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Iconic Fathers in Literature

Posted by Leah Ratcliffe

Happy Father's Day! In the spirit of honouring fatherhood we’re taking a look at the most iconic fathers in literature. Some are model fathers, some are loving parental figures and some are just doing their best at newfound fatherhood. Whatever it is, these fathers excel in one thing: fatherhood. Here’s some of the top fathers in literature:


The Dad (unnamed) - The Road by Cormac McCarthyfilm_road

Even though we never learn his name, the dad from The Road is what we all hope our fathers would be like if the apocalypse ever hit. This whole novel is carried by the father, travelling through wasteland America, making unimaginable sacrifices to keep his son alive. But it's more than just an apocalyptic survival story. The father, anticipating his own death, tries to ignite the fire of hope and survival in his son.  He shows his son how to carry the fire, first with his help, and then, later, without him. A truly inspirational father and holds a well deserved spot on this list.




Bob Cratchit - A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Bob Cratchit is one of the most honorable fathers in literature, ever. The man puts up with Scrooge’s bad attitude and downright mean antics just so he can provide for his family that he loves ever so dearly. Some may see him as weak but he is the epitome of a good hearted, hard working father, doing his absolute best for his family. His bond with his children, especially Tiny Tim, melts our hearts even more. There’s nothing you can’t love about Bob, he’s an all round wonderful person and top class father. 



Arthur Weasley - Harry Potter by J.K Rowling

Arthur Weasley might come across as a ditsy father, there’s no doubt he is really. But his adoration toward his family is admirable. The Weasleys are known by everybody for being a tight-knit family and with Arthur looking out for all of his kids, they’re a family you want to be part of. Not only does he show unconditional love for his own kids but he extends that love to Harry as well. With no parents or anybody looking out for him, Arthur is one of the first figures in Harry Potter to reach out to Harry and make him feel safe. Not only that, his zest for life and jokey demeanour add to his overall loving persona.


tkam-main1Atticus Finch - To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Even though we're forced to read To Kill a Mockingbird in school, it’s one of the few books that we continue to love. That's in large part thanks to one of America's most noble fictional dads, Atticus Finch. He is gentle, patient and always has some wise advice to give you. He teaches us and everyone around him lessons about morality, courage and standing up for what you believe in. After reading the book it’s not uncommon for some parents to sit back and wonder ‘what would Atticus do?’. He treats his children and everybody around him with respect and understanding. Fully deserving a place on this list.


Mr-Bennet-2Mr Bennett - Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

When thinking about iconic fathers in classic literature, Mr Bennett is a good place to start. Father of five girls and husband to a high strung wife, Bennett finds comfort and solace in his close relationship with the novel's heroine and his second daughter, Lizzy. Throughout the novel he urges Lizzy to follow her heart despite societal pressures to marry for wealth and status. While not all of his daughters have the self-awareness to make good decisions, it is clear Mr. Bennet affords Lizzy the agency to author her own life. A true icon throughout the ages.


Who's the most inconic father in literature in your eyes? I know who mine is.

Image credits (in order):

©The Crate and Apple
© slantmagazine
© harrypotter.com
© Bamfstyle.com

Topics: blogging, fiction

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