Follow TV Tropes

Following

Politically Incorrect Villain / Literature

Go To

Politically Incorrect Villains in literature.



  • In A Curse So Dark and Lonely, the main character Harper has cerebral palsy. Her love interest Rhen and the other heroic characters don't care about her condition especially after she proves her bravery and guile many times over, but the conventionally beautiful villain enchantress Lilith constantly belittles her as "broken" and can't understand why Rhen would be interested in someone like her.
  • Advertisement:
  • In A Frozen Heart, a Tie-In Novel to Disney's Frozen, most of the male members of the Southern Isles' royal family are depicted as misogynistic abusers who neglect their wives and/or consider them to be Baby Factories. Also, given how they ill-treat their subjects by overtaxing them while brutally suppressing any dissent to the regime, it's implied the royal family is elitist.
  • Patrick Bateman in American Psycho is an insane, sadistic serial killer, and also racist, anti-semitic, elitist, sexist and homophobic. All his friends and colleagues are too, except of course the Jewish Paul Owen/Allen and the gay Luis Carruthers. Those qualities were meant to be a reflection of the 1980's Wall Street high society in which he lived rather than a flaw specific to Bateman alone. Other than the serial killing (maybe).
  • Advertisement:
  • The Hashashin in Angels & Demons is a psychotic misogynist who derives pleasure from violence against women. He hires a prostitute to abuse and degrade so badly she pretends to pass out so he can stop. He also briefly considers killing her during climax and later on, threatens to rape Victoria.
  • Vladimir Sharkovsky from the Alex Rider spin-off Russian Roulette. In one scene when he is in the pool, it is revealed he has a Death to Zionism tattoo with a star of David on fire, even though anti-Semitism has no bearing on the plot whatsoever.
  • Black Iris: Justified Trope. The lead character is a mentally ill bi girl going on a revenge spree targeting people who have been bigoted and violent towards her.
  • Caliphate is depressingly common place with state-wide examples of this trope: South Africa is ruled by a white supremacist bloc that restored apartheid and slavery, while the titular Caliphate is not only deeply misogynistic but also bigoted towards Christians (whom they refer to a "Nazrani", which means Nazarene, as a slur), and female Christians are regarded as natural sluts and whores. This is surprisingly downplayed with the Imperial States of America which while fiercely anti-Islamic and repressive of anything considered "non-American", its welcoming to people from other ethnicities and countries (so long as they aren't Muslim) and they grant greater freedoms to women, like the right to join the army.
  • Advertisement:
  • Present, and lampshaded in, one of the Captain Underpants spin-off books. In a comic book created by the book's main characters, Harold and George, an evil scientist wants to create a female clone of an evil monster toilet so that he would have a servant to attend to all his domestic needs. His assistant lampshades this trope by pointing out: "You know, that's not very politically correct," to which the scientist replies that he doesn't care because he's the bad guy. Needless to say, this doesn't end well for them. (Also, the hygienic implications of having a toilet doing housework are apparently not even thought of...)
  • In the Dan Brown novel Deception Point, Senator Sexton at one point thinks to himself while discussing toning down his condemnation of same-sex marriage for campaigning purposes "If it were up to me, the faggots wouldn't even have the right to vote". His actions only get more despicable from there.
  • The Divine Comedy: Most Hell-shades at least have enough medieval courtesy not to curse God, but a particularly vile thief that Dante encounters explicitly curses God and gives him a rude gesture equivalent to a middle finger. This demonstrates the defining trait of the lowest parts of Hell, the use of humanity's unique blessings (like communication) for evil.
  • Elantris:
    • King Iadon is really sexist. This winds up screwing him over, since he barely even remembers Sarene exists until she's got him backed into a corner and unable to do anything but concede to what she says.
    • Though not a bigot in any sense relevant to the real world, Dilaf is very determined to get rid of the Elantrians for good.
  • Captain Shannon in The First Casualty by Ben Elton. His racism, misogyny, and homophobia are some of his nicer traits.
  • Flashman is this in spades, and it's just one of his many endearing features. He's a serial adulterer who lies outrageously to woo other mens' wives, he treats the lower classes with condescension, and he's a shameless racist to boot.
