The Best and Worst Fathers in Literature



hello hello welcome back to supposedly fun I am Greg and I'm a day late because I want to do a video about the best and worst fathers in literature and Father's Day was yesterday so I fail at life I'm sorry but I am here and I'm gonna do it you may remember back in May I did the best and worst mothers in literature so it's only fair that the dads get their turn so let's do this let's dive right in starting with the best eye this one is gonna come as absolutely no surprise to anybody because you cannot talk about the best fathers in literature without talking about patta cos Finch from tequila Mockingbird this is a no brainer he is patient he's understanding he's kind but he never stops challenging his kids to be better whether that involves helping people who otherwise can't afford it treating people with respect or just looking beyond the surface to try to truly understand another human being best of all he leads by example not only does this make him a great father it also makes him a great role model for the entire town where they live so absolutely Atticus Finch next let's talk about Bob Cratchit from A Christmas Carol so okay so Cratchit and his family are a somewhat cartoonish representation of all that's good and pure in the world but admit it you would love to live in a family this wholesome wouldn't you next let's talk about Hans Hubermann from The Book Thief now he may not be Liesel's biological father but Hans is quiet gentle nature and his insistence on education makes him more than worthy of a spot on this list he is also moral he's willing to stand up for what's right and he is very protective of his young charge even as he wants her to stand up for herself enough time when it's very difficult to do so now I have not read Victor Hugo's book late miserab which means it should be op the off-limits for this list because I'm trying to only include things that I've read however I have seen the musical many many many many many many many times and I've seen several different film adaptations so I feel like I'm I'm justified in putting Jean Valjean on this list now Jean Valjean is not a perfect man but he spends his whole life trying to do better and he is fiercely protective of Cosette who is not his biological daughter but he takes in and raises as his and while initially that translates to him being wildly overprotective of Cosette over time he manages to save the life of the man she loves and gives them his blessing in the end he's a great father you can't deny that now let's talk about some people who are in a kind of limbo limbo they're not really good but they're not really bad some of these are gonna surprise you because I looked online to make sure I wasn't missing anybody and some of these figures appear on best of lists but I disagree first let's talk about mr. Bennett from Pride and Prejudice now unlike Atticus Finch mr. Bennett it can be ultimately indulgent and remote mostly remote he adores his eldest daughters Elizabeth and Jane but he is basically checked out of the lives of his youngest and flavius daughters basically he's good with a witty retort but that's a that's about it that's all you're gonna get from him he does stand up for his daughters when it matters to them because he wants them to be happy but I don't think you can call him the best when he is so firmly checked out of their lives and if you disagree leave me a comment down below next is another one that I think a lot of people are gonna disagree about and it comes from the Harry Potter series it's Arthur Weasley now unlike Atticus Finch Arthur Weasley does not lead by example and I think that's one of the reasons that you can't really call him one of the best fathers not not only does he not lead by example but his bad habits like enchanting muggle artifacts which is illegal even though that's literally his job to prevent that his bad habits actively encourage bad behavior in his children which leaves Molly Weasley who was one of my best mothers in literature to pick up more than her fair share of the slack when it comes to raising their kids to be productive members of society now yes he is supportive he's loyal he's brave he takes Harry in as one of his own so there are a lot of things that make Arthur Reiser Weasley a great father but I just think he leaves way too much of the actual raising to Molly and I really don't like the way he encourages out some of the more negative behaviors of his children and guess what for the next one we're going back to the Harry Potter series because we got to talk about Sirius Black now Sirius is devoted to his godson Harry when they meet again in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban but there's no denying that he's something of a bad influence as well kind of like Arthur is but serious is reckless he's temperamental if he likes you he'll be loyal to you to the end you just better hope he likes you because if he doesn't like you it's gonna be a problematic fraught relationship and again if you disagree with me about these leave me a comment down below now let's get into the worst and just like Atticus Finch seemed obvious for the best fathers I don't think anyone is going to be surprised that we have to talk about Humbert Humbert from Lolita in the worst fathers I mean it should be obvious why if not Humbert Humbert marries a woman to get closer to Lolita who is wildly underage so he becomes her stepfather but he's really just trying to get with her it's all very Woody Allen it's all very gross it's a great book but there's no denying he is absolutely one of the worst fathers ever in literature and then there's King Lear from Shakespeare's play King Lear to be fair Lear spends two shakespeare's entire plate learning the folly of his ways but there is no denying that having his daughters compete to show their love in order to earn an inheritance from him was an excessively vain plan that was probably destined to bring about his own ruin and then we go back to Matilda which should be a familiar book from the video about mothers now we got to talk about mr. wormwood now like his wife mr. wormwood is inattentive on his best day and cruel on his worst day Matilda deserved so much better than thankfully by the end of the book she finds so much better so there you go and then finally among the worst fathers in literature I don't think we can ignore Jack Torrance from the shining and kind of like Humbert Humbert it probably should be obvious why he's on this list if it's not obvious Jack Torrance is an alcoholic depressive before he and his family arrive at the Overlook Hotel where they will be caretakers for the winter but as they settle in in the Overlook Hotel and some kind of mysterious shenanigans to start happening Jack Torrance ultimately tries to kill his family with a croquet mallet yes in the book it is a croquet mallet in the movie it has changed to an axe but point stands awful father now really quickly I'm going to include some dishonorable mentions because I have not read anything by pat conroy so I can't really include him but it sounds like from his books there are a bunch of examples that could be the worst fathers at the 1i I'm gonna mention right now and single out to you is the Great Santini who is a strict military man who refuses to accept his sensitive son and also I've seen a lot online about the father in the book bastard out of Carolina he is supposed to be absolutely horrible and from the descriptions I saw he is horrible but I haven't read the book so I can't include it on the list so that's what I have if you have any best/worst or limbo fathers that you would like to include leave them in a comment below and we could talk about it somebody rightly pointed out a really good one from the last video that pointed out that I didn't include Lily Potter and gosh darn it I forgot James Potter in this one again so I just corrected that in real time James Potter let's conclude him in the best he literally died for his son but anyway if you have other suggestions leave them down below and I would love to hear what you think thank you for taking the time to watch this video I will be back again until then happy reading everybody

