The Most Evil Children in Literature

atkins-bookshelf-literatureOne of literature’s most haunting, evil children is Jack Merridew, who like his fellow plane crash survivors is marooned on a remote island in the Pacific Ocean. Merridew, who represents humanity at its worst — prone to hatred, violence, and totalitarianism — leads his ragged tribe of savages toward murder and mayhem. The results are as unforgettable as they are tragic. In a fascinating essay titled “Bad to the Bone: The Worst Children in Literature” AbeBooks editor Scott Laming writes: [When] human evil-doing is prevalent in literature, there is something especially unnatural and disturbing when the perpetrator is a child, as if it represents the perversion of innocence itself…. [Some] of these books have the potential to be distressing, particularly for parents… [They] abuse, torture, murder and commit demonic acts with barely a second thought.” Here are some of the most famous evil children in literature, whether devious or devilish:

Angelo Saint, Wicked Angel by Taylor Caldwell
Baby, Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin
Ben, The Fifth Child by Doris Lessing
Cathy Ames, East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Christine Harensen, Carrie by Stephen King
Damien, The Omen by David Seltzer
Jack Merridew, Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Pinkie Brown, Brighton Rock by Graham Greene
Regan McNeil, The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty
Tom Riddle, Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
Veda, Mildred Pierce by James Cain

Read related posts: Who Are the Greatest Shakespeare Characters?
The Most Influential People Who Never Lived
Who Are the Most Influential Characters of Literature?
The Most Influential Authors

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