11 Mean Mothers From Literature

Some people have the good fortune of being besties with their mothers. Together Mom and Daughter can talk about anything, including the fact that they are so alike, especially in all of their best traits! How DREAMY. These daughters seem to somehow have no turbulent emotions toward the woman who raised them. And, although I love my own mother dearly, this is something I do not understand. In fact, some of my fondest memories from childhood are slamming the door in my mom's face, yelling, "You so don't know who I am, ugh!" as I stormed into my room.

I was so pleasant. I still am, obviously.

My mom, bless her lovely, lovely soul, actually is a rockstar, and I love her. But that's not to say that she didn't point out my acne rather frequently, and, also, I'm still kinda bitter that one of the things I inherited from her was an undying love of drinking many, many California chardonnays.

Sometimes, when I get a little angsty, what I need is perspective — and that's what the books on this list can deliver. So maybe Mom hates everyone you date. At least she never tried to murder you. Which is nice. Happy Mother's Day, everyone.

Medea in Medea by Euripides

Medea kills both her children by giving them a poisoned cloak, which is yet another reason why you should never let your mother do your shopping for you. (The other is that jean jacket I wore for my third grade school picture — it was encrusted with jewels and had a matching emerald green turtleneck.)

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Mrs. Wormwood in Matilda by Roald Dahl

Hoots Mrs. Wormwood gives about anything besides playing bingo? Zero. But wow could she pull off a hat, amirite?

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Amy Dunne in Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

When her daughter asks her where babies come from, she'll reply, "The need to entrap men in loveless marriages. Oh, and if we get divorced, it's totally your fault."

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Grendel's Mother in Beowulf

Actually, I'm kinda torn on the quality of her parenting. She rises from the swamp of the undead to avenge her son's death — that is a pretty sweet thing to do. But at the same time, you can't let your children define you. She calls herself Grendel's Mother? Had he lived, Grendel would have been in therapy for years.

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Charlie in The Liar's Club by Mary Karr

It is one thing for mothers in Greek tragedies to murder their children — they were just Antiquity's tiger moms! But to try it when you're as a pill-popping housewife? I mean, there are so many better ways to torture your children without risking life in prison. A little forethought, please.

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Lady Bertram in Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

She, like, never shared her opium. Not cool, lady.

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Tamora in Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare

Literally found her own kids so cute she could just eat them up. And did. Ew.

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Daisy in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Pammy: Mom, would you help me study for the SATs?

Daisy: No. You're a beautiful little fool. Fix me a martini.

Pammy: Please? I think I want to be a physicist.

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Lady Marchmain in Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh

Finds her son's debilitating alcoholism so tacky.

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Violet in August Osage County by Tracy Letts

Finds her own debilitating alcoholism so fascinating.

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Margaret White in Carrie by Stephen King

Well, at least she cooked?

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Images: Janus Films, Random House, Giphy, Orin Zebest /flickr, Harper Perennial, Miramax, Wiki Commons, Paramount Pictures, Granada Television, Ordway Center, Giphy,