We’ve all read a character who makes all the wrong choices who makes you want to throw the book across the room. For me that character is Emma Woodhouse she’s very frustrating but I liked her arc even if I kept telling her what to do and what not to. And getting annoyed when she didn’t listen. I didn’t like Emma half the time yet I liked the plot which was all caused by her actions. This brings me to this question do you have to like the protagonist? I think that as long as you enjoy getting frustrated by them. And as long as they actually change by the end of the book then I can enjoy a book without liking the main character.
The important thing is that the characters aren’t flat that their complex. You don’t necessarily have to like their actions or think their good people just understand them. No matter how unlikable the protagonist is you should be able to understand why they do the things they do and hopefully sympathize with them. I used to think that in order for me to love a character I had to relate to them but that’s definitely not true. I can’t relate to most of my favorite characters. I can’t relate to any of the characters in Six of Crows yet I think their all great and Kaz is a good example of an unlikable character. I’ve seen a few reviews of Six of Crows were the reviewer seemed to think that liking Kaz meant you agreed with the awful things he does. I don’t think I’ll ever understand why people think that likeking a character means you condone their actions.
I think Snape is a good character but I don’t like him he’s a wonderfully written character but he does some awful things. He’s certainly not the kind of guy you’d name your kid after. Liking a character doesn’t mean you condone their actions loving a villain doesn’t mean you think their right. So why should liking a very flawed character like Snape or Kaz mean you think they were in the right.
Okay back to the main point of this discussion I like characters who are very obviously flawed I think their more interesting and realistic. They have some of the best development or at least should it’s annoying when a character is almost completely unchanged by the end of the book. The characters who makes mistakes have to learn from them the thing is all their mistakes and flaws make them feel more real. I do have to like the character it’s just that I like unlikable characters as in characters who are hard to like or who I have a love hate relationship with. I do also love characters who are good people so I don’t know that there’s one quality that makes a character my favorite, other than being well written of course.
How do you feel about unlikeable characters?