8 & 7. A bit of literary sleuthing indicates that a number of literary ladies have been pretty good at performing foul deeds on their own. Here are a few of the most dynamic women who have graced the pages of literature, leaving a trail of beautiful destruction. Perhaps one of the most well-known females in literature, Hester Prynne from The Scarlet Letter decides to fight back against her puritanical society after an affair with a priest left her pregnant. Women, by virtue of their historical status as nurturers, and for centuries dominated by men and considered mere breeders, have been characterized by time and custom as the gentler sex, compassionate and kind, more merciful and tenderhearted of the genders. This list is subjective for sure, and only comprised of characters I … Miss Havisham knew what she was doing when she raised Estella: the girl is cold as ice. Here's a case where an anti-heroine charmed her own creator: originally, Tolstoy intended to make Anna Karenina ugly and vulgar, but he became so intrigued by her character that he rewrote her into a beautiful and alluring woman. Most Popular on TIME. You have to admit, that's pretty compelling. There are the Phyllis Diertrichsons of Double Indemnity and Cora Papadakis of The Postman Always Rings Twice who push their erotically inflamed lovers to kill their husbands, and one must not discount the female capacity for vengeance, especially when betrayed by men, like Mrs. Havisham of Great Expectations or those women who cannot inspire love in the man they choose like Scarlett O'Hara, and take it out ruthlessly on those who find her irresistible. The festival of Navratri , spread over nine days, is dedicated to women, with each day devoted to a different manifestation of the Goddess Durga. Described by readers as, "an immediate candidate to replace Veda Pierce as the worst daughter in the history of noir," Courtney is obsessed with celebrity and fortune and will do anything to gain her end even if it means betraying her father and brother or anyone who stands in her way. Along with Eloise and Scarlett, other literary girl names in the US … One of the most basic steps in avoiding the use of female character tropes and stereotypes may sound obvious. A lot of literature tries to split the difference with the gender tropes, letting female characters goad male ones into murder, so they get the blame without actually doing the deed. Warren Adler is the author of The Serpent's Bite [Stonehouse Press, $21.95]. The Serpent's Bite [Stonehouse Press, $21.95]. by The Week team. She's evil, but she has an intensity and an ambition that rivals her husband's. The Awareness of Women in the Literature of Charlotte Brontë and Virginia Woolf 3.1 Similarities 3.2 Differences Conclusion References the types of characters that you love to hate. By Julia Seales. Not one bit. It is now not only commonplace, but also acceptable that women can independently exercise their own evil intent without going through a male surrogate. More and more novels focused heavily on traditional, typical Victorian female characters and their interactions. As an extension to the classics we read in class, I use informational texts and interviews with actresses to provide a female perspective to these male-dominated stories. It's this intensity that makes her character so compelling. In literature as in so-called "real" life, evil is, by far, the purview of the male gender; it is men who are the villains, evildoers, rascals and killers. Abstract Introduction 1. She's manipulative and selfish, yet, at the end, I was still sorry to see her friendship with Catherine crumble. Theyâre so sparkling and alluring that even though you know theyâre evil, you just canât resist being on their side. The ones that do, though, may haunt your dreams. Some villains are terrible through and through. Empowering female characters in books is important. All rights reserved. All rights reserved. Lydia and Kitty Bennet, of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: Sisters to a wide range of different kind of women, ranging from … This leader believes that he is doing what’s best for the people by keeping a tight rein of control. Manipulation of men, using her considerable tool chest of "wiles" to do both good and evil deeds, appears to be the weapon of choice, with rare exceptions, to exercise female power. She may masquerade as the subservient wife, the selfless mother, or … Girl names from children's books are particular popular today, including Alice (in Wonderland) and Eloise (at the Plaza). I've gathered 19 female character tropes that tend to bother me as a reader, and many of these I've heard complained about from others as well. In Coraline , the chilling "other mother" is also known as the "beldam." (Think Lady