Tag Archives: Atticus FInch

Here’s to Dads…everywhere. Real and fictional

We live in a society that for some reason values LISTS. My Google search this lovely father’s day morning was for the BEST DADS IN LITERARY FICTION. I had upward of 20,000 links I could have clicked on to. I chose a random 1o, and from those I whittled the names down to the dads who showed up on each list. I must admit, I was impressed – but not really surprised.

1. Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockinbird. I’ll admit this even though it’s embarrassing, but I don’t know a great deal about Harper Lee’s background. I don’t know if this fictional father was based on her own, someone she knew, or a total compilation of her imagination of what she wanted in a father, but Atticus Finch, for me, is it. If I could have personally ordered a dad from God, this is the man I would have selected. Calm, patient, kind, smart, fair…the descriptors could go on and on, but the aspect  of Atticus Finch that I took away from the book was his incredible sense of morality and Godliness. He not only believes all men are equal, he lives and breathes it. He walks the walk, talks the talk, and backs up when he says with his every action. This, this, is the man I would have gladly thanked God for daily, if he were my father.

2. Mr. Bennett, Pride and Prejudice. Some people describe him as a sad-sack, a man married to a harpy who disappears from the world to his solitary library whenever the pressures of his wife, daughters, and life in general get too hard for him. Well, maybe that’s true. But it can not be denied Mr. Bennett loves his daughters and simply adores his second girl Lizzy. My favorite line- hands down-he delivers to Lizzy is this, and it shows how much he truly values her not only as a daughter, but as a woman as well: “I can not believe that anyone can deserve you.”  Call him what you will, but the man loves his daughter to no end.

3. Matthew Cuthbert, Anne Of Green Gables. While not exactly, biologically her father, Matthew is the first male during Anne’s formative young life who shows her kindness, acceptance, and ultimately the unconditional love of a “father.” It’s not often you read or hear of a confirmed, lifelong bachelor, set in his ways, who has an orphan thrust upon him and learns how to be a better person for it.  As Anne tells him, they are kindred spirits who found each other among all the people in the world.

After writing this, I realized the men listed above all had daughters. (Atticus had a son as well, but the book is Scout’s.)Maybe the reason why I am not surprised these three are top rated is because I am a daughter as well, and what daughter wouldn’t want a father with all the qualities of character these men possess. To be loved unconditionally; to be valued as a person; to be treated with respect and love in equal parts; to be guided through and into life; and to know there is always, always, someone right there who will protect, love and support you, is tantamount to my thought of the perfect person.

On this day we celebrate our fathers, the men who would be dads, and the special men who are as close to being fathers as can get, take a moment and think about what your dad means or meant to you. What qualities made him the man he is(or was) and for what kind of man do you think he would like to be remembered.

And then…call him, talk to him, give him a physical or spiritual hug. But most of all, acknowledge all he has done for you, simply because you are his little girl.



Filed under Alpha Hero, Author, Characters, Literary characters, Romance Books, Strong Women

Let’s have dinner…Who should we invite?

I saw this question on a blog recently:  what Literary character(s) would you like to have dinner with and why?

This is a great question to actually ask at a dinner party. Responses can be all over the board depending on how well-read your guests are and what age. I can see people in their very early twenties wanting to break bread with Katniss Everdeen or Ron Weasley. My literary tastes are somewhat more dated.

First and foremost, I’d like to sit next to Elizabeth Bennet, because I’d like to ask her to truthfully tell me, once and for all, did she fall in love with Darcy for Darcy, or for Pemberley? I’ve always been a little suspicious she really did love Darcy and that her opinions of him could change so abruptly just because he helped Lydia and the Bennet family. What, exactly, made her see him in such a different light, from the first time they were introduced, Pemberley aside?

I’d like to sit down next to Scarlett O’Hara and smack her in the head. What was she thinking? Here she’s got the original bad boy himself, Rhett Butler, all but drooling after he and she wants nothing to do with him. She pines for Ashley Wilkes, one of the most boring characters ever penned, and doesn’t see the hunkadoodle right in front of her pixie little face. What gives, Scarlett?

