18 October, 2021

LitStaff Pick: Characters We Really, Really Hate

Titus Groan
Gormenghast
Mervyn Peake

Although I thought Gormenghast was beautifully written, and I would absolutely love to poke around the castle for a bit, I really couldn’t stand the character of Titus Groan. I suppose he was tolerable in the story that bears his name, as he was only an infant, and that was most certainly my favorite of the trilogy. And I suppose he was a bit of a hero when he finally (SPOILER ALERT!) kills Steerpike.
After that, however, when Titus goes out into the world on his own, I found him to be a miserable brat. While I completely understand wanting to get away from a life you feel you are doomed to stifle in, the only good thing Titus manages to do for himself is leave, and he’s not even solid on that choice until the very end. It seemed to me that Titus was simply along for the ride and did nothing but complain once the initial choice was made. He saw himself as a victim of circumstance rather than someone who could take action to change his world. He was not a protagonist; he was just a runaway, and unsympathetic.
-Elisha Dew

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