The World is a Mess, and I Just Need to Rule It

YA Highway’s Road Trip Wednesday this week:  Who are your favorite literary villains/antagonists, and why?

I was excited to see that the song of the week is from the Dr. Horrible soundtrack, which I admit to owning and loving and singing loudly when I’m in the car and no one can see me through my car windows.

To me, villains are one-dimensional antagonists on steroids.  I don’t know why, when the word “villain” is mentioned, all I can picture is this:

Villains make me squirm only because their sheer evil borders on sociopathic.  Sociopaths are the scariest.  I’d say my favorite “villain” is Drake from Gone with his super-creeptastic whip arm.  He isn’t entirely one-dimensional, but I don’t recall a whole lot of character development there.

Favorite antagonists, on the other hand, are plenty.  There is definitely a pattern to antagonists I loathe–mostly that I can see them in the people around me.  Antagonists that feel so real that it disturbs my purposefully naive, optimistic view of the world.

The antagonist that has stuck with me, inching into my nightmares, is–don’t make fun of me–Napoleon the pig, from Animal Farm.  What frightened me the most about Napoleon, really, was comparing how closely the images mirrored those of real politics.  Not just the Russian Revolution, but everywhere.  America.  It’s terrifying to me.

Another antagonist that got under my skin was El Patron from The House of the Scorpion.  El Patron was just an old, rich guy who was using the technologies available to him.  He thought he was doing good by Matteo in some ways–trying not to spoil this for anyone who hasn’t read it.  What’s scary, though, is the inherent selfishness that his acts reflect.  His willingness to put himself above anyone and everyone.

Last, but not least, are the parents in Matilda. The stupidity.  The irresponsible parenting.  They’re certainly over the top, but parents like Matilda’s EXIST.  They are somewhere out here, IRL, and they have children that (somehow) have not yet been taken by CPS.

Share My Wisdom:


  1. Kaitlin says:

    Napoleon the pig in Animal Farm is TOTALLY creepy. For exactly the reason you said. You can see something like that happening IRL (and with humans lol) and it’s scary to consider.

  2. Sarah says:

    AH! All your antagonists really are extraordinarily creepy, and REAL. *shudders* Especially the pig and the parents. Thinking that those things exist in real life makes me want to crawl under some covers and not go outside, ever.

    Awesome list!

    • Crystal says:

      Thanks! I think about staying hidden under the covers, too, sometimes. Maybe that’s why Snuggies got so popular?

  3. Sarah Nicolas says:

    Oh yes, Napoleon is an excellent villain! That whole book is very good, it’s too bad so many people hate it because they were forced to read it before they were ready.

  4. Tracey Neithercott says:

    You make a good point. The antagonists that freak me out the most are the ones you encounter in real life. Which explains why I can learn to love a seriously disturbed character but will never feel sympathetic for the cheating boyfriend.

  5. Stephanie Allen says:

    I haven’t read The House of the Scorpion in at least six years, but I do remember being disturbed by El Patron.

    I haven’t read Animal Farm yet, because I’ve been a little scared to. So don’t feel bad about being creeped out by Napoleon.

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