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In Romeo and Juliet, where honor and obedience are the order of the day, we see Lord Capulet's apparent, unexpected respect for his daughter's happiness (I.ii.15-19) in a world where the feelings of the children would not usually count for anything:
But woo her, gentle Paris, get her heart;/My will to her consent is but a part/ And, she agreed, within her scope of choice/ Lies my consent...
Unfortunately, he is not genuine. Although he loves Juliet, he is conflicted between what he sees as her duty and what he know she deserves. Juliet recognizes her father's love and is "thankful even for hate that is meant love" (III.v.148). Capulet is disappointed that his daughter chooses to defy him and delighted when his "wayward girl" agrees to marry Paris.
In The Secret Life of Bees, Lily decides to run away because of her abusive father whom she calls "T. Ray because "Daddy" never fit him."
I had asked God repeatedly to do something about T. Ray. He'd gone to church for forty years and was only getting worse. It seemed like this should tell God something..(ch 1)
Lily's memories of her mother's death are vague but she knows she was instrumental in it. Only at the end does Lily understand her father's resentment and hence, harsh treatment of her, as he mistakes Lily for her mother in a blind rage. "I could tell he didn't want me, didn't want me back on the farm, didn't want to be reminded of her..." Even so, Lily still yearns for his acknowledgement and she believes he " probably loved me in his own smallish way."
In To Kill a Mockingbird, Scout's relationship with Atticus, her father,remains uncomplicated and consistent, despite the contradictory and hypocritical setting in which Atticus must bring up his children. Scout relishes memories of how she "crawled into his lap every night" but her relationship with him is based on needs:
Jem and I found our father satisfactory: he played with us, read to us, and treated us with courteous detachment. (ch 1)
Atticus teaches her a very valuable lesson when he reminds her that she must not judge others:
You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view-until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it. (ch 3)
The relationship Atticus has with Scout ensures that she and her brother Jem, recognize their father's wisdom and respond to it.
In Anne Frank: The Diary of A Young Girl, it is clear that Anne has a special relationship with her father, "the most adorable father I've ever seen" (Saturday June 20 1942) and a strained relationship with her mother.
Daddy's always so nice. He understands me perfectly, and I wish we could have a heart-to-heart talk sometime without my bursting instantly into tears (Sunday July 12 1942)
It is Anne's father who has her diaries published after her death and the war. Anne, during the family's confinement knows that "Without him I wouldn't be able to stick it out here." (Sunday September 27 1942).
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