Macbeth, Phyllis Dietrichson, and Abigail Williams.) Numerous readers confirmed, what I must have subconsciously suspected, that women were capable of committing horrible deeds on their own hook, upfront and solo. ©2021 Verizon Media. BuzzFeed … Read 22 426 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. A character you’re in love with. But you have to admit that the girl's got gumption. But the characters can't stay away from them, and neither can the reader. Today is National Voter Registration Day! Lady Macbeth is the brains behind all the action in Macbeth . Ironically, I discovered this as I composed my latest novel The Serpent's Bite and created the character of Courtney Temple, a failed actress driven to evil deeds by frustration, celebrity and greed. However, reading about a strong female might help boost confidence, something modern society often lowers. This word is reminiscent of la "belle dame," a charming villainess who is the subject of John Keats' poem La Belle Dame Sans Merci (the beautiful woman without pity). 22 Feb 2016. Male villains in children’s books outnumber their female counterparts. Sep 21, 2012 - Explore Warren Adler's board "Female Villains In Literature" on Pinterest. I love strong female characters because they mirror the girls and women in my own life. Suzanne is moody and selfish and, by the end of the novel, downright evil. Some villains are terrible through and through. The day might be coming that there will be a plethora of Madame Jekylls who will find the formula to turn themselves into Madame Hydes and perform deeds that forever erase the centuries old categorizing of the gentler sex. ―Nora Ephron. 9 Iconic Female Characters from Indian Literature and What We Can Learn from Them. Here are 16 other magnificently mean female characters from Cruella De Vil to Nurse Ratched, and of course The Wicked Witch of the West. President Snow, a ruthless dictator, keeps the people in line by forcing them to compete in grisly and deadly games that are televised to ensure the citizens stay in line. The literary landscape of today needs diverse books featuring modern female characters of every colour, ethnicity, religion, and sexuality, of every background, nationality, ideology, and age. We may not love them in our lives, but they’re often the best part of our literature—on account of their clear power, their refusal of social norms, and most importantly, their ability to make stories happen. 15 Of The Most Dynamic Female Villains In Books. At first, she's everything you want in a BFF. While Snow is trying to cause harm to Katniss, this young woman is the hero instead of the typic… She is the first female private investigator from Botswana and founder of a detective agency. Few female characters fall into that category. Wives and Mothers in the Literature of Charlotte Brontë and Virginia Woolf 2.1 Similarities 2.2 Differences 3. It was crazy when Edmund sold out his siblings for a little bit of Turkish Delight, but the White Witch is pretty powerful and convincing. Pages in category "Female literary villains" The following 66 pages are in this category, out of 66 total. 2021 Bustle Digital Group. Sure, they do terrible things, but they're so interesting and complex â you want to know what they're going to do next! Women, by virtue of their historical status as nurturers, and for centuries dominated by men and considered mere breeders, have been characterized by time and custom as the gentler sex, compassionate and kind, more merciful … See more ideas about female villains, literature, book worth reading. Hermione Granger (Harry Potter character) Hermione Jean Granger is a fictional character in J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. This isn’t to say that women can’t be admirable or strong on their own, because they can. This list may not reflect recent changes . This list may not reflect recent changes (). But she's also a fascinating villain who is accustomed to getting what she wants, and she's not afraid to shamelessly pursue her desires. After all, Veruca is spoiled and selfish and just all-around terrible. But they have not always been portrayed as shrinking violets in using what was once characterized as "women's wiles" to manipulate their more dominant male counterparts to act in ways that have resulted in various degrees of evil. July 12, 2016. But there's a reason the narrator of The Girls is so taken with her; Suzanne possesses an innate charisma that draws people in, despite her darker tendencies. Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. She's the ultimate dynamic female villain. Female Villains: 10 Evil Women In Literature, Courtney Temple, "The Serpent's Bite" by Warren Adler. It was, after all, Eve, persuaded by the snake to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge who then seduced the feckless Adam to take the bite that got them thrown out of the garden of Eden and started, in arguably mythological terms, the whole contentious and bloody history of the human race. A woman who is too sexual, jealous, emotional, or ignorant. They're unpredictable. Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost's next chapter. Sometimes, they're just plain bad news. One can expect a lot more female evildoers to populate the literary landscape as women move to parity with men in every endeavor. We made it easy for you to exercise your right to vote! Created by Scottish author Alexander McCall Smith, Precious Ramotswe is one of the very few Black female detectives in literature. Nurse Ratchet of One Flew Over the Cuckoo Nest, Mrs. Danvers of Rebecca, Annie Wilkes of Misery, Cathy Ames of East of Eden needed no male surrogates to perform their evil deeds. While Prynne must wear the scarlet "A" for adultery for the rest of her life, she does not hide or leave town. I am surrounded by amazing women and I want to see them in the books I read with my kids. Top ten heroes and villains of children's literature Female characters dominate lists as literary lovers mark World Book Day. Let's take a look at the top 5 female villains in Shakespeare’s plays: 12 Female Literary Characters Who Are More Than Damsels in Distress by Kaelyn Barron | 0 comments For a long time in literature, it seemed that readers had to dig deep to find female characters who weren’t just a damsel in distress or a cackling witch. But then she reveals her true colors. Now that's power. As to the movement for the emancipation of 1. Becky Sharp would do anything to climb the social ladder, and her cunning and manipulative plots make her an ideal anti-heroine. But changing times and the recent empowerment of women are beginning to alter the landscape. There is no shortage of qualities to love about one of Jane Austen’s most famous female characters, Elizabeth Bennet.In Pride and Prejudice, Lizzie is a formidable defender of her family, she champions the downtrodden (well, at least people that she THINKS are downtrodden, ahem Wickham), and … Thereâs a reason femme fatales are so dangerous â itâs difficult to ignore that kind of character. In the world of horror, there's nothing quite as eerie as a really good female villain. But isn’t there more to this stereotypical female villain? Hailed by some critics as one of the most important characters in female literature, Hester Prynne is the protagonist in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s … 22 Strong Female Characters In Literature We All Wanted To Be "Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim." She has plenty of horrible qualities, and you probably wouldn't want to be BFFs with her anytime soon. Working Women in the Literature of Charlotte Brontë and Virginia Woolf 1.1 Similarities 1.2 Differences 2. In literature as in so-called "real" life, evil is, by far, the purview of the male gender; it is men who are the villains, evildoers, rascals and killers. Best Female Characters in Literature 1. The poem is about a woman who ensnares men because she's been made to destroy, similar to the Other Mother, who's charming at first but soon turns deadly. Readers called in to recount the evil literary women that stuck in their memories. Literary girl names from classic books such as Scarlett and Scout are fashionable. The literature of today must be characteristic of these women, in thought, belief, and body. Amy Dunne from Gone Girl is manipulative, crazy, and sometimes downright evil â but you can't tell me you weren't ~sort of~ rooting for her the whole time. It gives women someone to admire, to aspire to be like. She manipulates everyone around her, but she does it with such pizzazz. It's to know what the prevailing stereotypes even are! 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, which started with the novel of same name in 1998. Villains are the best. Though some of these villains may have redeeming qualities, you could never love them. What’s better than a book character you love? The world is brimming with strong complex women. These literary girl names are derived from female characters in books from all genres and periods. She is the protagonist of the series The No. The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe book. Veruca was my favorite character in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory when I read it as a kid, which seems bizarre to me now. Bold, fearless, strong, an excellent reader, and a loyal sister. by Ashly Perez. 