8 thoughts on “The Best and Worst Fathers in Literature

  1. Humbert Humbert being one of the worst fathers ever in literature? Absolutely. I love this video.

  2. When you first said Arthur Weasley as a ‘meh’ father I was like 😱
    But as you explained, I kind of agree. He definitely leaned into the ‘Fun Dad’ role while leaving Molly to be the disciplinarian ‘Mean Mom’. I still like him as a character, and I think that he loves his family fiercely, but he’s not exactly parental in the way he interacts with his kids.

    Also, totally agree about Mr. Bennet. How anyone could have him on a ‘Best Fathers’ list is beyond me. He shuts himself in his library so he doesn’t have to deal with his family. He lets his soldier-crazy 15 year old daughter go off with a regiment of soldiers so he doesn’t have to deal with her whining about it. He also isn’t a good partner to Mrs. Bennet. I get that she’s A LOT, but he treats her with a level of contempt that is remarked upon by their daughters on more than one occasion.

  3. As soon as I saw the title of the video I was like "Jean Valjean better be on this list!" 😂 What I thinks especially moving about his fatherhood in the book is how much he viscerally despises Marius, a fop who's 'stealing' the one person who's become Valjean's whole life and helped him find redemption, but he chooses Cosette's happiness anyway (at great personal risk).
    A recent one from a BookTube darling: Helios from Madeline Miller's Circe. I know he's a mythological figure, but he takes all the awards for abusive fathers in that book!

  4. one of the worst i've read recently was the dad in One of the Boys
    loved the dad (tho complex) in manhattan beach
    fun vid

  5. One of the worst fathers in literature I've read this year , is in A Ladder to the Sky.
    Best? The Daddy in the Dublin triology by Roddy Doyle. The Snapper, The Commitments and The Van.
    Worst ? The step father in You Will Be Safe Here by Damian Barr
    Worst again .. a father who doesn't reveal himself in The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins.

  6. Great list! Mr. Bennet is very kind but he's also very selfish, he just wants to be left alone with his books. The worst father I have come across is the father in Gabriel Tallent's My Absolute Darling. Worst EVER! 😱

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