Annie Wilkes

November 15, 2011

Cautionary Women's homage to this alpha bitch has been a long time coming. Miss Anne Marie Wilkes Dugan, RN, is beyond the first degree of 'unhinged.'

If Ms. Wilkes weren't a serial killer since all of 11 years old, she would just be any other in a large demographic of overweight American women who largely keep to themselves. These women live a fantasy world in books, TV, etc.; Annie brings danger into the equation. While other women are content shrieking at Robert Pattinson on the red carpet, Wilkes wants him strapped to a bed in her house.

That is only to be taken as an analogy, for Annie is an obsessed fan of Paul Sheldon, not Pattinson. Sheldon is the author of a series of period romance novels starring Misery Chastain, whom Wilkes dangerously empathizes with. These are just novels within a novel however. Wilkes' disturbed mind is the propeller of the conflict in Stephen King's Misery, a claustrophobic novel about a novelist held captive by a deranged fan.

Wilkes can wipe the contents of DSM-IV clean and shove them all into her neurons. She is sane enough to act cherubic and retain a job but insane enough to push her father off the stairs and kill babies. The only giveaways are her unhealthy obsession with the Misery Chastain novels and her tendency to swear like a child ("He didn't get out of the cockadoodie car!").

Wilkes is as terrifying onscreen as on the pages of King's book. For her teeth-rattling portrayal of the postal Wilkes, Kathy Bates won the Best Actress Oscar in 1990 and posted the character on the American Film Institute's top 20 villains of all time.

Does Wilkes get her comeuppance in the end? You'd have to find out by reading the book or watching the movie.

Pattinson shouldn't have to be the only one looking out for homicidal women. With vampire mania and illicit drugs dovetailing, Stephenie Meyer should consider widening that clearance between her and her 'number one fans.'

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