In honor of Father’s Day coming on Sunday, I’m jumping on the literature blogging bandwagon and sharing a list of the best father figures novels have to offer.
Which of these awesome characters would you love to call Dad?
Atticus is bound to be on every list of great literary fathers. He serves as a moral compass for his family and community, values education, and deeply loves his children. His patience and endearing wisdom make him my favorite book dad. Atticus embodies a sense of constancy and security.
Arthur is a high-spirited family man. What he can’t provide his family in money, he makes up for in love and attention. Arthur not only extends a paternal affection to his children; he and Molly extend their affection (and protection) to anyone who enters the Weasley house. When you’re invited into Arthur Weasley’s home, you’re family.
Oh, Hans. I adored him from the moment he met Liesel at the car and welcomed her into his home as his foster daughter. He plays the opposite to his loud, abrasive wife; Hans is quiet and gentle. He helps pull Liesel out of her shell by teaching her to read, and he gives her a sense of security in the absence of her mother. Despite rising tensions in Nazi Germany, Hans also sticks to his sense of morality and treats Jewish neighbors with dignity and kindness.
4. Daniel LeBlanc (All the Light We Cannot See)
Daniel is a single father raising a blind daughter, but he doesn’t let life’s setbacks sour his disposition. He carves perfect replicas of the city for Marie-Laure to memorize and teach her to navigate on her own. He pinches pennies earned at his museum job to buy her Braille editions of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. He ensures his daughter is protected and self-sufficient. When his life is endangered in an effort to protect a priceless French museum display from Nazis, he leaves Marie-Laure with her great uncle in another city and another city carved in miniature for her to find her way around.
Matthew is more of a father figure than a father. Although he wanted a boy to come help on his farm, he warmed up to Anne’s endless chatter on their ride home. He is the reason Anne was able to stay at Green Gables, convincing his sister to allow her to remain. Despite his shy and reserved nature, he takes joy in spoiling Anne and playing a paternal role to the orphaned girl.
6. Honorable mention: Etienne LeBlanc (All the Light We Cannot See)
Technically he is Marie-Laure’s uncle, but he stands in as a father figure for her during her father’s absence. Etienne captured my heart during the scene when he lets his imagination run free with Marie-Laure and they spend time together reading and playing. Etienne is a recluse who fears leaving the house, but his love for Marie-Laure trumps his fear when she fails to return home one day.