Theme Of Appearance Versus Reality By Alison Bechdel 's Fun Home Essay

Theme Of Appearance Versus Reality By Alison Bechdel 's Fun Home Essay

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In Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home, Bechdel uses the theme of appearance versus reality to highlight her relationship with her father. Bechdel utilizes her illustrations and short sentences to reveal these things about herself and her father. Bechdel opens her memoir with a chapter entitled “Old Father, Old Artificer”. Bechdel refers to her father, Bruce Bechdel, as an artificer because she sees him as a skilled craftsman. Bechdel describes, “His greatest achievement, arguably, was his monomaniacal restoration of our old house.” (Bechdel 4). Her father restored their old house to make it look like a huge mansion. Bechdel knows that this is just the appearance of their household because it is not an accurate representation of their family life inside the house. Bruce created an appearance that was the opposite of reality to cover up the actual wealth of their family. He hides the fact that his family may not be as wealthy and perfect as they appear to be. In this case, Bruce reveals he believes that appearance is more important than the reality of a situation. Appearance is also important on the inside of the home as well. Bechdel mentions, “Sometimes, when things were going well, I think my father actually enjoyed having a family. Or at least, the air of authenticity we lent to his exhibit. A sort of still life with children.” (13). Bechdel feels as if their father only liked the appearance of their house. She refers to her home as a museum exhibit. The appearance of the exhibit is perfect, but behind the exhibit problems exist. Without their appearance, her father would have nothing to work for. Bechdel calls her father an artificer because he is so skilled at covering up the reality of the problems in their family wit...


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...hey could have had because her father was too worried about appearance to live in reality.
Appearance versus reality played a major role in the relationship between Bechdel and her father. Bechdel lived in her father’s perfect appearance all throughout her childhood and was not able to truly discover the reality of herself or of their family. When Bechdel goes to college on her own and discovers she is a lesbian she begins living her true reality. Bechdel is upset that her father never learned to live and accept his reality. Bechdel’s father chooses to live behind appearance to hide the truth and not be accepted by society. The resistance of Bechdel’s father to live his reality builds a barrier between him and Alison. Without the appearance, Bechdel and her father would be able to connect on being gay and develop a relationship based around that connection.

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