Which fictional characters could you really, really do without?
Here is my list:
- Sarah Woodruff in John Fowles' French Lieutenant's Woman. In real life, no man would be attracted to a glum girl who moped about the place. Men prefer cheerful women.
- James Bond. This is a guy who has a PhD in Smugness, and is also an incredibly inept spy. Discovering a beautiful, naked blonde in his bed in a Russian hotel, and getting in with her without it crossing his mind it might be a trap of some kind?
- Little Em'ly. One of Dickins' few failings was an inability to depict good, innocent young women. Also Little Nell, Little Dorrit, little Beth from Little Women - indeed, any fictional female described as 'little'. (I must declare an interest here, being tall myself).
- Jonathan Harker in Dracula. Boy, is this man tedious. It's a wonder anyone got beyond the first page of the novel, where Harker describes the dish he had for supper, asks the waiter what it is called, and decides he must get the recipe. Far from riveting.
- Fanny Price, the heroine of Mansfield Park. Jane Austen never wrote a bad book, but does anyone like Fanny? So shrinking and mouse-like, while all the time privately judging and disapproving of everyone.
I'll stop there for now. This list may be continued in a later post...