Deb Rachel Nominates The Best Fathers in Literature

Well, someone had to create this list, and I’m glad it’s me. I love lists. I love Dads. So here they are. My favorite ficitional pops.

1. Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird. Duh. No literary father list is complete without the most loving, moral, empathetic, brave, determined, principled, just, and kind dad–maybe even character–in all of fiction.

Great dad quote: “If you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view—until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

2. Thomas Schell, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Even though he dies before the book even starts, Schell’s son Oskar’s memories of him tell us all we need to know. This is a dad who embraced his son’s every quirk, who was so devoted to teaching his son how to be a curious and kind person that he created entire fictional worlds just to get through to him. I mean, the man created a city-wide scavenger hunt. That is amazing.

Great dad quote: “He promised us that everything would be okay. I was a child, but I knew that everything would not be okay. That did not make my father a liar. It made him my father.”

3. Arthur Weasley, Harry Potter. Again, I know, so predictable. I tried to leave Arthur off the list because it was such an obvious choice but I just couldn’t. He’s too great. He loves Muggle inventions and is so goofy but beneath all the silliness he is a loving dad who will do anything to protect those he loves and the world he believes in. Even JK Rowling herself has said she adores Arthur because he was pretty much the only good father in the series. She has admitted that she originally planned to kill him off but couldn’t bring herself to do it. Thank god for that.

Great dad quote: “Never trust anything that can think for itself if you can’t see where it keeps its brain.”

4. Mr. Bennett, Pride and Prejudice. He’s funny! Can you imagine being the one man in that home? I get a kick out of his sense of humor about his wife and girls. He can laugh at them, but he still indulges them. And I love how he clearly has so much respect for Elizabeth. He doesn’t want her to marry just to marry, he wants her to be happy.

Great dad quote: “Your mother will never speak to you again if you do not marry Mr. Collins, and I will not speak to you if you do.”

5. Hans Hubermann, The Book Thief. A foster father who sits with his daughter every night during her nightmares after seeing her brother killed. Hans teaches Liesel to read and write and becomes the great love of her life and her primary source of security. He’s amazing because he’s perceived as regular. The kind of man who fades into the background, who blends in, but, of course, we know better.

Great dad quote: “Finally, the Hubermanns.
He was tall in the bed and I could see the silver through his eyelids. His soul sat up. It met me. Those kinds of souls always do – the best ones. The ones who rise up and say ‘I know who you are and I am ready. Not that I want to go, of course, but I will come.”

OK, folks. Who did I miss?


3 Replies to “Deb Rachel Nominates The Best Fathers in Literature”

  1. I have had SO many people recommend THE BOOK THIEF to me–now I’m even more intrigued! I love strong father characters (especially when they are the understated, quiet hero types)–and I love this list, Rachel!

  2. As you can imagine, I love dry and funny dads, and although I’ve never made it through reading P&P, I have seen the movie and loved Mr. Bennett, so it sounds like they did him justice on the big screen.
    I haven’t read THE BOOK THIEF either. Damn you, toppling TBR pile!

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