Ten Best Dads in Literature
I’m almost a week late for Father’s Day (I was busy lying on the sofa watching golf that day), but I came across a website recently that was looking for examples of good dads in literature. Bad dads abound, it seems, and the blog author was having a hard time coming up with role models from the world of fiction.
After some thought, I came up with the following ten in no particular order. What do you think? Any others come to mind?
1. Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird
2. Jeremiah Land, Peace Like a River
3. Thomas Schell, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
4. Caspar Ten Boom, The Hiding Place
5. Geppetto, Pinnochio
6. Pa Ingals, Little House Series
7. Mr. Pegotty, David Copperfield
8. Mr. March, Little Women
9. Matthew Cuthbert, Anne of Green Gables
10. Jean Valjean, Les Miserables
Technically, Mr. Pegotty is an adoptive uncle, not a dad, but he behaves like an ideal father. Caspar Ten Boom isn’t a fictional character, of course, but I’ve always found his example quite inspiring and I consider The Hiding Place a work of literature.
I just noticed that half of the men on this list are single dads: Atticus Finch, Jeremiah Land, Geppetto, Mr. Pegotty, and Jean Valjean. Thomas Schell is dead at the start of the book, and Matthew Cuthbert is unmarried, raising Anne with his sister. Mr. March is away serving in the war for most of the book. Not sure what that all means, but only two of them are model husbands as well as fathers. It’s just rare to find a regular nuclear family that is healthy and solid in the realm of literature.
I’m not suggesting some kind of conspiracy here. Happy families can be boring and don’t typically make for interesting stories.
Your turn. Who’ve I missed?