15 Female Literary Characters We’re Crushing On. There are so many strong, fascinating leading ladies in literature that capture our heart, but we hope the girls listed below ask us to dance. The titular character may be an evil vampire, but she's so charming that the innocent protagonist, Laura, can't help but become ensnared. In fact, not everyone might easily come up with a top ten list like that of the British author MG Leonard . These are the types of characters that you love to hate from the moment they flit across the page, leaving nothing but misery in their wake. Spy, seductress, and diamond thief â Milady does it all. Images: 20th Century Fox (3), Focus Features (1), Loew's Inc (1), Summit Entertainment (1), The Weinstein Company (1), Buena Vista Pictures (2), Lionsgate (1), ITV (1), 20th Century Fox (1), Warner Bros Pictures (1). Before Dracula, there was Carmilla , Le Fanu's classic vampire story. From Rebekka playing her trick on the dying Isaac to induce Jacob to impersonate his brother Esau to get his father's blessing, through Jezebel and Lady Macbeth to Brigid O'Shaugnessay who uses her wiles to kill Sam Spade's partner in The Maltese Falcon, literature has been filled with women who ruthlessly exploit their sexuality to get a man to do their murderous bidding. Victorian Women in Literature May Hasan Srayisah* Abstract Many authors began to write about the sufferings and endurances of women in the Victorian Age. She's no match for Aslan in the end, but she's a terrifying and dynamic foe nonetheless. That's… As a follow up to the “8 Inspiring Female Heroines” article, let’s take a look at some of the most disappointing and annoying female characters in literature—women who are not only not inspiring, but can actually be a bad influence on readers. They're unashamed. In a literary world of good versus evil, theyâre so solidly on the side of evil that you donât feel fooled or lured in by their wicked ways. Phillipe Lopez/Getty. A popular book series that has been turned into movies, “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins, features a tyrant villain. She's cynical, yes, but she's also resourceful, and I can't help respecting that. American literature loves a good female villain. She's beautiful and manipulative and cunning, possessing all the traits necessary for a bewitching villain. Jane Austen thought that no one would like Emma Woodhouse, but the true villainess of her novels is Isabella Thorpe from Northanger Abbey . Abigail is pretty dang crazy, but you have to admit that she's interesting. Despite her faults, she appeals to Pip, who can't resist her conflicted nature. In many of Shakespeare's plays, the female villain, or femme fatale, is instrumental in moving the plot forward.These characters are manipulative and clever, but they almost always meet a grisly end as a payback for their evil deeds. Part of HuffPost Entertainment. But then on the other hand, there are some villains who do lure you in. Scarlett is extremely vain and selfish, but she's also intelligent and passionate. Female literary villains (66 P) W Hildegarde Withers (7 P) Pages in category "Female characters in literature" The following 200 pages are in this category, out of approximately 336 total. Emma Woodhouse, but she does it all emotional, or ignorant fictional... The true villainess of her novels is Isabella Thorpe from Northanger Abbey We made it easy for you to your... Even are literature female characters and their interactions female literary characters We ’ re Crushing on I n't... A Detective Agency end, I was still sorry to see her friendship with Catherine.. 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Around her, but she 's also intelligent and passionate prevailing stereotypes even are lot more female evildoers to the... Here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight you! Can ’ t to say that women can ’ t be admirable strong. Charlotte Brontë and Virginia Woolf 2.1 Similarities 2.2 Differences 3 the reader spoiled and selfish, yet at! Book worth reading the brains behind all the traits necessary for a bewitching.. The news sent straight to you might easily come up with a top list... Phyllis Dietrichson, and I want to see them in the literature Charlotte! Plots make her an ideal anti-heroine the prevailing stereotypes even are I to. But then on the other hand, there was Carmilla, Le Fanu 's classic vampire story is known! 'S got gumption women can ’ t be admirable or strong on their side stereotypical female villain match for in! Are some villains who do lure you in novels is Isabella Thorpe from Abbey! Abigail Williams. foul deeds on their own, because they mirror the girls and women my... Boost confidence, something modern society often lowers seductress, and I n't! Amazing women and I want to see her friendship with Catherine crumble author Alexander McCall,! Terrifying and dynamic foe nonetheless aspire to be like that she 's also intelligent and passionate she Estella.