I’ve decided to keep things interesting I’m going to jump on the YA Highway bandwagon and begin posting Road Trip Wednesdays, a blog carnival where blog contributors post weekly on a specific topic! Sound fun? It is!
This week’s topic: What is your favorite literary villain/antagonist?
There are many types of villains in literature, but the kind I love the most is when the villain is self. Ultimately, I think this strikes true in a very deep way with so many people. I know that most times I am my own worst enemy, which is kind of a necessary evil, so I relate to this more in literature.
Let me backtrack and take you to 1994 in the time of bad perms and when wearing only one strap of your overalls was cool. I was 12. I don’t think it’s necessary to go on about how awkward I was. I’m sure you feel me. (That is me in the SUNFLOWER hat. And that is my sister in the puff-painted ribbon shirt.) Anyway, I had just begun to realize that I had a knack for singing. I had tried out for every sport in junior high and epically failed at each one, so becoming a gleek was inevitably my future (which I was totally and completely psyched about, btw). My sister, being 11 years older, had introduced me that year to the musical The Phantom of the Opera. You have to understand that I was a very good girl growing up. I went to church three days a week. I did puzzles in my free time. I THINK I might’ve still played with Barbies (yup, that is a Barbie doll house in the picture). But despite all of that, I always loved reading scary stuff. My parents hated it, but I was a closet ghost freak. I have no idea on this earth why, I was just intrigued by it all. So when I was presented this story about this freak boy who hid out in the catacombs of the Paris Opera house and fell in love with a singer while giving her lessons, I was hooked. And I was 98.4534% sure I would someday play Christine Daae on the Broadway stage.
Anyway, 3 gleeky years later I was still crazy about it and came across Phantom, by Susan Kay. It was a stand alone novel written from the Phantom’s perspective, beginning in his childhood. At 15 I was so moved by his inner torment over his disfigurement and his unattainable love, not only from a woman but from his own family. It was the first time I had read something that completely ripped my heart out. The Phantom essentially was his own worst nightmare (and anyone else’s who crossed his path, for that matter), but I felt for him. There was something about it that I connected with in a very simple way. It made me realize that sometimes the greatest battle is that of dying to self.