Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Favorite Literary Bullies

This week's book is quite clearly about a bully. Her name is right there in the title: Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass. So this week, we're picking our favorite bullies from books.

Draco Malfoy was the very first character I thought about when I tried to come up with my favorite bully from a book. Then I considered some others (The Chocolate War, and Thirteen Reasons Why - but probably not for the reasons you think) but I don't LIKE them as much as I like Draco.

One thing I really love about the Harry Potter books is that, by the end, there is really only one bad guy, and if you have a big enough heart, you can even see that Voldemort was only a victim of circumstances and bad decisions. But the two characters you've hated since the beginning, Draco and Snape, become lovable. Did you ever think, back in the late 1990s, that you would wind up feeling such pity for Draco? By the end, you can go back and look at everything he ever did in the books and see exactly why. Just watch him in the last book/movie, making the hardest choice of his life, picking between his parents AND Voldemort - who hand-picked him for an extremely high honor and difficult task - and doing the right thing. I'm just so proud of him.

You might wonder why I chose Draco and not Snape. I feel the same exact way about Snape, with one major difference. An adult, and more specifically an educator, - no matter how deep and painful their emotional wounds run - should know better than to treat a young student the way Snape treated Harry all those years.

I love Merteuil from Dangerous Liaisons.  I mean, how could you not?  She's a fantastic bully, mainly because half the time, you probably don't even realize that she' bullying you.  She manipulates and strategies and moves everyone around like pieces on a chess board and most of those pieces think she's their friends!

Really, it's only through her letters to Valmont that we realize what a bully she is.  She's retaliating through an innocent girl, completely ruining her life for no other reason than she feels she was slighted by a guy.  She's the ultimate bully, if you think about it, and, up until this point, has gotten away with it.

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