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Top Ten Tuesday, The Mean Girls of Literature

I was going to do this last night when I was kind of buzzed, but alas, that did not happen. So now you have to deal with my completely sober commentary on the women I have chosen for my top ten mean girls of literature. I'm sure I've read books with way meaner ladies, but this is what I came up with after very little thought. I don't have time to contemplate these things, people. I have other, more important things to devote My Brain to. Like focusing on the Tina Fey/Amy Poehler Baby Mama DVD commentary, which is really just okay at best, but now I know, don't I?

Dolores Umbridge, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
AGGGGHHHH THIS WOMAN. OotP is my favorite because hating her is so cathartic. She fills me with impotent rage and she's just awesomely done. JK Rowling, you're such a badass writer.

Rosalie Murray, Agnes Grey
I've written about this horrible girl before. If I could punch ANYONE in literature, it'd probably be her. She sucks.

Becky Sharp, Vanity Fair
She's kind of sympathetic? I guess? But she's a lady mercenary, and she's willing to use pretty much anyone.

Lucy Steele, Sense and Sensibility
Stupid Lucy and her stupid handkerchief of Edward's. Although again, you have to kind of feel sorry for her since she has to make her own way, not having a mother. It's slightly admirable that she DOES it, but of course it's very bad indeed that she uses people. Yes.

Sarah Reed, Jane Eyre
She was my favorite part of the new JE movie, but that's mainly because the actress playing her (Sally Hawkins) is so damn good. But yes, she's very mean. (my gosh what would you all do without my literary analyses?)

Esmé Squalor, Series of Unfortunate Events
This lady's one of my favorite villainesses. Named after the JD Salinger story For Esme — With Love and Squalor. She's introduced in my favorite of the series, The Ersatz Elevator, and she is defined as someone who's obsessed with what is "in." I love her. At one point she wears stiletto heels, with the heels being real stilettos. And she's the city's sixth most important financial advisor.

Scarlett O’Hara, Gone With the Wind
Yeah, she's admirable. She's also crazy-mean.

Cathy Trask, East of Eden
"It is easy to say she was bad, but there is little meaning unless we say why." I love Cathy. As a character. As a person she's terrible. But basically, East of Eden is one of the greatest books of all time and everyone should read it.

Mrs. X, The Nanny Diaries
Okay, I have to admit that when I think of The Nanny Diaries, I think of the movie and Laura Linney's multifaceted (yeah, I said it) performance as Mrs. X, because I read the book like six years ago when I was nannying. I think they make her more sympathetic in the movie than the book. In the book, she's mainly just a horrible Upper East Side mother who doesn't pay her kid any attention and is awful to the nanny.

Miss Minchin, A Little Princess
OH MISS MINCHIN. Again, she's been made more sympathetic for me by the wonderful, wonderful, wonderful 1995 movie version, which everyone should see (available on Netflix Instant). She's not quite mean enough in the book to be a caricature, which is good, but she's just such an excellent example of a person with a small amount of power misusing it to make people's lives miserable. Lesson: Do not do this.


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