So, I'm taking a fiction writing class right now, and I've been using excerpts from my novel in our workshops. For the most part, I've been happy with the feedback I've been given and have been able to sort through which suggestions will better the story and which ones don't matter in the bigger context of the novel. However, there is something I was originally planning to ignore that keeps coming up, so I thought I would ask for some more thoughts.
One of my characters, the MC's mother's fiancé, is an asshole. I intend for this character to be rude and abusive to the MC behind the mother's back, while being perfectly nice to the mother in order to keep the relationship going (he's basically mooching off of them in the process). A very positive moment later in the story will be when the mother realizes how terrible he is and breaks up with him.
The problem is that my teacher and some of the students want to see a different side of this character. They want him to be humanized and for the MC to see that he isn't really that bad. I think this is partly because I didn't do that well in building up his bad-ness in the beginning chapter (something I will work on) and they didn't read the whole book, but I wanted to ask you guys what you think. Is it okay that he has no real redemptive qualities?