  • The Guns of the South: This being a Civil War novel, you'd think the Confederates, especially Nathan Bedford Forrest would count. But the Rivington men, really Afrikaner nationalists who have traveled back in time to arm the Confederates into winning the Civil War, prove to be even worse. Forrest himself later goes after them after they try to assassinate President Robert E. Lee.
  • The Republic of Gilead in The Handmaid's Tale is already in this territory given their attitude toward women, but for further dog-kicking, is their attitude toward other religions. When expelling Jews from America, they sent large numbers of them on boats supposedly destined for Israel. The boats were deliberately sunk in the middle of the water.
  • In the Harry Potter books, anyone racist is going to be evil. Most of the Slytherins are bigoted against Muggles, with Draco Malfoy serving as the first one we meet in The Philosophers Stone. Voldemort is a thinly-veiled Hitler-analogue whose plan includes hunting down muggle-borns and enslaving and murdering muggles. One of the most egregious racists in the story is Dolores Umbridge, who treats anyone without a pure wizarding heritage as a lesser being, and anyone with a mixed-human heritage as something to hunted down and whom the Ministry of Magic assigned to Hogwarts in The Order of the Phoenix as an authority. She ends up becoming The Quisling just to have an excuse to have Muggle-borns locked up. According to Word of God, this earns her a life sentence in Azkaban after the events of Deathly Hallows.
  • Ivo Taillebois in The Hereward Trilogy: "Do you know why I allowed those Jews to sully my hall with their unclean presence?"
  • One of the easier ways to pick out the villain in an Honor Harrington novel is to find the guy whose inner monologue puts her down for being either a woman, or not born nobility, or both.
  • While villain might be too strong a word for her, Ada Haskill from In the Face of Danger is snobby, unpleasant, ungrateful and doesn't hesitate to look down on Megan, a 12-year-old girl, for being Irish.
  • Henry Bowers of Stephen King's IT is one of these in a nutshell. He hates Stanley Uris because he's Jewish, Mike Hanlon because he's black, Eddie Kaspbrak because of his asthma, Bill Denbrough because of his stutter, Richie Tozier for his glasses and his smart mouth, Ben Hanscomb because of his weight, and Beverly Marsh because she's female and poor. Really, he's an all-around asshole.
    • This will cross over into Freudian Excuse territory, but Henry is beaten by his father at home, and (in his embittered mind, anyway) needs weaker people (especially if they are outcasts) to bully in order to cope with his rage. Also, his father is a racist, who blames black people for all of his misfortunes. It doesn't excuse his actions, but it does lend some deeper meaning to this trope.
      • After killing Mike's dog, Henry tells his father, who actually praises him for doing so, and lets him drink a beer with him. This is one of the only times his father takes any time to bond with the boy, so Henry's demeanor is definitely more complex than it first appears.
    • In the same book, Eddie Kaspbrak's mother, who serves as a lesser antagonist along with the other Abusive Parents of the Losers, is given a brief POV section in which she reacts with horror at discovering one of her son's friends is a "nigger".
  • James Bond:
    • Diamonds Are Forever: While Ian Fleming was never the most socially-conscious writer, even for The '50s, this was probably the intended effect with how brutally Wint and Kidd treat the Black attendant at the Saratoga mud-baths. It's taken Up to Eleven with the Spangs' inside man at the diamond mines, an Afrikaner whose "hatred for all black things" extends even to insects.
    • Moonraker: Justified Trope with Sir Hugo Drax, who is actually a Nazi saboteur named Graf Hugo von der Drache. Obviously, he's going to be anti-Semitic, as seen in how he fondly remembers beating a Jewish banker to death after WWII and bullying his partner, Meyer, during the poker game with 007. This is inverted with his film counterpart, who is more of an Equal-Opportunity Evil villain despite the Social Darwinist leanings, and all references to his Nazi background are removed.
    • Icebreaker: Count Konrad von Glöda, whose real name is Aarne Tudeer, is a former SS officer turned neo-Nazi terrorist seeking to restore the Nazi regime. This provokes the leading spy agencies (KGB, MI6, Mossad and CIA) to form an Enemy Mine to stop von Glöda.
