Thursday, November 13, 2014

Fun home and good times

Alison Bechdel’s “Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic” is a tragedy with black comedy in the mix. It starts out with the daughter stated that she is the opposite of her father. “I was Spartan to my father’s Athenian.”(Bechdel 4013). The whole family life is a sham. In one part of the comic it shows the whole family going to Mass and the line above it declaring, “He used his skillful artifice not to make things, but to make things appear to be what they were not.” (Bechdel 4014). “That is to say impeccable,” (Bechdel 4014).  But the façade hid pain and perversion. “But would an ideal husband and father have sex with teenage boys?”(Bechdel 4015).
               The children soon learn to avoid their father’s mood swings by saying nothing and showing affection to their father resulted in extreme embarrassment for the children.  The father masking his emotions with the reasoning that they are not a physically expressive family. “The embarrassment on my part was a tiny scale of my father’s more fully developed self-loathing.” (Bechdel 4018). Even though the interactions between child and father were guarded and limited, the children seemed to love their father because of fleeting moments of kindness mixed with dark tantrums. It reminded me of a child with an alcoholic parent. On one hand there is denial and the need to hide the illness from other people because of shame. The child missed her father before he committed suicide. The analogy of the warm water and then the “sudden, unbearable cold of its absence” (Bechdel 4020). The father’s attention and then the cold rejection of the father. Who was too wrapped up in his own self -loathing not seeing that his children needed him?

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