23 April 2014
Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic
Alison Bechdel's "Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic" is an exciting autobiography with comics that bring her story to life. Alison Bechdel wrote this book about her childhood, the relationship she had with her father and one of the many things they shared in common, their sexuality. In addition to their common homosexuality, Alison and Bruce Bechdel share o b sessive compulsive tendencies and their artistic ways, even using her artistic language to describe the father daughter relationship they had, "I was Spartan to my father's Athenian. Modern to his Victorian. Butch to his nelly. Utilitarian to his aesthete." This opposition was a source of tension in their relationship, as both tried to express their dissatisfaction with their given gender roles: "Not only were we inverts, we were inversions of each other. While I was trying to compensate for something unmanly in him, he was attempting to express something feminine through me. It was a war of cross-purposes, and so doomed to perpetual escalation."
At the center of where it all begins at "Fun Home," Alison helps us envision her desperate need to make a connection with her father, Bruce Allen Bechdel. Father and daughter are playing a game of "airplane" that ends almost as soon as it begins because of her fathers obsession with keeping his old Victorian house he personally restored clean and what he seems to always want kept in perfect condition. Bruce "could spin garbage into gold" and "cultivate the barren yard into a lush flowering landscape." "He treated his furniture like children, and his children like furniture." Alison makes it clear by telling her story and drawings that he was so emotionally distant, that even before his death, she "ached as if he were already gone."
Before Bruce's death, he and his daughter have a conversation in which Bruce confesses some of his sexual history; this is presented as...
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