Fictional Fathers

In the US, the third Sunday of June is set aside to honor fathers. That was yesterday.

I’m lucky in that, for the most part, I’ve only ever had strong male influences in my life. My father is an amazing man (my aunt and grandmother—on my mother’s side—call him Saint Bob). My father-in-law is equally impressive (family members have been known to call him Deacon Ed). My grandfather, my husband’s grandfathers, my uncles… all incredible people. And I would never and could never ask for a better father for my children than my husband.

So, in honor of Father’s Day, I thought we should talk about fictional fathers. (I mean, I could keep bragging about the men in my family, but I doubt you’d want to hear that.)

Here’s a list of five fictional fathers who made a lasting impression on me, good or bad:

    1. Vito Corelone, The Godfather
      Say what you want about the mafia, you won’t find a more family-oriented man than Don Corelone. This is a guy who believed family was the pinnacle of manhood.

      Do you spend time with your family? Good. Because a man that doesn’t spend time with his family can never be a real man.

      He wanted more for his children than himself, and he provided them with anything they could possibly have wanted. (How he provided for them is another story, and I don’t really want to debate the merits of his choices here.) For better or worse, he was a true family man.

    2. Arthur Weasley, the Harry Potter series
      Arthur Weasley had a whole passel of kids in The Burrow, his quirky and quaint house in Ottery St. Catchpole. If not for magic, I don’t think it would be standing. But it wasn’t the material possessions he provided his family that made him such a noteworthy father; it was the love. Hand-me-down robes and second-hand books might be embarrassing for a fleeting moment, but the love he showed for his kids—and even for Harry, a non-relative who he unofficially adopted as his own—more than made up for the shortage of money. That love transcends the test of time.

      “Harry, some within the Ministry would strongly discourage me from divulging what I’m about to reveal to you.
      But I think that you need to know the facts.
      You are in danger.
      Grave danger.”

      That he would risk his job—his family’s security—for the safety of another shows what kind of moral fiber he really had.

    3. Bob Cratchit, A Christmas Carol
      Thinking about Bob lifting Tiny Tim onto his shoulder and carrying him around town always brings tears to my eyes. The poor man knows his son has so little time left, yet he makes every day seem like an adventure and a promise for more.

      “Mr. Scrooge!” said Bob; “I’ll give you Mr. Scrooge, the Founder of the Feast!”

      “The Founder of the Feast indeed!” cried Mrs Cratchit, reddening. “I wish I had him here. I’d give him a piece of my mind to feast upon, and I hope he’d have a good appetite for it.”

      “My dear,” said Bob, “the children. Christmas Day.” . . .

      “I’ll drink his health for your sake and the Day’s,” said Mrs. Cratchit, “not for his.”

      He endures a dreadful working environment just to give his family the most meager existence, and despite their frustration with the situation, he is the personification of only happiness and love.

    4. Pa Ingalls, Little House on the Prarie series
      Okay, this one isn’t exactly fictional. But it is literary. Charles Phillip Ingalls didn’t have it easy. The poor man had to get his family to the frontier, build them a house, and then make a living for them. He farms, he hunts, and he still plays the fiddle for his little ones. Then he has to pick up and move again! At one point, he even needed to go back east to earn money for the family, living alone and laboring hard just to provide for them.

      Ma sighed gently and said, “A whole year gone, Charles.”

      But Pa answered cheerfully, “What’s a year amount to? We have all the time in the world.”

      He is more than the ultimate provider, he is the consummate optimist, and it was his faith and efforts that helped the family survive.

    5. Alphonse Frankenstein, Frankenstein
      Alphonse Frankenstein is Dr. Victor Frankenstein’s father. He is portrayed as a perfect anthesis to Victor. Where Victor abhorred and feared his “son”, Alphonse loved and indulged his, provided him with wealth, education, and a good name. He is the voice always proclaiming the virtue of family. If only his son had displayed the came compassion, the wrath of the monster may not ever have been released.

      Come, Victor; not brooding thoughts of vengeance against the assassin, but with feelings of peace and gentleness, that will heal, instead of festering, the wounds of our minds. Enter the house of mourning, my friend, but with kindness and affection for those who love you, and not with hatred for your enemies.
      — Your affectionate and afflicted father,

      Alphonse Frankenstein.

