The Classics Club does a monthly meme, with a question for whoever is inclined to answer. This month's meme is:
Which character from classic literature is most important or influential to you and why? Or which character do you most despise and why?
Hmm. A LOT of classic characters are important and influential to me. Choosing one is just too hard! So I'll go with the character I most despise. And that would be John Thorpe from Northanger Abbey. He's got absolutely no reason to be vulgar, deceitful, and greedy, other than that he's not a good person. I find no redeeming qualities in him whatsoever.
Yes, I despise John Thorpe more than Bill Sykes, Cardinal Richelieu, Grima Wormtongue, and countless other classic villains. Because I can understand those villains, figure out their motives and what drives them, and even pity some of them a bit. But I don't even want to understand the sort of person who lies constantly, tells strangers a girl is rich so he seems more important because he claims she is interested in him, and decides a girl is going to marry him because she says matrimony in general is agreeable. He has no sad back story, no terrible childhood, nothing. He's a jerk because he enjoys being a jerk.
Also, I'm kind of unlikely to run into a Bill Sykes, Richelieu, or Wormtongue in the sort of life I lead, but a lying, vulgar jerk -- I've known those. And they made me shudder.
(P.S. Don't forget to enter my Tolkien giveaway here!)