Last week, we talked about the merits of a fancy dinner party with some of the wiser, more sophisticated, and semi-revolutionary literary characters of all time. From that blog post, I concluded that a dinner party with those characters would be an inspiring, lively experience, one that I could walk away from feeling a bit classier and a bit more enlightened.
Of course, this isn’t to say that an encounter with just any literary character would make me feel that way. In fact, some characters at a dinner party would make me feel completely uncomfortable and creeped out. Therefore, this week, we will discuss some of the literary characters not to invite to dinner. Enjoy! (Feel free to add your own to the comments section below.)
The Weekend Five: Literary Characters I Wouldn’t Invite To Dinner
1. Humbert Humbert (Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov)
Possibly known as literature’s most famous pedophile, Humbert Humbert would by far be one of the scariest people to sit at the same table with. Humbert, who married his landlady in order to get closer to her young daughter, speaks eloquently but has a few too many screws loose. I wouldn’t dignify his actions by asking him to dinner, especially if there was any chance of a pre-adolescent guest in attendance.
2. Lady Macbeth (Macbeth by William Shakespeare)
Although there are usually no political positions associated with a dinner party, I would be terrified that Lady Macbeth may order the strategic assassination of a dinner guest or two in order to gain power. Maybe she would target the nobility in attendance, or perhaps she would find me a threat as dinner party hostess. Either way, I would sit at the table in constant fear that she somehow poisoned my drink or that of one of my guests.
3. Heathcliff (Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte)
Okay, so maybe Heathcliff would have a right to be brooding at the table with those sideburns of his — he did lose the love of his life in one of the most tortured love story soap operas of his time. But one more look at the gypsy-turned-gentleman and his history would suggest that he would not be an appropriate dinner guest. He was cruel to everyone in his life, manipulative, and obsessed with a love that just never worked out. Besides, does anyone want to invite a downer to this kind of dinner? (Author’s Note: On second thought, nobody from this book would be invited.)
4. Miss Havisham (Great Expectations by Charles Dickens)
Much like Heathcliff, Miss Havisham is obsessed with a relationship that never worked out, and it turns her into a bitter old woman. (Perhaps she and Heathcliff would have worked out well together!) Ditched on her wedding day, Miss Havisham stopped all the clocks in her home and kept the place frozen in time for the rest of her life. She then does the next most reasonable thing: she adopts a daughter and raises her to be cruel to men. I fear that Miss Havisham would insult my dinner guests in the name of her lost love. And if I really wanted to dwell on “the one that got away,” I could just listen to a mediocre Katy Perry song, now couldn’t I?
5. Bella Swan (Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer)
Admittedly, some of this may have to do with the fact that I’m not a fan of Bella’s actress counterpart, Kristen Stewart (although I can do a pretty good impression of her). Having said that, I don’t like to spend time with whiny teenagers as it is, so a dinner with Bella would be far from enjoyable for me. To converse with a girl who thinks she is better than everyone else and cares only about her sparkly boyfriend would feel a lot like stepping in a time machine and going back to high school. (No thank you!) The only vampire I really want to talk about is Nosferatu, not Edward Cullen, and the only werewolf that matters to me is Remus Lupin. Dinner with Bella would be dull for those who attend, but ironically enough, she would probably assume that her presence was the only thing that made it interesting.
Isn’t it funny that so many of these characters can’t seem to stand alone, but instead allow their significant others and relationships to consume their lives? 🙂
Readers, which characters would you not want to eat dinner with?