Fathers are an incredibly important part of society, but the fathers in fiction don’t always portray that importance. Unfortunately, fiction often depicts a bad representation of fatherhood. A number of lifestyle, emotional, and financial problems are directly correlated with lack of a father figure. Good fathers are vital in the success of children.
Many movies, and books depict fathers as unavailable workaholics or excessively unhelpful sports fanatics. These examples of fatherhood only compound the problems in society, showing altered problems rather than solutions. Characters are often dramatized to add conflict or humor. Conflict in the relationships arise from the unavailability of fathers. While comedies utilize the uninterested, grunting stereotypes of fathers to create scenarios of humorous neglect and misunderstandings. While these make entertaining stories, they tend to glorify the negative aspects.
In reality, the endings of these stories do show good fathers as they learn to put their attention on what matters most and make their families a priority. Yet, where are the fathers that don’t have to almost lose their families to value them? When are characters starting as good fathers? Fiction is a place where we can illustrate the ideal scenarios. So, why not put wonderful fathers into stories? Many challenges in life can be greatly helped and solved by having and being good fathers.
Orphans and Conflict
The first argument is, just like a lack of mothers, a lack of fathers allows a character to go through more hardship. The orphan is able to go on a life threatening adventure, because there are no parents to protect him or her. And the lack of doting parents adds struggles for a character to go through.
An overbearing, controlling, or abusive father adds conflict. We like to see stories where a character overcomes all the odds stacked against them. So, when the main character is in danger where they should be safe, the conflict and empathy heighten. These stories are important for those in similar situations to know that they can overcome the awful scenario.
But I do think that we need to see more good fathers in fiction. Both to honor the good fathers in our lives and communities, and to encourage and teach new fathers. Life is a struggle no matter what, but good stories can come with good fathers.
My father is one of my greatest heroes. I remember his patience with me. Letting me sit on his lap and helping me read, no matter what it was about. That may be the reason I did end up liking to read. Because my dad spent a summer making sure that I read every day. He would sing lullabies to me and my sisters, often till he fell asleep. When we couldn’t get him to wake up to finish the song, we would finally fall asleep ourselves.
As I grew up, my poppa would help me with homework, my anxieties, and life decisions. He always became interested in what I found interesting, even bookbinding. I think he learned more and can do a better job at bookbinding than I can. Things that I remember most, is that he was patient with me when I made stupid mistakes and helped me learn through them.
I have become better because of my father. He has been an influential part in my character development, and fathers can do the same thing in fiction. Good fathers are ones who protect and love. Who are good examples and give good advice. Even the orphaned characters find a father figure in someone. Because fathers are essential to growth and success.
Call for Good Fathers in Fiction
Fill books and movies with wonderful examples of fathers to influence boys and men to become great fathers. And teach girls and women to seek out and expect good fathers for their children.
People and characters can be built stronger with good father figures in their lives. Share how your father has been a positive influence to you! And take notice of good fathers! When you write, include good fathers!