Breaking bread with Atticus Finch would be memorable. I’d really like to know how he came to be such a liberal thinker in a surrounding chock full of uber-moralistic and conservative viewpoints on race, color, and gender. I’d like to discuss his upbringing and ask about his parents. Did their opinions and beliefs help form him to be the man he was, or was there some internal moral compass driving him?

Sherlock Holmes is such a fascinating character that there are no fewer than three television shows devoted to him at the present time. In an age where police work was in its infancy, his brain and desire for truth at any cost can be viewed either in a positive light, or as the most simplistic narcissism imaginable. He truly believed he was the smartest man in any room, hands down. Humility didn’t exist in his vocabulary. I would love to discuss his toilet training, to discern where his total control evolved from.

Nancy Drew was the coolest character I ever read when I was 10. I wanted to be beautiful and smart like her, drive a Corvair, and just have everyone love me. She had the neatest dad, the handsomest boyfriend and the most loyal friends – in truth, she had everything I didn’t. I’d like to ask her how it felt to be so perfect. And I’d really like to hear her tell me she was far from it!

Jane Eyre. The original drama queen. Tragedy and misery follows poor, plain Jane everywhere she goes. A lousy childhood morphs into an oppressive adolescence that ends in a pitiable adulthood. Even the guy she pines for is a pain in the neck. I’d like to talk to her and ascertain if she’s one of those people who simply thrive on the drama. A day can’t pass without some sort of emotional deluge. 

Holly Golightly seems to be the girl you’d love to sit next to at dinner. Witty, bright and light conversation would abound from her and I’m sure if you were a man she’d make you feel as if you were the only one in her sphere. She is named so perfectly – go-lightly – which is how she flits through life, moving without stopping or settling down, flitting from person to person, relationship to relationship. I’d probably ask her about her toilet training as well. That fear of not holding on to anything or anyone had to come from somewhere!

Madeline. Ah, sweet Madeline. Never having attended one, I’d really like the low down dirt on what it’s like to live in a boarding school. You hear so many unseemly things about them, such as the abuse, the sexual escapades, the bullying. Did our poor, little Parisian girl go through any of these things? Or was life really how it was written for her – all unicorns, butterflies, and sunbeams? And what about Miss Clavel? There’s a hidden understory there and I’m just dying to know it!

Truly, if I sat next to any of the folks at a dinner, I don’t think I’d touch a bit of food. They’re all fascinating in totally individual and diverse ways.

How about you? Who would you like to break bead with if you could?





Filed under Characters

The 10 character challenge

A few days  ago I posted a challenge, asking you for the 10 books that changed, or impacted your lives. It’s the character’s time.

List 10 – I don’t care about the male/female split – of your most memorable characters from fiction. They can be villians,  heroes, heroines, secondary characters. I don’t care. Which ones made an impact on you and, briefly, why.

Here are mine in no order.

1. Rhett Bulter.   Gone with the Wind. The original fictional alpha male . When he carries Scarlett up that staircase, oh, Mama!

2. Roarke. the JD Robb In Death Series. Owns the galaxy. Loves Eve Dallas. Survived Every bad thing that ever happened to him. Plus, he’s Irish.

3. Eve Dallas.  the JD Robb In Death Series. The most kick-ass heroine with a tender heart you will ever meet.

4. Laura Ingalls before she was Wilder. The Little House On the Prairie Series. I always wanted to live on the prairie.

5  Elizabeth Bennet. Pride and Prejudice.  It’s so tough being the second, not so attractive sister, but Lizzy did well for herself.

6. Atticus Finch. To Kill a Mockingbird. When I was little, he was the embodiment  of what I  wanted in a father.

7.Madeline. The Madeline books by Ludwig Bemelman because really, she lived in Paris! In a convent! And had such cool adventures.

8. Nancy Drew.  The Nancy Drew Mystery Books. She drove a Corvair. Enough said.

9. Jake Brigance. A Time To Kill. Second best lawyer portrayal after Atticus Finch. Plus, he’s hunky, a southern boy, and loves his wife and dog.

10. Elinor Dashwood. Sense and Sensibility. The oldest, not as beautiful daughter with a heart of gold, a steel core and a hopeless romantic.

Those are my 10.  If you don’t recognize a name, click on it and it will take you to a link, describing the character.

Now, what are your 10 most influential fictional characters??

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Filed under Characters, Editors