      He is clearly distraught over the events taking place, yet he still endeavors to soothe his son’s distress and implores him to find solace in his family rather than seeking revenge. This is a man who put his family above all.

Okay. These are my five. I have to admit, it was hard to choose, so I know there are more examples out there. Why don’t you share a memorable fictional father in the comments below?

And to all the great dads out there, Happy (belated) Father’s Day!

Staci Troilo

 

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26 thoughts on “Fictional Fathers

    • I liked Jack, too. A lot more than his wife. I don’t know if she’s just unsympathetic, or if I don’t like the actress who plays her. Might be a combo of both.

      Thanks for sharing your selection!

      Like

  1. Pingback: Did Someone Say Friday? | From the Pen of Mae Clair

  2. Great choices, Staci, and by some of the commentators as well. I don’t know that I have a fave father, but yes, father figures. The only ones that come to mind off the top of my head (probably because I love the series) are from JD Robb’s In Death series. Mr. Mira is such a sweetheart, and more of a father figure for Eve Dallas than she would ever admit, and Summerset, who was (and still is) a father figure for Roarke.

    And yes, John Winchester and Bobby! And Dean. Absolutely Dean!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great list. Some interesting choices. My list would include Homer Simpson. Say what you will about his abilities as a dad, he has had an infant, an 8 and a 10 year old for 25 years now and he hasn’t gone insane.When it counts, his heart is in the right place.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. A few to add: Dr Carr from What Katy Did What an amazing father and role model; Matthew from Anne of Green Gables an amazing adoptive father and Captain Longstocking from Pippi Longstocking. And now you may ask does she ever read books for adults? Sometimes but not very often, I prefer the world of the small people [grin!]

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post for Father’s day, even if here in Italy it’s celebrated on March the 19th, Saint Joseph.

    I love your choice for Arthur Weasley. I think the Harry Potter series is full of interesting fathers and father figures, good and bad.

    One of my favourite fathers in literature is Mr.Gardiner, Elizabeth Bennet’s uncle in Pride and Prejudice. Beside being a kind and caring father for his own children, is also attentive and generous towards his sister’s daughters and, with his wife, is a guidance for them more than Mr. Bennet himself.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. One of my favorite books, and my very favorite by Ray Bradbury is Something Wicked This Way Comes. Charles Halloway (the father in the story) is a different kind of hero–middle aged town librarian–but his love and devotion to his son shine through the story. He becomes something greater than he ever thought he could be.

    The other character who immediately comes to mind is from television, not literature, but he was so awesome I have to mention him–Ben Cartwright. What a combination of grit, strength, honor and devotion. He had such an amazing relationship with his sons. He gets my #1 vote 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

      • That was an accident. If I told you some of the things my dogs (well, mostly Casey, but both are guilty) have sought out and eaten, you’d feel much better about yourself. You bought him a pumpkin ball and two playmates! You’re a good doggie-dad. (And based on some of your blog comments, I’m comfortable saying you’re a good human-dad, too.) Happy belated Father’s Day to you.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Okay, you know me and my love of MASH. Although we never saw this character, Hawkeye often talked about and looked up to his father. I think that alone said worlds about the man. I remember one episode where Charles said to Hawkeye, “Where I have a father, you have a dad.” That speaks volumes to me.

    Great choices and great post, Staci!

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I’m going to add John Winchester into the mix, father of Sam and Dean from the television show Supernatural. John might not have been father of the year to the boys, but in the end he traded his soul to a demon so his son would live. His decision saved Dean’s life but cost John 100 and something years of torture in hell until the boys were able to free his soul and send him to heaven. That’s a big sacrifice, worthy of a fabulous fictional father.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I knew you and I were going to be the best of friends!

      I was trying to stay away from television and film in my list, but Supernatural is one of my favorite shows EVER. John had flaws, but he did the best he could. And his sacrifice was legendary.

      And if we’re talking father FIGURES, gotta throw Bobby in there.

      Liked by 3 people

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