Happy Father's Day! While we take a break from toasting our own dads, we thought we'd make a list of our favorite fictional fathers. Without further ado, here are Grammarly's top five literary dads!
The Man, The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Cormac McCarthy's The Road
isn't exactly a fun book to read. But there's no denying that the protagonist, known only as "the man" is one of the most heroic dads in literature. Journeying through a post-apocalyptic wasteland, he has one mission: protect the boy. Though we never know his name or even the nature of the event that cast them into the nightmarish struggle for survival, the story still manages to be a heart-wrenching testament to the love between a father and son.
Arthur Weasley, the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling
is seen by his peers (and, to a certain extent, his children) as something of a buffoon. He's a bit bumbling and embarrassingly enthusiastic about his interests. But he's also a kind, good-hearted man who loves his wife and children more than anything. It doesn't hurt that he's also quietly been a key member of the fight against Voldemort.
Matthew Cuthbert, Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
Sweet, shy Matthew Cuthbert
may not have been Anne's biological father, but he was a dad to the red-headed orphan. His tough-as-nails sister, Marilla, forbids Matthew to "put his oar in" when it comes to raising Anne, yet it is the old bachelor who shows Anne the first true kindness she has ever known. When Matthew decides that Anne should have a pretty dress like the other girls in their town, he bravely faces his fears to buy the fabric and commission it himself. Okay, maybe it's not exactly storming the Bastille, but it proves that Matthew would do anything for his adopted daughter.
Mr. Bennet, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Fathers don't have to be perfect. Mr. Bennet is a flawed character and a controversial figure
. The poor choice of his youth to marry a pretty, frivolous woman whom he has grown to resent colors his interaction with everyone, especially his five daughters. He seems equally bewildered and annoyed by the sheer amount of estrogen and petticoats in his house, but his special bond with like-minded heroine Lizzie redeems him. It's hard not to cheer when he refuses to let Mrs. Bennet force Lizzie to marry the odious Mr. Collins!
Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
No list of fictional fathers would be complete without Atticus Finch. The moral, kind and brave father of Scout, he defends his family and his community from those who would harm it. Whether it's taking out a rabid dog or fighting for justice, he's one of the most admirable men in literature. In fact, he inspired the real-life Alabama Law Foundation to create the Atticus Finch Society
, praising him as "the epitome of the type of professional and person that lawyers strive to be."
What can we learn from this list? That regardless of whether they're single fathers, adoptive parents or raising children with a partner, the qualities we value most in our dads are bravery, kindness and goodness. Here's to you, dads!
Did we leave someone off this list? Share your favorite literary dads in the comments!