  • The Last Hurrah (both the novel and the film) has newspaper editor Amos Force, who runs a paper that is most definitely not the Boston Globe. He is an old-money WASP who despises Irish Catholics in general and Frank Skeffington in particular. If you know anything about the history of the Boston Globe, this is not the least bit implausible.
  • In Layer Cake, as he sells out his employees to a Dirty Cop, gangster Jimmy Prince makes racial slurs against black associate Morty and is homophobic towards the protagonist, who while not gay, is not sufficiently "manly" for Jimmy's standards. Thanks to a Magnificent Bastard fellow gangster, Jimmy's crew are made privy to a tape of these comments and the protagonist shoots him in the head.
  • In Lucky Starr and the Rings of Saturn, Sten Devoure, the product of supposedly-superior Sirian genetics, reveals himself as a despicable person right away by referring to Lucky's sidekick Bigman Jones, a rather short and ugly Martian, as "that thing" and "it". The insult becomes dangerous when he tells a group of robots that Bigman is not human, and orders them to "break it."
  • Zaroff of The Most Dangerous Game got bored of hunting animals and decided to name a trope. He justifies this by mostly hunting what he considers "lesser races." (Incidentally, he applies this racism to himself—as a Cossack, he believes that savagery is an essential part of his nature.)
  • The killer in The Murder of Roger Ackroyd makes an offhand insulting comment about Jews at one point in the novel.
  • Nelly the Monster Sitter has Nelly's twin sister Asti, who openly hates the monsters that Nelly has to babysit for. When a Huffaluk family arrive at hers and Nelly's birthday party, she is quick to make her best friend turn against them, making snide comments about how ugly she finds the creatures, and even claims that she caught fleas off the Huffaluk daughter. Nelly often hops in to defend, telling Asti off for using "it" to describe Freeb (and other monsters she later meets), but negative karma catches up with Asti, leading her to being thrown on the roof of her house and left up there by the family for the rest of the afternoon. Even her friend abandons her post!
  • Överenskommelser by Simona Ahrnstedt has three villains (because one creep clearly wasn't enough), whose views on women are disgusting even by the standards of the time they live in (the 1880s). Not only do they feel that men and women have different roles in life, which would have been the consensus of the era. But these guys also feel that a man has the right to treat women like dirt, or even become a serial abuser of women. And as much as Beatrice, the story's female protagonist, becomes the most obvious victim of their abuse and their schemes, many other people are harmed as well. Even other men in the story are repulsed by them.
  • In Rivers of London, it's implied that the Faceless Man's fantasies of a better England are at least slightly racist — he at one point explains to our mixed-race hero that it's not his fault he's not properly English, but... Minor villains are frequently more blatant about it, such as the thug in one of the comics who tells Peter and his Muslim colleague Guleed "You don't look like police", prompting Peter to sarcastically think "Never get tired of hearing that."
  • Late in Sabina Kane: Red-Headed Stepchild, Sabina takes one of Clovis' men hostage at gunpoint. Clovis tells her to go ahead and kill the hostage because he deserves it for getting beaten by a girl.
  • Sisterhood Series by Fern Michaels: This sort of villain has popped up a number of times. FBI assistant director Mitch Riley refers to Harry Wong as a "slant-eye" at one point in the book Hide And Seek. Deputy Clyde calls Harry Wong by that racial epithet in the book Under The Radar, which Harry happily repays by tweaking the scum's nose and knocking him out. Before the book Lethal Justice, Alexis Thorne reveals in her thoughts that her employers chose to frame her for their crimes because she is black. Strangely, that is never brought up in the book where Alexis pays them back.
  • In Spock's World, a group of these attempt to drive Vulcan to secede from the Federation.
  • The Star Wars Legends novels use this. While Lucas seems to have intended there to be some parallels between The Empire and the Nazis, relatively little of that shows up explicitly on screen. In books, comics, etc., both individual villains and The Empire as a whole are depicted as speciesist against non-humans. (And in fact an easy way to tell which side is the bad guy side in whatever time period it might be is if they ever make a comment about human superiority).
    • Pretty blatant, really.
    • The Yuuzhan Vong of the Expanded Universe display extreme intolerance for anyone who doesn't follow their religion and lifestyle.
    • Seems like the EU just came up with a good explanation for why you don't see too many nonhumans in the Imperial military, although they apparently don't mind hiring them as bounty hunters and such.
