Today in the United Kingdom, Sunday 18th June, is fathers day. In my opinion, having strong parental figures in your life is really important (I do believe, both motherly and fatherly roles can be filled by one parent, or even someone who cares dearly). I came up with the idea of writing a blog post based around fathers day, in particular, the best literary father figure. Largely out of interest, and to generate a small discussion.
When I first thought about writing this blog post, I imagined all of the strong parental figures in literature, good and bad. My list of poor figures included Harry Wormwood (Matilda, Roald Dahl), Count Olaf (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Lemony Snicket) and Humbert Humbert (Lolita, Vladmir Nabokov). While the parental figures that ended up in my positive list included Jean Val Jean (Les Miserables, Victor Hugo), Bob Cratchit (A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens) and even Severus Snape (Harry Potter, J. K. Rowling).
But overall, without a doubt, I couldn’t find a father figure to beat Atticus Finch (To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee). Specifically in To Kill A Mockingbird.
Now, to begin, I will put a disclaimer out there that To Kill A Mockingbird is one of my favourite books, therefore, I may be slightly bias. But Atticus Finch wins my award for worlds greatest literary dad and frankly – he would be a fantastic dad in real life and the world needs more of people like him. In the novel Atticus teaches his children the importance of respecting an individual – regardless of their status or skin colour. He teaches both Scout and Jem acceptance, open-mindedness and the importance of standing up for those who need it, regardless of the consequences. Frankly, these are all characteristics that I regard highly which probably enhances my positivity towards the character.
Who’s your favourite literary parental figure and why? What do you think of Atticus?
“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.”
Happy fathers day to all the dads out there!