Michael Ray De Los Angeles.
♛ email: MichaelRay@LoraxCommunity.org
Los Angeles, CA, 2015
by Alison Bechdel
The Graphic Memoir is an inmate look into the life of the author and her Pennsylvanian family. Within the text, Bechdel describes various events within her life beginning with her early adolescent relationship with her father. In addition to her early life, she also describes her experiences in high school and college. Over the course of the graphic novel, the reader observes how Bechdel’s family attempts to acclimate themselves to the social climate of rural America that existed during the post world War II era.
To further illustrate the ways she, and her father, are coerced into conforming to gender codes, Bechdel reconstructs the world that once knew by including, the dictionaries, and family letters that were part of her life. The effect is that she establishes a visually authentic memoir through the inclusion of elements such as her father’s letters, television broadcasts and other media that she was exposed to.
The relationship between the author and her father is a central conflict within the novel, and up until his death Bruce (Bechdel’s father) imposes his ideals of femininity onto his daughter– which as a masculine lesbian Alison finds constricting. In short, Fun Home illustrates various constraints that exist within the realm of individual sexual identity in addition to commentary on rigid heteronormative gender roles.
Read Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
I also recommend running your favorite films through the Bechdel Test.