Fun Home : A Family Tragicomic By Alison Bechdel Essay

Fun Home : A Family Tragicomic By Alison Bechdel Essay

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Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, by Alison Bechdel, is a memoir dealing with how a father can live a normal life with his family despite being mentally unstable. Bechdel believes that her father was in her life but “his absence resonated retrospectively, echoing back through all the years…” (23). The memoir is told through a graphic novel to show readers that a person can look and act and be normal on the outside, but be suffering on the inside. Bechdel’s father wasn’t necessarily unstable his entire life, but most psychological problems start in childhood.
In this memoir, Father is portrayed to the world as a normal guy. He has a wife that he loves, he has a job, he has children, he has a big house, and he has a passion. Father loved restoring their victorian mansion to its original beauty. “Historical restoration wasn’t his job. It was his passion. And I (Bechdel) mean passion in every sense of the word” (7), Father worked as a twelfth-grade english teacher but even during his daytime job he was thinking about his house. Bechdel is able to show her readers how often father was thinking about the house by taking advantage of her panels, she shows her father teaching in class but all he is really doing is reading a magazine she labeled “Architectural Digest”. Being able to show readers exactly what you mean is the greatest advantage to comics and graphic novels. A normal family is furthermore defined by love. Times like the holidays bring out the best in families, “Sometimes when things were going well, I think my father actually enjoyed having a family” (13), loving your family is essential to having a normal life. The fact that he only enjoyed having a family when times were good is an example of someone who exhibits signs of de...


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... threw himself at his work to cover up the fact that he was never happy. They had a full family, they did family things, but Father was missing something in his life; he was missing a lover, a male lover. The main reason Father killed himself is because he was depressed and had antisocial personality disorder. A person can live with these disorders but only with the help of loved ones.
Fun Home, is in all its senses and purposes a family tragicomic. It is a memoir about the Bechdel family, about the struggles of living with depression, about living with a depressed person. It is all about family and struggles. The main struggles for the Bechdel family is Father. Bechdel says that “He killed himself because he was a manic-depressive, closeted fag and he couldn’t face living…” (125). Father himself was the tragedy, surrounded by a family he didn’t imagine for himself.

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