Our Favorite Literary Fathers

In celebration of Father’s Day, we’re remembering favorite father characters from beloved books.

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Arthur Weasley from the Harry Potter series
“Arthur Weasley is the beloved patriarch of the Weasley family, a role model to his children and a father figure to their friend, Harry. He is a sincere, curious, brave, loyal, hardworking, fair and fun Dad. And a pure-blood wizard, which is pretty badass.”


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Atticus Finch from To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
“I like Atticus Finch, but maybe not for the reasons most people like him. Sure, he’s morally upstanding, a good example, etc. etc. But what I really like about Atticus is how he told his kids what was what, and then let them make their own decisions and mistakes. That’s the way I was raised.”


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Adam from East of Eden by John Steinbeck
“Families are complicated and Dads can play their part in that. Adam’s final gift of forgiveness to his remaining son is the ultimate display of fatherly love, however imperfect. Timshel!


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Daddy from Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale by Mo Willems
“He’s just a hero in this book! It’s an ordinary trip to the laundromat until beloved Knuffle Bunny goes missing and Daddy has to find him and save the day. It’s something that could actually happen in real life.”


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Matthew from Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
“I lost my dad in my teens, so I’m a sucker for stories where men step up to fill that role for someone who’s lost theirs. I love watching the relationship between Matthew and Anne unfold and when he buys her the dress with the puffed sleeves? Forget about it. So many tears.”


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Henry Chinaski from Ham on Rye by Charles Bukowski
“Henry Chinaski is an abusive milkman and a terrible representation of a father. Perfect for Father’s Day (for some people).


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Father from Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl (collected in Clean House & Other Plays)
“This is based on the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. Eurydice dies and Orpheus travels to the Underworld to rescue her. Hades makes a deal with him that he’s allowed to take her out of the Underworld, but cannot look back at her until they’re out. Spoiler alert: Orpheus looks back and Eurydice dies again.

But in this version by Sarah Ruhl, when Eurydice dies and goes to the Underworld, she meets her dead father there and he reteaches her all the things she’s forgotten in death, like language and who he is. Then she has to make a decision when Orpheus arrives: leave with him, or stay with her father. Her father is also torn; he wants her to stay, but he also wants her to have her life. It’s an interesting dynamic that’s set up between the three of them.”


6 thoughts on “Our Favorite Literary Fathers

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