Hi everyone and happy Sunday!
Today’s post is going to be about my favourite characters from classic literature books. From heroes to villains and everything in between.
Jo March (Little Women)
I always wanted to be like Jo March growing up; the second eldest March sister, creative, strong-willed, independent and feisty. At a time when a woman’s life was confined to the home, Jo represented an unapologetic woman paving her own way through the world.
Miss Havisham (Great Expectations)
I remember studying Great Expectations in school and delving into the character of Miss Havisham. She is a haunting character; an old spinster who was jilted at the altar many years ago. Time does not heal Miss Havisham’s wounds and she is determined to exact revenge through Estella.
Cassandra Mortmain (I Capture the Castle)
I Capture the Castle is told through the eyes of Cassandra Mortmain and what a wonderful place that is to be! As an obsessive journal keeper, I relate to Cassandra a lot.
Dorian Gray (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
The hedonistic protagonist of Oscar Wilde’s novel, Dorian exchanges his soul for beauty and youth. I always found the character of Dorian so interesting in that he’s both a victim and a villain throughout the novel and, as his name suggests, is such a morally gray character.
Emma Woodhouse (Emma)
Depending on the day, Emma Woodhouse might just trump Elizabeth Bennet as my favourite Austen character. Of Emma, Jane Austen said “I am going to take a heroine whom no one but myself will much like”. She is meddlesome, infuriating and smug. Despite this, Austen does an incredible thing and makes Emma likeable.
Ebenezer Scrooge (A Christmas Carol)
Dickens created possibly one of the best Christmas villains of all time, to the point that in everyday life we would refer to people as Scrooges. This cold-hearted, money-focused character goes on a journey throughout the book to become a generous, kind old man who puts Christmas in his heart through the year.
Atticus Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird)
Atticus is a lawyer and attorney in the town of Maycomb, Alabama who decides to defend a black man accused of rape. What I love about Atticus Finch is that he’s cool, calm and collected throughout the novel. He fights for what he believes is right and always sticks to his guns.
Victor Frankenstein (Frankenstein)
Fascinated by modern science and the God-like power of creating life, Victor Frankenstein brings a hideous monster to life. Despite the monster being the murderer in this story, it is Victor Frankenstein’s worrying fascination with the grotesque and his inability to admit guilt even when he can see the destruction he has caused that makes him such a good villain.
Jane Eyre (Jane Eyre)
Perhaps top of many people’s favourite character lists would be Jane Eyre and understandably so. She is the perfect example of a passionate, independent and complex heroine who, despite all adversities, never fails to try and try again. It is her strength that makes her such a remarkable literary role model.
Uriah Heep (David Copperfield)
Described as the “smarmiest creep in Dickens”, Uriah Heep possibly has one of the best villainous villain names ever. It just rolls off the tongue and sounds like something unpleasant. Though Uriah and David are raised in similar circumstances, Uriah is the perfect example of humanity gone wrong. He is double-crossing, scheming and selfish.
Bilbo Baggins (The Hobbit)
The small but mighty hero of Tolkien’s The Hobbit, Bilbo joins a group of dwarfs to take back their stolen treasure. Bilbo has courage, a good heart, and ingenuity. Though he lives the good life in his cosy hobbit hole in Hobbiton, Bilbo puts all that aside to do what is right.
Big Brother (1984)
Both a character and symbol in 1984, Big Brother is the leader of the totalitarian state where 1984 is set. The party uses the image of Big Brother to control the workforce and instil fear in the population. Big Brother makes no physical appearance throughout the novel; the symbolism of it is frightening enough.
Elizabeth Bennet (Pride and Prejudice)
The heroine of Pride and Prejudice is arguably the most loved of Austen’s characters. Elizabeth Bennet has a passion for reading (something I’m sure we can all relate to!) She is wise, independent and knows her own mind. Determined to marry for love and not for money, Elizabeth Bennet would have been a character well before her time.
Count Dracula (Dracula)
Blood-thirsty and based on centuries-old myths and legends, Dracula has become the universal archetype for what we think of with Vampires. He is brutal, fast, strong, scheming and arrogant. Though often romanticised in films and adaptations, Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula is pure villain.
Thank you for reading! What are some of your favourite classic literary characters?
Love, Zoë xx