In honor of the upcoming Father's Day celebration, I started thinking about the Literary Fathers who stuck with me. You know, the ones who backed up their children and who stood out as much as the hero or heroine of the plot. In most stories, fathers don't make that much of a presence, but in a couple of my favorite stories or series, these fathers bring a smile to my face.
1.) A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Sara Crewe's father, Captain Crewe, enjoys his time with his daughter as they travels from India to England to send her to Miss Munchin's Select Seminary. They dance. Sara talks, and Captain Crewe listens. While Sara observes everything around her and sees a story, her father never once raises his voice and tells her to stop daydreaming. He questions her dreams and allows her to explain. Captain Crewe buys Sara the nicer things in life, but this overabundance in material things like clothing does not create a snobby personality in Sara. When all the girls at the school ignore the servant girl, Becky, Sara becomes her friend, even before she lost everything. Captain Crewe taught Sara to dream big, be friends by showing love and kindness to all, and above all else, all women are little princess.
2.) The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
This is one of my favorite literary pieces that I reread every year. I was introduced to this wonderful 1065 page book when I was fifteen years old. Edmund Dantes's father, referred to as Dante's father or the old man, really does not have a huge presence in the book, but the little appearance he makes, made a huge impact on me. In the beginning of the story, Edmund Dantes has returned from a three months voyage on the sea. His father sits in a dark and cold apartment because he pays a debt Edmund owed instead of having heat and wine. The old man sacrifices his own creature comforts for the sake of allowing his son to keep his good name. Even though this may seem odd today, the old man wants the best things for his son. Dante's father loves Edmund and patiently awaits the return of his only son. The old man taught Edmund to sacrifice his own comfort for the needs of others, which Edmund models in the rest of the story.
3.) The Baxter series by Karen Kingsbury
This popular series by Karen Kingsbury featured a father named John Baxter, who stood behind his six children. He spent many years on his knees, pleading for his children's to return to Christ. Even when one of the children run off to Paris and returns pregnant, John Baxter still loves her and the unborn child. Whenever something goes wrong with his children, John Baxter prays before he does anything. As a father, bringing the requests before God about your children can be the strongest ally a father can have. John Baxter shows the love of God and how important his faith is, which led all his children to lean on God and, finally, discover the love of God for themselves.
All of these literary fathers have made an impression on me. I believe that fathers play a huge impact on raising their children. Even though, fathers are hugely overlooked in a majority of fiction, I think fathers should be highlighted more.
Are there any other literary fathers who have impacted you as you read their story, even if it was a tiny moment in major epic piece?