Five Book Characters Who Had the WORST Time at the Beach

Posted by Sarah Fox

If you are like us, this is the time of year where we pull out our Jimmy Buffet albums and dream of boat drinks by the beach. But remember: the beach isn’t all fun and games. The following book characters would certainly envy the snow.

Louisa Musgrove from Persuasion by Jane Austen

We know the siren call of crazy antics at the beach; we all have seen a few episodes of The Jersey Shore. Louisa decides it is a good idea to walk along a tall wall near the water. As if this idea is not good enough, she thinks Captain Wentworth should catch her, but she does not give him adequate time to prepare himself to catch her. As a result, she falls, hits her head, and gets a concussion. Not only does she remove herself as a potential love interest for Captain Wentworth, but she also practically disappears from the narrative.


Edna Pontellier from The Awakening by Kate Chopin

Edna does not have a happy life. She is bored by her role as mother and wife, and she is in a constant state of restlessness.  As a result, she starts having affairs. When Robert, a man she is in love with, leaves her because of societal expectations, she is devastated. In the end, Edna tragically takes her life by going to the Grand Isle, a place where she once was happy, and walks into the Gulf of Mexico.


Gerty from Ulysses by James Joyce

In modern society, we have fought hard to stop the objectification of women. Unfortunately, it still happens, especially at the beach. Leopold Bloom takes lusting after girls at the beach to a whole another level when he sees Gerty near the water. While we cannot go into detail about what happens, let us say this: Gerty definitely has grounds to call the police. Bloom should have ended June 16 in jail.


Dick Driver from Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald

You would think the beach was a good place for Dick. He met Rosemary, a new Hollywood starlet, there. The problem? He is still married. As a result of his entanglement with Rosemary, he ruins his marriage and, subsequently, his life. If Dick just avoided the beach, he would have dodged temptation.


Piggy from Lord of the Flies by William Golding

We always know it is hard to be the outcast of the group as a child, but it gets deadly when you are stranded on an island with British boys.  All Piggy wanted was a little order. You know, a conch for the appropriate time when to speak and not to put animal heads on stakes. The kind of stuff Martha Stewart talks about. In an act of rebellion against domesticity and order, the boys not only break Piggy’s glasses, but they throw a rock on his head, killing him.

Sarah Fox

Sarah Fox

Sarah Fox is an editor, writer, writing consultant, and pop culture enthusiast. Besides regularly contributing to Quirk Books’ blog, she has published an edition of William Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure. She lives in Washington D.C. with her husband and Pembroke Welsh Corgi. You can find her online at