Sometimes, the anti-heroes are the ones booklovers swoon over, neglecting at their cost the archetypally perfect heroes or the traditionally cruel villains. Anti-heroes are characterized most of all by their good intentions and redeeming qualities, even though their means may not be so favourable. Regardless, this adds a layer to their character personas, making them more the just black and white. Here are 10 criminal characters from books inspired by good motives.
10 Criminal Characters From Books Inspired By Good Motives:
- Mr Rochester from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
- From Anxious People by Fredrik Backman
- Liesel from The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
- Tyrion Lannister from Game of Thrones by George R R Martin
- Elizabeth Finch from The Summer Job by Lizzy Dent
- Draco Malfoy from Harry Potter by J K Rowling
- Marisol from Justice Hustler Series by Aya de Leon
- Lestat de Lioncourt from The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice
- Pinkie Brown from Brighton Rock by Graham Greene
- Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov from Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Mr Rochester from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Perhaps the best loved of all anti-heroes, Mr Rochester courts the young and beautiful Jane while keeping his mad ex-wife caged in the attic. These actions, you might think, have absolutely no redemption, but his caring personality with his heart of gold (except the misogyny) does it. Plus, he doesn’t do it entirely out of his own volition – there are factors at play beyond him.
From Anxious People by Fredrik Backman
In this book, a criminal holds an eclectic lot of people hostage. This isn’t a gory crime read as you’d expect, but a warm and deeply psychological read which makes you love the criminal and all his flaws.
Liesel from The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Liesel is the most adorable criminal of all time – she’s a young girl in pre war Germany who steals books from the mayor’s library because she cant afford them. And as voracious readers and diehard lovers of books, can we really blame her?
Tyrion Lannister from Game of Thrones by George R R Martin
The little dwarf from Game of Thrones is no less cunning than his sister Cersei. He is a masterful player of mind games and wielder of his sharp wits to cruel uses. But his backstory of injustice and discrimination as well as the fact that his motives are cleaner than most others in the story make him likable.
Elizabeth Finch from The Summer Job by Lizzy Dent
Finch in this book never sets out to be a criminal, but one thing leads to another and she’s committing fraud by impersonating a rich friend. She doesn’t set out with the best intentions but as her character arc rockets and she realizes Heather’s life may be in danger, she puts her self-interests aside to save her friend.
Draco Malfoy from Harry Potter by J K Rowling
Admit it – you’ve crushed on this beautiful villain (oh Tom Felton) as an adolescent. And for good reason – yes, Draco sides with Voldemort, yes, Draco almost kills Dumbledore, yes, Draco bullies Harry. But that isn’t entirely his fault. Lucious Malfoy’s upbringing and his own conflicting loyalties force him to be a certain way, and his pure intentions which he showcases at the most crucial moments redeem him.
Marisol from Justice Hustler Series by Aya de Leon
Marisol, as a victim of sexual abuse and former sex worker, is fueled by women empowerment. Now an entrepreneur with power, she sometimes crosses legal and moral boundaries to protect women. How can anyone hate her for it?
Lestat de Lioncourt from The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice
Perhaps Anne Rice’s most loved anti-hero, is as tender as he is ruthless and as selfless as he is vile. He is insanely loyal to his near and dear ones and goes all out for them – they are his weakness and his strength.
Pinkie Brown from Brighton Rock by Graham Greene
Pinkie reconciles contrasts in his personality – on one hand he is religious, on the other he is lawless. On one hand he is loyal and on the other he is cruel. Most of all though, there are streaks of gentleness and nobility in his wildness. Undoubtedly he is one of Greene’s masterpieces, and fueled by good intentions.
Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov from Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
The poor Rodion may not be the nicest man because of his abiding belief in the ‘Great Man Theory’ that great men are allowed to rid the world of lesser men. But he is a family man with good intentions and fierce loyalty. And ultimately, the remorse he feels and the intentions he betters, redeem him.
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