from The Essential Paradise
The trope involves an adolescent girl who consciously endeavours to live up to her father’s idealistic image of a dutiful daughter and responsible young woman and who, having achieved that, represents an ideal of respectable young women in general.
This trope relies upon a healthy family relationship, whereby the daughter views the father as an appropriate role model for responsible adult men and may use him as a paragon by which she compares other men, specifically her particular boyfriend. Whether or not she consciously makes this known to the boyfriend, to her father or to herself (the reader) is not criteria for the trope.
The trope does not include any inappropriate elements, such as an incestuous attraction or an Electra complex on any more than a Platonic level. Whilst requiring a father with great respect, even admiration, for the daughter, it is more to categorise the girl’s respect for the father's respect of her as she ventures into a social or romantic situation in which she may have the opportunity, or obligation, to decide upon a potential husband.
The trope is often combined with that of the prodigal maiden.
Comet’s development of the trope is apparently influenced by his relationship with his own two daughters, whom, as a single parent, he raised from when they were small.
The relationship between Mr C and Pamela in Jonnie Comet's Pamela; or: Virtue Reclaimed ostensibly fulfils this trope; but the two characters are not related by blood and their association gradually, irrevocably and inevitably shifts from one of teacher-and-student to father-and-daughter to lovers, and appropriately.
The relationship between Andrew and Sylvia in Sylvia, or: The Revenge of The Slave touches on this; but as with VR they are not related. As they are separated only by a matter of years, though there is no consummation in the course of the story, it is probable that these two may finish up as lovers and spouses when occasion permits.
Lord Paradise and Lady Susie - Two Paradises, story arc Edit
Being very different personalities, these two would seem an unlikely pair. Lady Susie is very headstrong, almost by her very birth asserting that she can do well without any parental influence; and Lord Paradise is nothing if not an overly-attentive, doting parent. But the two achieve a kind of symbiosis that is not quite parent-to-child (as Lady Susie is only adopted, not related to her father by birth) and not quite friendship, but is at once fully both and neither. Lord Paradise often questions her as to her values and judgements, always listening to full explanations before offering advice or criticism, and frequently responding with praise and gratitude. Lady Susie learns to value and trust his estimation of her, of what she does, and what she intends, which comes in priceless by the time she admits her preference for Chloe Jamison and not for any men.
As Lord Paradise clearly expects, she eventually comes back around to be more like her sister, Lady Caroline, and adopts a celibate life, much to the admiration of her parents, before meeting Lord John Raymond Burke, of whom her father instantly and effusively approves.
The trope applies because the two are often seen in intimate, almost risque situations, whilst no transgression of even appearances ever takes place. Lady Susie, often indulging in nudism about the estate, has frequent encounters with her father whilst she is nude or only scantily, provocatively dressed. Lord Paradise, a former competitive swimmer, still prefers small bikini-type swimsuits well into his thirties, which leave little of his contours to the imagination. In 'Night In The Ruts' Susie arrives home nude after a long hike through the Somerset woods, greeting her father at something after 2.00; the two have cocktails and then share a swim and conversation about her eventful night.
Best examples: Night In The Ruts; ‘Hands Off’; ‘Round And Round We Go’; A Global Awakening
John and Janine Hewlett - Janine, of Paradise, story arc Edit
If overly gentle, even indulgent, John Hewlett is nonetheless proud of his daughter and with good reason. At times Janine appears to ply him for extra consideration, more allowance, more privileges and less restraints; but nearly always the two come to terms amenable to both through rational discussion and mutual respect. At times Janine delights in sitting on the arm of her father’s chair to look into the paper with him or to ask about his day. Clearly she regards him as a role model whose example she would like Charlie to take. Typically full of compliments for her, John seems to regard Janine as precisely the child he had always longed to have, pure in heart, ladylike in deportment, rational in her thought processes and upright in all her doings. When Janine at last announces her engagement to Charlie, the house goes into disarray mainly because of Fanny’s fretting; John and Charlie step into the garage for a man-to-man chat and emerge with a proper understanding, both taking responsibility for Janine's ultimate happiness.
Best examples: Janine’s First Date, Janine’s Night To Remember, ‘The Apple Of His Eye’; ‘Lunch Date’
John and Gwendolyn Dahl - The Love of Gwendolyn Dahl, story arc Edit
Though essentially detached, John Dahl does bear some respect for his daughter, at least more than his wife does. Gwendolyn exercises her wiles to cajole him into assisting with the moving of her room and honestly presents her brothers' actions against her to see them adequately reprimanded. But John probably does not know enough about Gwendolyn to regard her as the very best of daughters, as the trope requires, apparently content to see that she never gets into trouble and exhibits proper deference to him.
Best examples: Stepped Out Of A Dream; The Rapunzel Incident
Sir Harvey Chesney and Noemi - Noemi’s Wold, novel Edit
Having no son, having lost his elder daughter to other influences, Sir Hatch relies on 12-year-old Noemi to develop an interest and proficiency in the running of the sugar plantation she will one day inherit. She accepts the responsibilities, admirably. During harvest, twice a year, she ditches school and reports to work, nude as usual though wearing heavy work boots and having a sash about her head. She is given important tasks such as recording the raw bundles; weights and managing per-diem crews in shifting the bundles off and onto lorries, exhibiting native common sense organisational skills which impress everyone, especially her father (who never pays much attention to her penchant for nudism).
Her mother takes up with her over the missed school and over her state of dress, but Noemi dismisses the concerns, aware that her father will support her in both. When Noemi finally puts on a pretty dress to attend Festival, her father is full of compliments as well as tender advice about meeting a worthy boy, at which she is successful. Upon first meeting the boy her father is proud and impressed, later apologising to Noemi in case he had embarrassed her; but Noemi assures him that, though she had felt awkward, his approbation was just what she had wanted from a father who truly cares for her.
* * *