Friday, February 23, 2007

What I Really Want to Know is: Do I Get Free Coffee Out of This Deal?

One morning at Shiz's Starbucks, she was offered her beverage for free if she could name the two best villains of all time. It's not clear to me if she got the drink for free or not, since the answer is subjective, and what if her barista only accepted his answer as the right answer to the question? No matter (except that it does matter, I mean, come on, FREE STUFF!). Shiz went on to create her very own meme out of the situation, and she kindly tagged me as one of her unwitting victims discussion partners.

I will begin by saying that I'm probably not the best person to be answering this question. While my head is full of useless trivia and obscure information about literary characters, as of late I've been downright terrible at remembering the names of most recognizable television and film characters. I suppose I could go with the obvious, and just say that, yes, Darth Vader and Hannibal Lecter are vile and evil and there we are, all done, I've just taken the easy way out and agreed with the barista. I'd maybe add Sauron from Lord of the Rings and the White Witch from Chronicles of Narnia, but I just think that those are overdone. Everybody knows about them. And so I offer you these villains, both from literature (because I am a nerd), whose villainy is nothing we couldn't manage on our own, and thus makes it all the more disturbing. We could end up just like them were we to succumb to utter selfishness.

1. Emma Bovary, of Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary
2. Arthur Huntingdon of Anne Bronte's The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

If anyone else knows of these characters, let me know, and we can discuss at length. If not, I apologize for being entirely too lazy to sum up the stories for you. Get yourself to a library and then we can have meaningful discourse on the subject.

Wow, that English degree is finally coming in handy. Thanks, Shizzaroni.


Shepcat said...

You mean Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary, do you not?

Also, new topic: Hannibal Lecter is not a villain. Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal are love stories. Discuss.

marymuses said...

Of course I do. Zola is Therese Raquin. I'll have to correct that. They sit together on my shelf and have the same spine font, thus my brain lapse there. Oops.

Discussion to follow when I'm not multi-tasking.

Shiz said...

Emma Bovary, yes, she is the worst of all! Solipsistic. Pure, pure evil in the form of absolute selfishness.

marymuses said...

"Solipsistic." I love that word.

I think I'm going to have to bow out of my previous commitment to discuss Hannibal Lecter. I have spent the years since I read those books trying to forget about them so that I could go to the basement all by myself without feeling scared shitless by my overactive imagination, and I think I'd better just let sleeping stories lie.

I am, however, up for discussing other, less creepy stories. Suggestions are welcome. I'm willing to read something new.

Shepcat said...

That's OK. I knew I was probably the only one who would argue in favor of Hannibal anyway. (I'm serious about the love-story angle, though.)