Poor dads! They are often overlooked. But with Father’s Day just around the corner, now’s the best time to look at some famous fathers in literature.
So here you have it: the good, the bad and the in-between!
We’ll start off with the good dads, the ones anyone would love to have as a father.
Arthur Weasley from the Harry Potter Series
You can’t have a list of memorable dads without mentioning Arthur Weasley! A true family man, he cherishes his family over everything else. He is a generous father, treating his brood of kids to a month-long trip to Egypt after winning some prize money in a draw.
His generosity and big-heartedness are not solely reserved for his children only — he treats Harry Potter as his own child, even sheltering him when Harry was branded “Undesirable Number One” — an act that could have led to the Weasleys’ demise if the authorities found out.
Although Arthur can’t afford to give his kids everything, his love and affection for them trumps all.
Borrow the series here.
Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird
Constantly in a proper suit and bookish glasses, Atticus cuts a dignified figure.
But it’s not just about his distinguished looks! Even though Atticus is old and feeble, his morals are anything but weak. He holds steadfast values, teaching his children about equality when he defends an African-American man who was unjustly accused of rape.
In a landscape of poverty and racism, he manages to instil acceptance, respect and open-mindedness in his children.
Learn more about morals from Atticus here.
The Father from The Road
No one shines more as a protective figure than the father.
The book is set in a post-apocalyptic world, where the father and his young son have to outsmart and survive cannibals, murderers, and all kinds of deplorable people — all while trying to find basic necessities to live.
The father does everything he can to keep his son alive in this barren wasteland. Although his fate is grim, his work is (hopefully) not in vain.
Jack Torrance from The Shining
Of course, not all fathers are shining examples of a good parent.
Jack Torrance, a recovering alcoholic, ships his family off to a deserted hotel, where he takes a job maintaining the facility during the winter. Yes, not the best environment for someone trying to recover from substance abuse.
To make matters worse, the hotel is haunted and possesses Jack, turning him increasingly unstable — not the best thing for Jack to experience when he’s already struggling with anger issues which once caused him to accidentally break his son’s arm.
Unable to withstand the hotel’s supernatural influence, Jack finally plots to kill his son.
Yikes. Be thankful your dad isn’t like that.
Borrow the e-book here.
Mr Bennet from Pride and Prejudice
And of course, there are going to be dads who are neither good nor bad, because we’re only humans.
Mr Bennet clearly dotes on his daughters. He’s also ahead of his time, celebrating his daughter Elizabeth’s independence and intelligence, unlike her mother, who sees those traits as failings that would hinder Elizabeth’s marriage prospects.
However, Mr Bennet also tends to be irresponsible, with a bad habit of withdrawing from big decisions. He lets his youngest daughter, who is only 15 years old, to head to Meryton without putting much of a fight, and is so neglectful that he doesn’t even realise when she plans to run away with Mr Wickham, a man who is constantly in debt and only takes interest in women for their money.
To make matters worse, Mr Bennet has a lack of financial foresight for his daughters, who have to depend on marriage for an income (as only male heirs could inherit). And yet, he does not put much effort into helping his daughters find husbands.
Read more about Mr Bennet here.
Who’s your favourite literary father? 😉