Happy Father’s Day, everyone! I hope everyone is able to spend some quality time with their family and appreciate the dads and men in their life. I did my best to spoil my hubby, who is truly the greatest father to our son that I could ask for. He’s amazing.
Since it’s a holiday, I thought it’d be the perfect day for a fun post! Originally, I was going to list some of the best dads in the literary world. It was a pretty easy list to come up with. Atticus Finch, Mr. Bennet, and Arthur Weasley are only a few of the names that come to mind.
But, then I thought that’s boring. So I’m going a different route. In order to gain some larger picture perspective on our dads, I decided to list what I would consider some of the worst fathers in literature. If you didn’t appreciate the dad in your life before, hopefully you do now!
From worse to worst, here are my choices:
5. Lear from King Lear by Shakespeare
Lear, bless his heart, is just a foolish, vain old man. What kind of father challenges their kids to prove who loves them the most? And banishes the most honest and kindest of all his daughters. Granted, no father wants to think their children are scheming to overthrow them. Nevertheless, instead of being honest or selfless, Lear’s vanity and poor choices end in tragedy and death for pretty much everyone. I wouldn’t exactly call that successful parenting.
4. Geppetto from The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi
I already expressed my disdain for the Disney version of Geppetto here in no uncertain terms. The original version is hardly any better and lies through is teeth constantly (wonder where Pinocchio got that from). It’s not that Gepetto is bad, but is overall truly incompetent.
3. Lucius Malfoy from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
What a wickedly delightful person! I know I’m Team Slytherin and all, but while I love the Malfoys, I’m under no illusions that they are a happy, healthy, functioning family. Lucius Malfoy is a pureblood prick, who instills snobbery and entitlement into his son. His poor choice of friends also forces Draco into becoming a Deatheater. He bullies Draco mercilessly, who in turn becomes a bully. I can’t help but wonder if this is a familial pattern. Lucius’s father probably treated him the same way.
2. Mr. Wormwood from Matilda by Ronald Dahl
Mr. Wormwood has absolutely no excuse for his poor behavior. He’s just awful! Not only does he constantly belittle Matilda, but his greatest crime?! Sabotaging her library books! Unforgivable!
1. Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
And finally, there’s Heathcliff. Out of all the characters here, he’s the one I would least want to be my dad. I love Wuthering Heights just a much as the next literature nerd (it’s one of my favorite books), but Heathcliff isn’t someone I romanticize at all. Wuthering Heights is usually thought of as a tragic and sad love story. It could just as easily be a story about an extremely abusive, sociopathic man. Even Emily Bronte herself said that Heathcliff is “unredeemed.” His mistreatment of his son and wife are horrific. I mean, after all he did only marry Isabella to get back at Catherine and then force his son Linton to marry Catherine’s daughter out of spite. His methods are unorthodox to say the least.
Mr. Darling from Peter Pan
The King from Disney’s Frozen
Frollo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame
I hope you all had as much fun reading this as I did writing it. Who are the best and worst literary father figures in your opinion?
Once again, have a happy father’s day!
Tootle loo, darlings!