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10 of the Coolest Heroines in Fiction

For much of history, much like in real life, female characters in fiction were sidelined, often not promoted to the front like their male counterparts until recently. But this has begun to change, with strong and nuanced female character coming to the forefront of genres like fantasy, science fiction,  historical and more! And even looking back throughout literary history, there are numerous examples of kickass women who paved the way forward. Here some of the best, counting down from ten!

 

10. Offred- The Handmaid’s Tale

 

Offred from the Handmaid's Tale sits in a red dress with a table and bottle of milk before her

Image Via Amazon

The Handmaid’s Tale tells of a future where women have been reduced to the role of reproductive slaves in a society run by a religious order, made into the property of men and forbidden from reading, writing, or holding positions of power. Offred, whose real name is June, is a woman who dreams of a better life and despite all the hardship she endures, she instills the spark of rebellion, piece by piece, through her actions and inspires women around her. She may not be an action hero but it’s clear she’s the strongest character, holding power over the men who claim to own her.

 

9. Sabriel- Sabriel

 

Sabriel is a young woman with a blue outfit standing with a thin sword against a grey hair

Image via Goodreads

In a world where the dead walk the earth, one young women holds the key to countering the dark evil rising from the depths of the underworld. Enter Sabriel, an eighteen-year-old girl who is finishing her work at an all female college where she sees a vision of the dead walking out from the other realm beyond her own to infest the earth. Sent by her father to stop a group of Necromancers, Sabriel is fierce, ferocious, but also very human and showcases a quiet inner strength that allows her to overcome Death itself.

 

8. Nancy Drew-Nancy Drew mystery stories

 

Nancy Drew, clad in a green dress sits in a swamp as she attempts to open a clock

Image via Tvline

Nancy Drew was created in 1930s but nevertheless emerged to become an icon for countless generations. A young girl working as an amateur detective, Nancy Drew constantly went headfirst into danger, exploring abandoned castles, creepy mansions, slimy swamps, and dark basements to solve mystery after mystery. The character has been updated to become stronger and older as the years went by, letting her evolve while also staying true to her roots, always a girl as brave as any boy and sniffing out the next case to crack.

 

7. Matilda- Matilda

 

Matilda stands on a bed with a crafty smirk

Image via Entertainment 

Another young girl, Matilda emerged as one of the best characters of Roald Dahl’s novels who has a love of reading and kindness while also possessing rad telekinesis. She overcomes adversity not through brute force, contrasting her nemesis, the Trunchbull, a massive tyrant of a headmaster who bullies the children in her care. Matilda’s mind is her greatest asset and is gleeful to see her emerge as the smartest person in the room. You can’t help but cheer as she overcomes the Trunchbull, letting her mind flow freely to literally grab the brute of a woman and give her a taste of her own medicine.

 

6. Princess Cimorene- Dealing with Dragons

 

A princess and a dragon stand side by side as they have tea and cake

Image via Wikipedia

This princess turns the classic trope of a fair damsel getting kidnapped by a dragon and rescued by a knight on its head. Cimorene runs away from her kingdom where her parents try to make her marry an undesirable prince, runs to a dragon, and takes up a job under the dragon’s wing. Cimorene takes charge of her life from the first chapter, showcasing her strength, wit, and skill to get a life she wants, not the one the story has set out for her. And she gets to be best friends with a dragon, which is badass.

 

5. Isabella Trent- A Natural History of Dragons

 

A black and white photograph of Lady Trent, both older and young

Image Via Book Reviews

Written as a memoir by supposed famous dragon naturalist Lady Trent, A Natural History of Dragons chronicles the adventures of Isabella Trent who strives to become the authority of dragonology. Written as a bookish, very English sort of woman, Isabella is prim and proper, erudite and sophisticated while possessing a true passion for the dragons of the world. She would sooner examine a dragon up close than scream in terror, being truly fascinated and possessing a scholarly disposition that makes her quite lovable. It’s wonderful to watch her evolve as the series go on, seeing her adventures with dragons and showcasing how she is the most brilliant mind in the room.

 

4. Katniss Everdeen- The Hunger Games

 

Katniss Everdeen stands in a jumpsuit with a bow of arrows on her back

Image via Forbes

Thrust into The Hunger Games, a bloodsport that pits her against teens from fellow Districts, Katniss Everdeen rises to the occasion to take control of her destiny. Refusing to play by the Capital’s rules, she fights against the game at every opportunity, first refusing to kill her supposed ‘enemy’ Peeta at the game’s end, threatening to kill herself if the Capital doesn’t let them both live. Eventually, she becomes the leader of a rebellion against the District entirely, becoming a full fledged warrior as the Districts rise around her to overthrow President Snow. Katniss is a champion for inner strength, fierceness, and stone cold badassery.

 

3. Scout Finch- To Kill a Mockingbird

 

Scout Finch, a young girl leans on the table with her elbows

Image via Pininterest

Scout is great because of how real she feels. She narrates the book from her POV, showcasing her child’s view of the world, making us fall in love with her mannerisms and her fiesty attitude. She’s curious, always ready to get into a fight, and a tomboy, contrasting with the small town atmosphere around her that disapproves of her unladylike ways. She is at once relatable, yet always reminding us she’s a child and has a lot of growing up to do. But Scout is always wonderful, a great protagonist who showcases the spirit of a women beneath her childish exterior.

 

2. Arya Stark- A Song of Ice and Fire

 

Arya stands with a coin in hand as Sander Clegane lounges in the background around a campfire

Image Via the Wrap

One of the protagonist of Game of ThronesArya began as an immature girl, the third child of Ned Stark who was interested in very unladylike things, being fiesty and independent. But as the series progresses, she grows into a fully fledged warrior, swearing revenge on those who killed her family and becoming one of the Faceless Men, learning their skills as an assassin. She wields an awesome sword named Needle and ventures across Westeros, trying to complete her list of named targets. Extremely popular with fans, Arya is vicious despite her small size and should never be underestimated.

 

1. Hermione Granger- Harry Potter

 

Hermione stands in her school uniform against a brown backdrop

Image via Vox

One of the iconic figures in the series, Hermione is arguably more capable than Harry, being an intelligent teenager with a gift for magic, an aptitude for history, and often described as a walking encyclopedia. Favoring brains over brawn, she comes up with the plans throughout the series and often represents a clear headed contrast to the more impulsive Ron or even Harry. She isn’t without her flaws, with her fear of failure driving her to nearly kill herself as she drowns herself in schoolwork, but she always prove herself a strong young woman, ready to smack anyone who challenges or insults her.

 

 

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