We all dream of life in fictional worlds, especially while reading a book. Who hasn’t been jealous of a character’s life before? Their romance? Their parents? Their awesome siblings? Of course, some families are better than others (take the Plaskett-Khatchadourians from We Need to Talk About Kevin vs. the Finches from To Kill a Mockingbird, for example). Families in literature have qualities that some of us can only aspire to. They are also dysfunctional and messy in their own way of course, but that makes them all the more compassionate. Take a look at these inspiring families, and let us know which family from literature you love!
The Weasleys from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
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We are right there with you Harry; who wouldn’t want to be adopted by two of the best, most understanding, and warm parents in literature? They are by no means the picture of perfection, but who is, really? Molly is not afraid to publicly humiliate her children if they misbehave, and her children find her smothering love a bit overbearing; but, these qualities are markers of a fiercely devoted mother who knows how to discipline her young. Arthur is also an overly protective parent and is a bit clumsy at times (ahem – his son is Ron Weasley), but these traits are all a part of his lively and zealous personality. Let’s not forget about the pesky-yet-endearing twins, sweet and intelligent Ginny, brave Bill, and rest of the Weasley boys (Arthur and Molly knew how to make a big family). The Weasley family is filled with the warmest, funniest, and most accepting people. Take us in already!
The Finch Family from To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
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Atticus is a father from our dreams: incredibly smart, honorable, and an excellent teacher. He is a hero who will go against the grain to do what is right, setting an excellent example for his wonderful children, Scout and Jem. Who wouldn’t want to spend a day wandering the dusty town of Maycomb with the brave Finch siblings? Jem would be an excellent older brother, guiding you through life with youthful idealism and a touch of wisdom. Scout would be there, right beside Jem, ready for adventure and to learn something new. The two of them would do anything for their father because, let’s be real, imagine letting down Atticus Finch? He is a single father in a downtrodden society who treats his children with respect, and actively fights prejudice. He cares more than most about truth and justice, putting his clients’ race aside to get to the bottom of the crime despite the criticism from the citizens of Alabama. The Finches are an all around inspiring bunch.
The Buckets from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
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Some would argue that all you really need from a family is love and support; a little bit of money is just an added plus. Charlie Bucket’s family showers him in what money can’t buy, which in turn, has made him into a sensible, caring child. Without the affection and wisdom of his penniless family, he would probably turn into a huge blueberry, or drown in a chocolate river. Despite the family’s misfortune, they do everything in their power to fulfill Charlie’s dreams and provide him with as fun of a life as possible. Of course, there’s Grandpa Joe, the most awesome, adventurous, and whimsical Grandpa we could ask for. He’s the best chocolate-factory chaperone by far, and the oldest one at that!
House of Stark from A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
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If you put aside all the bad things that have happened to the Starks (no one is spared from Martin’s wrath), they would be an amazing family to be a part of. They are not just great in A Game of Thrones; the Starks are overall an impressive and kind family, with each member willing to do anything to protect one another. The Stark parents, Eddard and Catelyn, are as dedicated to their children as parents get, and teach them the importance of honesty, honor, and justice. All the Stark children would be excellent siblings: Robb is protective and an ethical leader; Jon Snow is understanding and supportive; Arya is independent and resilient; Sansa overcomes great obstacles to become a truly intelligent young lady; and, Bran and Rickson are equally as loyal as the rest of the family. If every family in Westeros was like the Starks, the place would be much more peaceful. Maybe the same can be said about our world.
Grace, her Nana, and her Mother from Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman
Amazing Grace is a heart-warming story about the imaginative and dramatic Grace. She loves to have fun and act out her favorite scenes from a variety of stories (from Aladdin to Peter Pan). Not only would Grace be a bundle of fun-loving joy to be around, but she also has the most amazing women to guide her: her Nana and her mother. Without them, Grace’s life would be much more bleak. They are the awesome grandmother-mother duo every child wishes for, supporting Grace in her aspirations and reveling in her all her inventive storytelling. Her Nana is the best. She has clearly seen her fair share of inequality and life’s difficulties, but instills the idea that anyone can be anything they want in Grace and the reader (all you have to do it try).
The Baudelaire Children from A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
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We wouldn’t exactly want to be in the position of poor Violet, Klaus, or Sunny Baudelaire, but being a part of this close-nit trio would be pretty cool. They manage to take dysfunctional-family situations and turn them into adventures, with a bit of danger involved. Violet is a young woman to look up to – she is intelligent and innovative, always searching for a way to make the lives of her siblings a bit more pleasant and safe. Some may find a little brother like Klaus to be a bit pretentious, after all he has read hundreds of books, but at the end of the day all he wants is for his siblings to be happy and healthy. Strange little Sunny is somehow full of character despite how young she is. Who wouldn’t want an adorable baby sibling, wise beyond her (three) years? If you were a Baudelaire, chances are you’d be a knowledgeable, adventurous, resourceful person bound to your siblings by love (and necessity).
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