Overall, I don’t think we consciously give much thought to our least favourite characters, instead we focus on the ones we do love and enjoy, which is fair enough. However the other week, when I was telling you about the Five Go Down to the Sea 70s adaptation and I mentioned that I didn’t very much rate Yan as a character in the book, I thought it might be a good idea to look at the characters and pick out the ones I don’t like the most and why. So I’m only doing three because I thought that would be enough – especially as I’m talking about dislikes – sometimes it can be too much otherwise. Anyway, let’s get started.
As I said the other week, Yan in my humble opinion is a very two dimensional character and only really brought alive by Rupert Graves in the 1970s. Yan is a very much a background character, only really there as a plot device. He doesn’t say much and just monopolizes Timmy, annoying George. He does save them from the cave of doom, well the cave Timmy gets them trapped in.
He’s a timid mouse of a boy who doesn’t really speak, thus causing problems when the Five are trying to find out about the wreckers and the wreckers way. His very quiet nature doesn’t lend itself to the situation at all, where the Five need a companion who knows the area to solve the mystery. Yan however just follows them around making a nuisance of himself, which is why I join in with the Five in finding him irritating. He is a hard character to warm to, even with his sad story about not having any parents and only his great granddad to look after him. You can’t warm to him like you can to Sniffer, Jo and some of the others. There is no spark to him.
Yan just doesn’t have a personality that I can distinguish and he doesn’t add much to the story, he doesn’t even really help with the adventure and just gets in the way. This is unfortunately why I don’t like him very much.
Frederick Algernon Trotterville. The hero to some, but just a simple pompous bully to me. I have yet to see his good side and I don’t like the entitlement he believes he had over the Five Find-Outers. He is annoying with his money and his selfish ways. He boasts every time he can about something he has done at school or how much money he got for his birthday and Christmas, and I just don’t see how people like him! Is it because he is some sort of anti-hero? I.E. he doesn’t fit the traditional Blyton mould of the leader and hero which might be why people see him as the better character against ones like Julian for example (don’t get me started – see here for that argument!)
Fatty has the best of everything and anything, having money to spend and throw around sometimes even putting the other Five Find-Outers to shame with the amount of money he has. He can be incredibly self important as well, making himself seem big and grown up, like in The Mystery of the Secret Room where he told the others that he would spend some time during the night outside Milton Lodge because his parents are away and then he stupidly falls asleep in the house and gets captured. I mean come on, that is a special kind of silly.
I’m afraid to all the Fatty fans out there, he just doesn’t do anything for me in regards to being likeable. I am, as you know, ultimately a Julian girl at heart and however much you beg me to turn my liking to Fatty, I am afraid he will never be as likeable as Julian.
3. Alicia Johns
I bet that shocked you! The prankster from Malory Towers not being likeable, well let me tell you just because you’re a joker does not mean that you are necessarily a nice character. I find Alicia to be harsh and uncaring for the first four books, and even when she mellows out after her measles, she can still have an edge to her. There is something about her character that for me, makes her unlikeable.
Her cold shouldering of Darrell in the first book and then Sally in the second is just a show of how badly Alicia reacts to people who don’t work within her lines. Sally was given the head girl position and Alicia thought she deserved it, she went against Sally, over turning her decisions not to confront Ellen about the stolen property. She didn’t stand by Darrell when Mary-Lou’s fountain pen was found smashed in the common room, and blamed Darrell’s temper at Mary-Lou being the centre of attention.
Although ultimately she’s not a bad person, Alicia is just too close to those people in school for me, who thought that it was all right to act like this. She’s a strong personality and takes over, which is something that never really gets sorted, even when they’re in the fifth form and she clashes with Moira. Everything has to be her own way, and nothing she does can be the wrong thing. In terms of her character – I just don’t think we would have gotten on, but everyone else at Malory Towers I would have really enjoyed meeting (perhaps with the other exception of Gwen and Maureen) but I just can’t bring myself to like Alicia. Sorry!
So there we are, you have my three least favourite characters. Why don’t you let me know what yours are in the comments? All I ask is that you don’t bash me for saying I am not a fan of Fatty – we all need to be different! Anyway I would love to know your thoughts on the least favourite characters you have come across in your Blyton travels. You never know, you may give me more ideas for a second post!