Top 5 Fictional Fathers in Literature

19 Jun

Happy Fathers’ Day! To mark the occasion, I have compiled a list of five of the greatest fathers in literature. Here they are, in no particular order. [May contain spoilers]

1.Myron Krupnik – Anastasia Krupnik series, Lois Lowry

Myron is a bearded poet and professor who likes nothing better than a New York Times crossword or conducting classical music in his living room with his eyes closed. He keeps his manuscripts in the fridge (so they won’t burn down if the house does), and if that’s not bad-ass then I don’t know what is. He is an excellent father to his children Anastasia and Sam, and a loving husband to artist Katherine.

2.Atticus Finch – To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

Atticus is incapable of acting against his convictions, and conducts himself with a quiet dignity while imparting important moral lessons to his children Jem and Scout. When his sister wants to fashion tomboy Scout into a ‘proper young woman,’ Atticus reassures her that “he didn’t mind [her] much the way [she] was” and proceeds to buy her an air rifle for Christmas. What a dude.

3.Saetan SaDiablo – Black Jewels Trilogy, Anne Bishop

For a father, Saetan SaDiablo is one sexy mutha. In Bishop’s Black Jewels Trilogy, which many of you may be unfamiliar with but which I cannot recommend enough, he is the High Lord of Hell, High Priest of the Hourglass, and Warlord Prince of Dhemlan. One hell of a CV, amirite? Saeten is Jaenelle’s spiritual and adoptive father, teaching her in earnest, and is also Daemon and Lucivar’s dad. Though he is one of the most powerful men in the novels, Saetan is happy to serve in his daughter’s court.

4.Calvin’s dad – Calvin & Hobbes, Bill Watterson

Initially criticised for being too sarcastic, Calvin’s father evolved to become somewhat more demonstrative of his love for his son as the strip progressed over the years. Because after all, in his own words, “Being a parent means wanting to hug and strangle your kid at the same time.”

I love Calvin’s dad for his ability to explain away every harrowing experience as ‘character building,’ and for his outlandish answers to his son’s simple questions — like why babies come from (Sears, obviously), or where the sun goes when it sets.

5.Lestat de Lioncourt and Louis de Pointe du Lac – The Vampire Chronicles, Anne Rice

Like many couples who find themselves in a failing relationship, vampires Lestat and Louis decide to have a child to stay together. Lestat ‘fathers’ young Claudia, which in Anne Rice world means ‘biting her neck til she dead.’ They play happy families for about 60 years, which isn’t really bad at all… but then little Claudia tries to kill him, which is kind of an ungrateful trade considering he bestowed her with eternal life and all.

Perhaps these two are not as moral and upstanding as the rest of this list, but they are Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise so who really cares?

And here are some dads that didn’t quite make the cut:

  • The Comedian, Watchmen. ‘Cause Laurie’s father’s a dick.
  • King Hamlet, Hamlet. Don’t tell your son to avenge your death, that boy has no clue what he’s doing and he’s going to go to the Elephant Graveyard anyway beside.
  • Lucius Malfoy, Harry Potter series. Give the elf a fuggin sock already.
  • James Piper, Fall on Your Knees. Not cool to father your own granddaughter, James. Noooot coool.
  • Nathan Price, The Poisonwood Bible. “oh hai let’s all move to the Belgian Congo and be missionaries lol”

Have I missed anyone? Let me know in the comments section!

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15 Responses to “Top 5 Fictional Fathers in Literature”

  1. Jimmy June 21, 2011 at 2:08 AM #

    Love that Calvin’s dad was juxtaposed with Atticus Finch. Both were wise, both were lawyers, and both put up with engaging yet exasperating children.

    • Stephanie D June 28, 2011 at 11:43 AM #

      I think Calvin’s dad could *very loosely* be interpreted as a more contemporary version of Atticus. Shame he wasn’t blessed with such a cool name though.

  2. heykerryann June 28, 2011 at 2:14 AM #

    Myron Krupnik is one of my fave fictional fathers, too. I forgot about him putting his manuscripts in the fridge! I’m glad to see someone else remembers the Anastasia series!

    • Stephanie D June 28, 2011 at 11:42 AM #

      They were pretty fantastic, I think I appreciate them more the older I get! They should really make a film adaptation of one of the books, it would be better than most of the stuff available to kids at the moment :]

  3. marysuefixer July 9, 2011 at 9:05 PM #

    I’m XDing all over the place right now about “give the elf a fuggin sock”. It’s also built on LOLing earlier over the idea of Jesus being the ultimate Maary-Sue… please don’t even ask how it came to that. All I can say is I was talking about the Black Jewels trilogy, and it ended with above conclusion.

    Don’t you just wish Atticus could be your daddy sometimes? I like my dad more, but if I didn’t I’d have a toss up between Bryan (one of my original characters) and Atticus Finch!

    I wanted to comment on Saetan, but you distract me with so much stuff! He’s a great dad, except everything bad that happens in the book (all the slavery, the rise to power of Heketah and Dorothea, what happens to Daemon and Lucivar) happens because Saetan didn’t get his ass up and do something instead of being afraid of his power (yes I said it) and hanging back; afraid of ‘over stepping’ boundaries. In the end Jaenelle had to do it for him… nice job dad, making your daughter kill the people you couldn’t… and more because if you’d done it sooner a lot less people would have suffered and died for it.

    That said… I LOVE SAETAN! :heart: *gushes all over the place*.

    • Stephanie D July 10, 2011 at 5:10 PM #

      I was actually going to include God as a fictional father but thought that might ruffle too many feathers… haha.

      I’m so glad someone else has read the Black Jewels Trilogy! Saetan might be a bit afraid of his own power but I think he ultimately does the right thing… he may not always be the best father to Daemon and Lucivar but I think he is a touching father/teacher to Jaenelle, especially in the first book.

      • marysuefixer July 10, 2011 at 5:24 PM #

        I feel like it should offend me (being happily methodist with preacher parents), but really I’d just shake my head and laugh.

        I think Saetan tries so hard to do the right thing, but he’s so hesitant that he ends up basically screwing up his children. Honestly, if he’s executed Heketah when the time called for it originally then Dorothea would have never taken power, his sons would never have been hurt (actually he might not have had Daemon and Lucivar; but let’s imagine he did anyway), Jaenelle probably wouldn’t have been needed, and she definately wouldn’t have had to commit genocide. Saetan wants to avoid putting scars on her soul; but it’s because of his inaction that she has to do the purge in the first place.

        I think Saetan is Anne Bishop’s feat of engineering. I think most reader subconsciously know how much problem Saetan’s inaction has caused… but they love him anyway. I consciously know all the problem’s that came from his inaction, and I’d agree that he’s one of the best fictional father’s ever. I truly love him.

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Who Is Your Literary “Father Figure?” | Grammarly Blog - July 22, 2015

    […] Calvin, his dad proves time and time again that patience is a virtue. Throughout many story lines, Calvin’s dad answers his son’s often-obnoxious questions and deals with his many well-intentioned mishaps. […]

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