Saturday, June 17, 2017

Father's Day

For Mother's Day I had recalled three literary mothers who I can think of fondly, or that have qualities I can compare and admire that maybe similar to my own amazing mother. I decided to do the same for Father's Day! While none of these characters are at all like my father as a whole, nor even comparable, they do have little quirks or qualities I appreciate. My father has been an incredible example of a rock of faith filled with grace to me, and I do not deserve it. God knew what he was doing when he gave me such wonderful leaders to show and teach me how to serve Him.

Mr. Bennett from Pride & Predjudice. While I have not (sadly, so sadly) ever been able to make it through a Jane Austen novel, I have watched several versions on television and I always loved Mr. Bennett. While I can't say that he is the best example of a father (in my opinion, he seems often detached from reality, too soft on his daughters, and just not a strong disciplinarian) his quick wit and calm demeanor are perfectly suited to balance out Mrs. Bennett, who is wild and ostentatious in her moods and opinions. Yet there is something about Mr. Bennett that intrigues readers. I can say that my father has always had a similar twinkle in his eye (although he was much more involved in my daily life than Mr. Bennett).When I was young, in the midst of a scolding, he would be quiet and then say just one sentence that would just change the whole tone of the moment, and my outlook on my own errors.

Hans Hubermann from The Book Thief. Though Hans was not Liesel's real father, he was a father to her in many real ways. Their friendship was immediate; he opened his heart to her and she to him. Liesel and Hans found activities they enjoyed together and bonded over the activities and the words they discussed. Both enjoyed learning, but were good listeners. Though Liesel was small and under the Hubermann's care and authority, Hans spoke to her with intelligence, fully believing she was capable of anything. My own father has always been one of the first to tell me I am strong when I feel weak, and brave when I feel afraid, and it was from him that I learned to love gardening and the outdoors.

Pa Ingalls from Little House on the Prairie. During grade school, my mother would read to us these stories as we waited for our car pool to pick us up. Most of my memories now are from the television series, but I remember enough. Pa was always honest, clever, and very hardworking, much like my own father. He was loyal to everyone, whether or not they treated him with kindness in return, and one of the strongest qualities my father possesses is grace and loyalty towards others. I remember thinking Pa was often like my own father, patient with us and always dedicated to his task at hand. He taught us very young that if we wanted something, we could work for it, and not that work was a burden, but a gift. The best example of this was when my parents told me if I wanted horseback riding lessons, I would have to earn it. I don't think they expected that I would actually save all my quarters I earned from chores until I had $100 worth of them.

What about you, what literary father-figures do you enjoy reading about? I would love to hear your thoughts on either heroic or loving father-figures in literature!

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