Way back when I blogged regularly, I used to take part in Top 5 Wednesdays on a sort of regular basis. Since I’ve started blogging again, I’ve struggled with any level of consistency, and found it harder to write things than I used to. The lovely Lainey and Sam who run Top 5 Wednesday started this book meme to embrace listography and books, two things I do enjoy, so I’m finding my inner groove again, and I;m getting back into regular blogging.
That, and I saw Emma’s post and wanted to do one myself!
This weekend is Father’s day, and to honour this, the theme this week is Literary Fathers and Father figures. I read a lot of fiction that features strong male characters, often in lead roles, so the subject was something I enjoyed. For once, I was left narrowing my list, rather than grasping for list completion. It made a pleasant change. Instead of narrowing them down, I decided to do two Top 5 lists this week: Fathers, and Father Figures. Problem sort of solved?!
- Atticus Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee): He is, quite simply for me, the greatest father figure in the whole of literature. He loves his children, and they both know this and respect this. He is morally just, he is a kind man, he’s loyal to those he cares about, and he teaches his children (and all of those who have read the book) important lessons about tolerance, acceptance, strength, education. He is more than just a father to his children, but a beacon to his community, and is everything a growing person could want to aspire to be.
- Ned Stark (A Game of Thrones George R R Martin) In a world of treacherous back stabbing, nefarious planning, and nasty pieces of work, Ned Stark is a beacon of all things good, honest, and noble. He is always true to his family, he looks out for his family’s well being ahead of his own, and much above those of everyone else, and at the end of it all, is willing to give up everything for them and their future. He dotes upon all of his children with equal amounts of love and support, and looks upon their differences and their quirks with admiration rather than mockery.
- Elrond (The Lord of the Rings J R R Tolkien) Elrond provides sanctuary, advice, and support for many characters in Lord of the Rings. While he provides a little fatherly guidance to the hobbits, he is a stroking example of a father to Arwen. He dotes upon her and constantly looks out for her physical and emotional well being. Despite her safety being his most paramount concern, he respects her decision to forge her own path towards love and family.
- Carson Drew (Nancy Drew Mysteries Carolyn Keene) OK, so some could look upon Carson leaving his daughter to fend for herself at sixteen, often with her older boyfriend, as neglect. To me, he trusts and values his daughter, he embraces who she is and what she does, and encourages he passions, allowing her to develop and bloom into a successful detective. I always wanted to be Nancy Drew when I was younger, and I always thought that Carson was one of the best Dad’s I ever read about.
- Alex Cross (Alex Cross Series James Patterson) This man is a murder detective. He sees dead bodies, and solves atrocious killings, and he puts serial killers away after horrific mass murders. Yet there are great moments of levity in the books where he makes time for his children. He takes them to movies, and he takes them for ice cream. Throughout all of his interactions, he reminds them of the deceased mother, and is a beacon of light in their lives.
- Remus Lupin (Harry Potter J K Rowling): The Harry Potter series is filled with a plethora of father figures of note. Arthur Weasley is one of the greater fathers in literature, and he takes Harry on as an extra son with no questions. Sirius cmes into Harry’s life and provides him with someone to love and cherish. However, for me, Remus is the best and most underrated of the fatherly figures in the book. He looks at Harry and sees both physical and personality traits of his best friend. Yet he looks past these, and dotes on Harry , providing quiet guidance, vital support, and nurtures Harry in a way he never has before and doesn’t get from anyone else, from patronus lessons to rushing to tell Harry about becoming a real father, and is simply there for him implicitly.
- Baloo and Bagheera (The Jungle Book Rudyard Kipling): We’ve all seen the film and heard the songs, however, it is the bond and lessons that these two teach Mowgli, that for me, make them great literary father figures. Without them, Mowgli would never have adapted to the jungle or learnt to survive, they passed skills, ideas, and lessons onto him the way a father does to his son. They are unlikely father figures, yes, but they provide the necessary skills and lessons to Mowgli to allow him to develop and become the best Godfathers that two random animals ever could be.
- Uncle Monty (A Series of Unfortunate Events Lemony Snicket): Yes, he is eccentric. Yes, he probably shouldn’t be left to fend for children, but Uncle Monty provides safety, happiness, and love to a set of children severely lacking all three. And not only does he provide this willingly, he does it at a time when they need it most. What more is a father for than these three crucial elements?
- Haymitch Abernathy (The Hunger Games Suzanne Collins): I know that Haymitch is a drunk, he doesn’t always set the best example, and can be quite rude, but he looked out for those two children like hawk. He plans for them, he fights for them, and he simply loves them in such an unexpected and genuine way, that I believe is incredibly fatherly. While he has faults galore, his true feelings for Peeta and Katniss eclipse them to make him a vastly better person, a classic example of a father learning from his offspring.
- Horton (Horton Hatches the Egg Dr. Seuss): This is a slightly different choice. For those not familiar, Horton the elephant is left to look after an egg left by a lazy bird, He dotes on it and refuses to leave it despite the ridicule from his friends, and the hardship and struggles he goes through, including sea voyages and a travelling circus, His devotion and care to the egg spawns a literal elephant-bird that joins him in the jungle despite protestations from the lazy mother. It may not be a literary classic, however, this father like figure shows pure devotion to an egg. AN EGG.
Not gonna lie, this was a fairly perfect week for me, and I have enjoyed it immensely!! I thought I’d give a few honorable mentions to Arthur Weasley, Sirius Black, William Danny, Mr. Bennet, Harry Wormwood (not because h is good, but because h is so bad his daughter becomes wonderful) and many more I’m sure…
Who are you favourite fathers and father figures in literature?