The Broke and the Bookish this weeks topic is really pretty fun, even though I may have taken 'mean' and subverted it to 'pure and complete evil' in some of these cases... but you can tell me what you think at the end!
Top Ten Mean Girls in Books
1. Hatsumomo from Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden- This girl really takes mean to a new level. Her all consuming jealousy and cruelty of spirit make her the ultimate villain for this amazing novel, and you'd never think someone so beautiful could be so evil... (well, I definitely could believe it since a lot of real life beautiful people I've known have been complete bitches. But there you go.)
2. Kate from East of Eden by John Steinbeck- To be fair, Kate's biggest enemy in this story is herself, but she definitely does a lot of damage to a lot of other people in the course of the novel. In the course of the film she also manages to fuck up James Dean, and that I simply can't forgive her for. Stupid evil woman! (my reviews of the book and film can be found here and here).
3. The wives from A Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood- Because, seriously, if you're involved in one of the most female unfriendly societies ever imagined by a human brain, would you just stand by and let everything happen as disgustingly as it does because you are fortunate enough to be married to one of the evil overlords of the whole society? I think not, and if all the wives had stood up to their husbands, surely none of it would have had to happen? Just something I think about all the time...
4. Curley from Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck- I understand that Curley's not a woman, but I'm pretty sick of Curley's wife being blamed for all the shit that goes down in this story, so I've decided to blame him instead. Had he treated his wife better, she wouldn't have craved affection from another male... and so on (I'm sure you know the story, and if not, you should really read it guys!)
5. Rose from I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith- Let's face it, Rose is basically a bitch of epic proportions- she is so unbelievably selfish that it's kind of hard to comprehend how a person could be that way. She does improve slightly towards the end, when she makes the right decision, but pretty much... she's a bitch!
6. Rebecca from Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier- Conspicuously absent from this story told by the second wife of Rebecca's husband, maybe I'm being unduly harsh on Rebecca, since she doesn't get the chance to tell her side of the story. If you want a villain who is present in the novel, however, Mrs Danvers is a pretty good mean girl too.
7. Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey- I mean, seriously. Mean doesn't even come into it, as the Nurse is just completely and utterly evil, and a little bit insane to boot, if you ask me (she likes to be in control a little too much, you know?) She's also basically a murderer, so, yeah. She's pretty mean!
8. Isabella Thorpe from Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen- I have a feeling Jane likes her little lady villains a bit too much- Isabella is the perfect example of a manipulative girl who pretends to befriend our beloved heroine but is actually no good for her at all, and in fact cares only about herself. If this is too harsh on the young lady then I apologise, but she's really one of the first characters I thought of when this top ten came up.
9. Scarlet O Hara from Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell- I think you can still appreciate and love Scarlet O Hara whilst also realising that, really, she is a complete and utter bitch. I mean, Regina George has nothing on this chick. She continually pretends to like Melly whilst actually hating her a great deal of the time, plus she marries her sister's beau! What the hell?! Even Regina wouldn't sink that low....
10. Blanche Dubois from A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams- I'm not sure if you would describe Blanche as actually mean, but she's certainly not someone you'd relish spending too much time with- oscillating between over-confidence and neediness, she's so unbelievably neurotic and annoying that I wouldn't even know how to deal with her. Not that this excuses Stanley's actions in any way, but really you've got to feel sorry for Stella, haven't you? STELLAAAAAAAAAA! (Sorry).
So that's my top ten- any mean girls that you can think of that will make me go 'Oh yeahhhhhh, she's a right bitch!'? Let me know in the comments.