Bechdel, Alison – Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic


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  1. Profile photo of Jooli LeeJooli Lee

    A girl lived with a family that was a sham. She lived her whole life in distress and unconceivable secrets. Alison Bechdel lives in Pennsylvania with her parents and her little brothers. Bechdel builds and writes the story around the tragic death of her father. Bruce Bechdel, Alison’s father, was an English teacher and a director of the town funeral home (which was the inspiration of the memoirs title). Alison hung around in the funeral home after Bruce was forced to take over the funeral home for his father. The family’s old Gothic revival mansion was delicately cared by Bruce. Her father was so focused on his own life and caught up in his own doings the family gradually started breaking a part, leading to a tragic divorce. It was not until college that Alison had decided to come out of the closet and become open about her sexual orientation. In the process of coming out to her family Bechdel had discovered an all time secret, her father was also gay. A few weeks later his father had died of a truck crash, which leaved regrets and a legacy of mystery for Alison to resolve “These are just quibbles. I don’t believe it was an accident.” (Bechdel, 28).

    This spectacular graphic memoir is entertained with queer plot twists, rich literary allusions and powerful vocabularies. The author Alison Bechdel puts a work load of effort and emotions into the graphic novel to tell the world about how she felt throughout her life. Bechdel uses her favorite color ‘midnight blue’ to pour her memories into her graphic memoir, and it makes it seems as if the characters were drowning in an ocean of fatigue. Bechdel also builds her characters throughout the book with dialogues and actions. This gives an idea of what characteristics each individual characters withhold. Literary illusions are used frequently throughout the book “To James and Fitzgerald” (Bechdel 67). While reading the book melancholy crept over me, the emotions expressed in this book were so vivid. It was almost impossible not to sympathize with the author after being bombarded with pain and loneliness she expressed throughout the book. The arrangements of the panels were organized and easy to follow, along with having a plot that flowed smoothly was aesthetically pleasing. Despite the fact of having such a great book there were some weak areas that needed improvement to lessen the confusion. This graphic novel uses an excessive usage of flashbacks to tell the story that made it extremely difficult to keep up with the setting. Since this was a graphic novel it had a lack of depth in exposition, some areas had absolutely no words making it hard to understand what the author wanted to express.

    Was this an English textbook in disguise? This graphic novel is really well written filling the book with exotic vocabularies and countless numbers of different literary devices. This graphic novel welcomes all readers, and especially those of LGBTs. However, there drawings that include adult contents and malediction that are inappropriate for younger audiences.

    This autobiography is filled with plot twists and details that are so entertaining to read. The details of her emotional changes and family situation makes it seems as if you were growing up with her as you read on. This book consists of numerous literary devices, enthralling vocabularies, and animated emotions. This piece of graphic novel should be considered as a literature rather than just art with a story.

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