The Power of Hating a Character


Within what we've read what has stuck out to me the most is the power of hating a character.  

As I was going through my mind for this prompt, what stuck out to me about the readings we’ve done were the works I remembered the best and really got into were the ones that had characters that arose from me a strong emotion...That strong emotion being hate. And the two specific works that stood out to be were “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by William Shakespeare and “Fences” by August Wilson. 

Wilson and Shakespeare gave me Troy and Helena, two characters I utterly couldn’t stand. They forced me to do close reading to see what they did next; rather...what the people around them tolerated from them. Every move they made I analyzed, and I sympathized with the people around them who had to deal with them. Why did they have to act that way? These characters behaved, in all honesty, like some people I’ve known in my life. Through close reading and analysis, I realized this. 

Take Troy. He’s in-denial of his decisions having actions, has the victim mindset consistently, acts I’m sure like his father despite saying he hated him...And that makes him like my own father. Don’t get me wrong, I love my dad. But we butt heads...a lot. He’s impatience and believes the world is out to get him. He’s taken one bold step I'm been alive and when it didn’t pan out how he wanted he spent the rest of his days within and after that decision miserable, because he didn’t believe he could make anyone of it, Yes, there were other factors that came into play...but that trait and act of my father just further my mindset that I don’t want to be like him. Yes, he’s also hardworking like Troy. He’s other faithful unlike Troy (thank God). But all-around, I don’t want to grow up to be him. That’s why when I see Rose putting up with his crap it gets to me so much. Troy’s even worse. I understand his background (my father didn’t exactly have a great upbringing either) and him being a black man during the 1950’s and how that’s not easy. However, that is no excuse to be a crappy human being and not treat the people who love you and stick around like crap. No one has a perfect past and things in life sometimes just happen. But you must pull yourself up. You must move on...lead a better life. Troy did something even worse than not just move on...he hurt those around him in a way that my father did. He cheated. He dug into his temptations and didn’t care about Rose enough to stop. If my father did that to my mother, I know with every fiber of my being I would never talk to him again. Never. I’d hate him. My father has guilted me and made me feel like crap about myself. He used to be a man who I looked up to (and I still somewhat do) and was even really close with when I was a little. That changed when I was thirteen. Troy has done that too. He pushed his son away despite Cory only wanting to please him, make him proud. But nothing he did was ever good enough. Rose was a woman who gave him everything, and who was someone he could confide in. I’m guessing for a few years at least the couple was close...then they weren’t. Then Troy started cheating, thinking he could double dip and do what he wanted. None of this behavior is okay. But what’s amazing about Troy is he’s a character. He’s not a person. I can hate him for every little action; I can blame him fully for his faults. I can analyze him more than sometimes I can people because I’m not afraid to. Hate drew me to this close reading. 

Now...let’s go to Helena from MND. She’s far from faultless. However, what boggles and irritates me is she broadcasts their supposed faults, giving her more faults. I empathize with her because I personally have low confidence, and no one ever really complimented me. Some people tore me down, and other times I tore myself down. I still do. But rarely do and did I ever walk around calling myself ugly and begging guys to love me. Never did I blame my friends for being pretty and abuse their trust to get a guy. What’s worse is she’s so stupid and abused that trust for no reason. Hermia (her best friend) told her -despite Lysander not wanting her too- about the wedding out of friendship and trust. The second she left she practically ran to Demetrius so he could see her obedience to him. But the fact is if she had kept her mouth shut maybe eventually, she could’ve won him over. Instead, he went running after Hermia, trying to stop her. This led Helena (quite literally) to run after him. The girl’s just plain dumb. I hate her for not knowing any better and feeling so horrible about herself to shoot even lower and beg a guy for affection...especially a guy who countlessly says to her face she will never have some. Show yourself SOME respect. When I was deeply insecure, I didn’t talk to guys period. I would rather have her do that...watching her get rejected repeatedly is just plain pathetic. I hate society for making her compare her beauty to another's, but I put my hate also towards her because she just takes t with no self-respect. There are other guys...even during those times when people died young. Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg for me.  

As you can see, hate is a motivating factor. Not only did I pay attention, but I close read. I analyzed. I waited for better decisions. I watched the people around those characters. I empathized and begrudgingly felt for them...and hated them. Had the authors not given me this strong emotion from their written characters, I’m not sure how much thought I would’ve put in. And you also know that for a character to make you hate them (especially a written character, whose actions and even facial expressions you can’t see live), the writing must be pretty good at what they do.  


*TO THE READER: I enjoyed my reading this semester, and because of the ones you picked, Ms., Kleinschmidt (future, PROFESSOR Kleinschmidt), I not only enjoyed this class (my first class within my major) but look forward to English classes in the future. Who knows...maybe I’ll be lucky enough to have you be my professor again in the future :)?