      • The EU also makes it pretty obvious that Palpatine himself doesn't buy into such nonsense (he considers everyone to be inferior to himself). He just finds it a useful way to manipulate people, since humans are the majority of the Empire's population and center of galactic wealth and power (the Core Worlds) is also where human supremacist feelings are most widely accepted. Ensuring the loyalty of the Core World elite by oppressing the aliens is rather quicker and easier than doing the reverse.
    • There was the Diversity Alliance, an anti-human terrorist organization who plan on killing all humans with a bio-weapon that only targets humans.
  • Bob Ewell in To Kill a Mockingbird would likely be considered an extreme bigot even in the Depression-era Deep South setting where the novel is set. (In fact, portraying such a man as a villain was the whole point of the novel, which was written during the Civil Rights Era.)
  • If he wasn't bad enough, The Mad King Aerys from A Song of Ice and Fire is also very racist towards the Dornish. He reportedly dislikes his half-Dornish granddaughter Princess Rhaenys for smelling like one.
  • The Gallish knights from The Traitor Son Cycle, on top of being highly misogynistic and notorious rapists, have nothing but disdain for the common people. At one point, Jean de Vrailly proudly admits to having slaughtered countless peasants who dared to defy him, and angrily claims that in Galle, women stay quiet and don't make trouble for men.note 
  • In The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, Captain Jaggery fits this trope to a T (granted, it is 1832). While holding the 13-year old Charlotte on trial for allegedly murdering the first mate, he reaches this conclusion:
    "So what we have here is a girl who admits she owns the weapon that murdered Mr. Hollybrass. A girl who lied about where she got it. A girl who was taught to use a blade, and learned to use it, as Mr. Grimes would have it, 'uncommon' well. A girl, who all agree, is unnatural in every way she acts. Gentlemen, do we not, as natural men, need to take heed? Is it not our duty, our obligation, to protect the natural order of the world?"
  • Mostly averted in Victoria, where the heroes are the politically incorrect faction and fight wars against such politically correct nations as the liberal New South, environmentalist Cascadia and LGBT-friendly Azania, among others. However, there is also a neo-Nazi villain state, offering an example.
  • Vorkosigan Saga: General Metzov in The Vor Game is not only a hardliner ultra-nationalist, but he is a sexist jerk as well. He is paired with the much smarter female villain Cavilo, but in a Just Between You and Me moment tells the heroes that he's just manipulating her, since no woman would be smart enough to lead. His political incorrectness leads to his death (and an example of Eviler Than Thou) when his last words (before Cavilo shoots him in the head) are "open your legs to me bitch". Cavilo is actually more evil than Metzov, but because of his Politically Incorrect Villain traits, it's hard not to give her some sympathy or at least applause at the moment she kills him.
  • Warhammer 4000: In Ciaphas Cain novel The Traitor's Hand commissar Tomas Beije goes from a slightly annoying mix of Divided We Fall, Unknown Rival, and Obstructive Bureaucrat who barely has any time in the main plotline to being quite hateable the moment he starts throwing out sexist insults towards Colonel Kasteen.
  • Warrior Cats: Tigerstar. very much Tigerstar. As well as his #1 follower, Darkstripe. Tigerstar parallels Hitler in several ways, and has attempted genocide in the form of public executions during a propaganda rally where he called halfClan cats "filth". Although probably the most flagrant example, it certainly isn't the only one.
  • Worm: The supervillain group The Fallen epitomize this trope. First off, they're a Religion of Evil that worships The Endbringers, calling on them to destroy humanity and regularly try to grab as much attention as they can with disgusting comments about the victims of every Endbringer attack deserved to die. They're also openly and proudly xenophobic; full spectrum racism, homophobia, prejudice against Case-53's are all par for the course with them. They've also been known to kidnap women to marry them off to members and making them baby factories, gelding them if the children are unhealthy and even forcing them to grow their hair long as a sign that they're "sluts." Finally, as if that weren't bad enough, they also practice incest as a way to encourage more parahuman members are born. Wordof God even states that they’re based on the Westboro Baptist Church.
    • There’s also Empire Eighty-Eight, who are basically neo-nazis with superpowers.


Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report