To Kill a Mockingbird To Kill a Mockingbird question

Request - Books with strong male role models.
Jeff Jeff Dec 10, 2012 02:09AM
Hi, Im looking for books with strong male role models. This may sound strange but i grew up without a father, so at times I struggle to know how to be a strong, moral male. Ive found characters like Atticus Finch, Aragorn, and characters out of Hemmingway books help me to understand how to be a man. Does any one have any other suggestions for good male role models?

I love the father, Charles Halloway, in Ray Bradbury's "Something Wicked This Way Comes."

Jane Austen gave some great portrayals of moral, upstanding men in her books. "Sense and Sensibility" features two strong men who have a true sense of honor and duty. But I think in any of her books, you'd find a striking contrast of men with good moral character and men lacking it!

Really? Great Expectations? Hardly a model for supportive fatherhood. Dickens in one of my favorites, but I don't find any admirable characters in the book. Certainly no one I would want to use as a role model.

My suggestion is memoir. Consider some real men whom you admire. Read their memoirs to discover how they achieved whatever it is you admire about them. Keep in mind that not every detail may be factually accurate, but a good memoir will be an interesting narrative that focuses on a central message.

Try this list as a start:

The Book Thief

Those are the sorts of books I try to write, if you care to give them a glance. Fantasy/Contemporary.

To Carry The Horn (The Hounds of Annwn, #1) by Karen Myers
The Ways of Winter (The Hounds of Annwn, #2) by Karen Myers

The male lead characters in Robert Heinlein's books usually have a very strong moral and ethical centre. The "juvenile" books may be a little more obvious and the other books sometimes have sexual situations in them.

For a character with a similar moral compass as Atticus, and someone who shares his love of family, I recommend reading The Well and the Mine. The father, Albert, is definitely my idea of a good male role model within his family and community.

Bukowski, easily the best father figure a boy could ask for.

deleted user I'll second this. A strong male role model should have a good sense of humour!
Feb 13, 2013 10:05AM

If the Nancy Drew mysteries interest you, then I;d say you should pick those up. Nancy's father, Carson Drew, is a strong father figure, and is really close to Nancy because he's her only parent.

Jeff wrote: "Hi, Im looking for books with strong male role models."

For a book with strong male characters strenghtened by loss, I recommend CITY OF SORROWS. It's a story about three men, from three different cultures, who struggle to survive in one common land. One man models his life on the teachings of Gandhi, another by what he has learned from his Gypsy heritage. City of Sorrows

Mark (last edited Dec 10, 2012 12:43PM ) Dec 10, 2012 04:58AM   0 votes
Again it depends on your definition of being a man, and a good one at that. The Spenser novels by Rober. Parker struggle with that--the language can be vulgar though. The Ranger's Apprentice series by John Flanagan and the Young Samurai series by Chris Bradford deal with this subject too. You could try Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. There are a bunch of shorter novels by Gary Paulse that deal with this problem especially, The Island. Hope this helps.
Of course sometimes you need to see what not to do--that's why I suggested Great Rxpectations. Again, deciding how a good man acts is subjective, as is the definition of a good man. That could take us back to Socrates or even further. My suggestions are just that--suggestions, take them or leave them; in the end, you decide for yourself, and be true to yourself.

The only book I've ever read that I wanted a man like the main character as a husband and father for my children is Jamie Fraser in Outlander (by Diana Gabaldon).

I have never loved a male character as much as Jamie.


Hmmmm, I liked hazel Grace's father. from "the fault in our stars". He was sensitive and he knew what to say to his daughter.

I also liked Brom from Eragon, but I was pissed that he had to keep that a secret until the end of his life.

Especially Milligan from "The Mysterious Benedict Society" Awesome dad. :)

I recommend _Shards of Honor_ and _Barrayar_ by Lois McMaster Bujold. Aral Vorkosigan is a brilliant character, flawed but capable of deep compassion, strength of will, and positive masculinity (though the other readers commenting here are right: people define masculinity in different ways). Over the course of these two novels, we see Aral confronting terrible choices. In the end, he proves to be a man true to his moral compass though he lives in a morally ambiguous world.

A quote from Aral: "One step at a time, I can walk around the world. Watch me."

And another quote from Aral: "My home is not a place, sir. My home is people."

I'd suggest reading the Louisa May Alcott books. They are books for young people but are many great examples of great male role models, especially the Uncle in "Eight Cousins" and the sequel "Rose in Bloom". Another is the Father in "The Diary of Anne Frank".

Feliks (last edited Feb 13, 2013 10:31AM ) Jan 02, 2013 10:15AM   0 votes
Jeff wrote: "Hi, Im looking for books with strong male role models.

What a great question. H'mmm, let's see. 'How Green Was My Valley' is a great family story with a strong father, set in Wales. How Green Was My Valley

'Horseman, Pass By' and 'Lonesome Dove' by Larry McMurtry) have good ones. Horseman, Pass ByLonesome Dove

'Islands in the Stream' by Hemingway.
Islands in the Stream

'Tender is the Night' by Fitzgerald.
Tender Is the Night

'Dancing at the Rascal Fair' by Ivan Doig.
Dancing at the Rascal Fair

'The Horsemen' by Kessel.
Cavaliers Kessel

'Woodcraft and Camping' by Nessmuk.
Woodcraft and Camping

'Run With the Horsemen' by Ferrol.
Run with the Horsemen

'Gardens of Stone' by Proffitt.
Gardens of Stone

'The Great Santini' by Conroy.
The Great Santini

Walter (last edited Dec 10, 2012 05:07PM ) Dec 10, 2012 05:03PM   0 votes
I liked Adam Trask and Sam Hamilton from Steinbeck's "East of Eden". Adam had his shortcomings, but despite it all, he managed to raise his sons in the absence of a mother.

And of course, Jean Valjean from "Les Miserables". He was the father Cosette never had.

It's been a while since I read it, but when I was younger, I envisioned the character Samuel Hamilton from John Steinbeck's novel East of Eden as the ideal of fatherhood and manhood, and the characters Adam and Lee are also strong, morally serious characters. If you haven't read the novel, it is an all time classic, so worth the read even if you don't connect to the male characters as I did.

deleted member Dec 10, 2012 04:12AM   0 votes
This is a difficult question to ask because I think most books (the ones I've read anyway), tend to deconstruct male and female role models. Even Hemmingway has been criticised in some quarters for being a fraud and not half the man he thought he was.

I would suggest that you think about what aspects of masculinity/fatherhood you may be looking for and start a search from there.

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Books mentioned in this topic

To Kill a Mockingbird (other topics)
Outlander (other topics)
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (other topics)
Around the World in Eighty Days (other topics)
The Well and the Mine (other topics)