Happy Save Your Hearing Day! In honor of this obscure and bizarre holiday, we've compiled a list of literature’s loudest characters. You know, so you can avoid them if you see them on the street (or on your bookshelf).
Sirens from The Odyssey by Homer
With the sirens, it's less about saving your hearing and more about saving your life. The sirens’ songs are so seductive that you have to plug your ears with beeswax even though the crash of the waves should drown out their song. Still, unlike many of the characters on this list, people actually want to hear their song. Odysseus tied himself to a mast so he could hear the music without any danger. They would be prime candidates for The Voice if it weren’t so risky.
Mrs. Bennet from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Okay, so we don’t know if Mrs. Bennet’s voice is loud in volume, but we know nobody wants to hear what she has to say. If the words are unimportant to you, then they are going to seem loud, especially if you are Mr. Bennet. Can you imagine trying to read the newspaper while someone keeps incessantly chattering away at you? Forget that noise.
Ramona Quimby from Ramona Series by Beverly Cleary
Ramona thinks being loud is part of her job. Literally. When her class takes a nap, she believes she is the “Wake-Up Fairy” and wakes everyone up. (She is basically every college student’s worst nightmare.) Not only does she disrupt people’s trips to dreamland, but she is pretty loud and rambunctious in general. You know your vociferous ways annoy everyone when the word “pest” is in one of your book titles.
Max from Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
Max is the quintessential loud child. He runs around his parent’s house growling in a wolf costume. They clearly don’t get his party animal style; they send him to bed without dinner. Fortunately, Max finds his posse when he goes to an Island full of Wild Things. They are just as loud as he is; they love stomping and swinging. Not only does he get to party with the noisemakers, he gets to be their king.
Howlers from Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
Okay, we know it's technically not a character, but there is nothing louder than a howler. Not only does it deliver a recorded angry message—something that is loud in and out of itself—but it raises the volume. As if that were not bad enough, there is no way to save your hearing with this note. It will explode if it is not opened. Not only is there an explosion, but the howler will curse at the recipient when it explodes. We do not envy Ron Weasley when he gets one from his mother.