Some characters from books leave lasting impressions, while others don’t. In the same vein, some characters have deep impacts while others don’t. Here is a list of 14 unforgettable fathers from the world of literature who have left lasting impressions and had deep impacts on readers.

Atticus Finch – To Kill a Mockingbird

14 unforgettable fathers from the world of literature - Atticus Finch – To Kill a Mockingbird
14 unforgettable fathers from the world of literature – Atticus Finch – To Kill a Mockingbird

Harper Lee’s legal thriller is a classic for several reasons – but not the least of them is the father and mentor figure of Atticus. Atticus is wise, loving, disciplining and brave. Not only is he the most morally upright person but is also kind and wonderful at heart. The way he balances his wit with his empathy is truly affable, and he stands out as a model father.

Misako’s father – Some Prefer Nettles

In Japanese novelist Junichiro Tanizaki’s wonderful novel about the unravelling of a marriage, there is conflict not just between the husband and wife but also between the old and new. Misako’s father represents the old order and condemns his daughter and son-in-law for choosing the new way of life, which he thinks has killed their marriage.

Eugene Achike – The Purple Hibiscus

Like Humbert, Ngozi’s abusive, violent and authoritarian father in The Purple Hibiscus is an example of what fathers should not be. Eugene, through an inferiority complex, becomes a Christian and almost a Puritan. When his children don’t conform to the exact ideas of religion, he abuses them physically and emotionally. His end is what makes him memorable.

Aureliano Buendia – One Hundred Years of Solitude

In Marquez’s iconic novel, there are several fathers. But the most memorable one is Colonel Buendia, who fathers seventeen children during his wars. He barely keeps in touch with all of them but has a unique impact on each one’s life. Through the course of this story, that much comes to light.

Mr Bennet – Pride and Prejudice

14 unforgettable fathers from the world of literature - Mr Bennet – Pride and Prejudice
14 unforgettable fathers from the world of literature – Mr Bennet – Pride and Prejudice

Elizabeth and her sisters’ father in Austen’s famous Romance novel is a mix of cynicism and humour. His friendly banter with his wife, protectiveness for the girls and wonderful generosity make him endearing. However, he is also withdrawn and tends to look at life generally, thereby lacking financial and other foresight. But he is still lovable.

Baba – The Kite Runner

In Hosseini’s brilliantly moving Afghani novel, Baba is the centrepiece of Amir’s life. He has truth, integrity, wisdom and in general, all characteristics required to be the perfect mentor. However, through the course of the novel, certain things come to light which hamper his perfect image in the readers’ heads. Regardless, he is a truly memorable father.

Russel Green – Two by Two

In Nicholas Sparks’ tragic story, a single father attempts to raise his daughter. As much as the book is about the relationship between a father and daughter, it is also an intimate exploration of what it means to be a father. By using a father as a central protagonist rather than a side character, Sparks really brings the father to life amidst the pages of his book.

Shiva – The Secret of the Nagas

This mythological fiction follows the journey of Shiva from being a barbarian in the Himalayas to becoming the saviour of the world. And an important part of this journey is his journey as a father to Ganesha and Kartikeya. At first, he finds it hard to accept the Naga Ganesha but eventually proves to be a great father to both his children.

Arthur Weasley – Harry Potter

Arthur Weasley – Harry Potter
14 unforgettable fathers from the world of literature – Arthur Weasley – Harry Potter

Harry Potter would be absolutely incomplete without the wonderful Weasley family, which is a foil for the uncaring and harsh Dursleys. Arthur Weasley has a comical edge to his character, with his obsession with Muggles and whimsy nature, but he is a gem of a person. He is kind, loving, caring, welcoming and always looking out for his kids, including Harry.

Mr Gatz – The Great Gatsby

We only encounter Gatsby’s father in Fitzgerald’s iconic American novel after the death of Gatsby. However, he is memorable on account of the things he unravels about Gatsby. Mr Gatz is crucial to understanding why Gatsby is the way he is and why he acts the way he does. His conversations with Nick Carraway, the narrator, are also iconic.

Willy Loman – The Death of a Salesman

In Miller’s Pulitzer winning play, Loman as the protagonist is a failure on all parts. He fails as a father too, because he neither disciplines his children nor takes responsibility for his actions. Thereby he doesn’t set a good precedent for them, as successful fathers do.

Drona – The Roll of Dice

In Anand Neelkanthan’s retelling of the Mahabharata from the perspective of the losers, i.e. the Kauravas, Drona occupies centre stage as the father of Ashwatthama. Ashwatthama is shown to be an erudite but immoral man, and Drona, the righteous one, is always in pursuit of protecting his child. All of Drona’s actions revolve around bettering his child’s life.

Humbert Humbert – Lolita

14 unforgettable fathers from the world of literature - Humbert Humbert – Lolita
14 unforgettable fathers from the world of literature – Humbert Humbert – Lolita

Nabokov’s iconic paedophilic character Humbert is memorable for entirely the wrong reasons – he is the perfect example of what a father shouldn’t be. First of all, he marries a woman because he lusts after her daughter. This means that he becomes a father because of his lust for his step-daughter which is absolutely disgusting.

Mo – Inkheart

In this middle-grade fantasy, Mo is the perfect father who loves his daughter and introduces her to the world of books. He is an ideal father because he teaches his daughter the power of imagination and creativity.

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