Viewpoints of Fun Home

The subject matter in Fun Home was definitely not what I had expected from the title or the cover.  I would have guessed from the book cover that this was a story about a kind of hilariously dysfunctional family with the narrator being the one cliche misunderstood voice of sanity.  This story seemed to be 7 chapters of the same exact story told a little bit differently each time.

Each story was told in a past tense voice, and involved the narrator’s struggle with her identity, and with her relationship with her father.  The 1st few stories gave a really harsh portrayal of her father.  He seems to be very short tempered and abusive towards the children.  He also seems very withdrawn and emotionless most of the time.  Later on, especially in the last chapters, the father seems to be very connected with her and they seem to have a genuine appreciation for each other.

I also noticed that there were several stories being told all at once.  There was the diary, which was mostly in chronological order.  There was the childhood tale where she was actually growing up in the home.  There was the college story, which was sort of mixed up chronologically.  There was the story of her evolving relationship with her father, which I assumed was the main story.  And there were a lot of little anecdotes like the father getting stuck in the mud, or the bulldyke scene that were thrown into the mix.  This made the story a little hard to follow timewise, but (in my opinion) was effective at showing milestones in her relationship with her father.

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5 thoughts on “Viewpoints of Fun Home”

  1. I agree that the loosey-goosey style of story telling is problematic for us (as readers/viewers) because we don’t take the narrator seriously. This may happen subconsciously for some readers. I found myself questioning the accuracy of her account, but I was then drawn back into the story through the use of brand names (like Life cereal, and the bread truck that hit her father). The newspaper article about the death of her father also gave the rest of the narrative some credibility as well.

    1. I’d like to hear more about why it seems we can’t take Bechdel seriously as the narrator of her own life? Are there specific things she writes—or draws—that makes her seem unreliable?

  2. I agree that the story tends to “jump” quite a bit. With its countless twists and turns, dips and dives, we are thrown in and out of various aspects of Bechdel’s life. Though this was seemingly tedious at times, I also found it to be quite interesting and alluring. I liked that she included bits and chunk of separate information because it always keeps you on your toes. I felt that Bechdel’s relationship with her father held the most importance and relativity to her focus throughout the story. I think that most of her marked milestones within the story also reflected her milestones her and her father went through. Bechdel also does a tremendous job with her artistry throughout the book. Her narrow, squished, sometimes barren, drawings are always interesting and truly give the reader a sense of connectivity with the story and many of the pictures literally “pull you in” with their angles. Out of many of the other graphic novels we have read, I find that this story is the most elusive and “trippy” in such a way that send the reader on a continuous adventure of discovering the feelings within Bechdel. Her various tales and reflections within the story truly invite you in to the true mind of a human being. We are not overwhelmingly known to have one single creative stream of thought, but rather a jumbled mix of countless thoughts floating around all at once with no clear idea as to how to express them in an exact order.

  3. As I read through this story I also found that it was harder to follow because of how it moved from scene to scene but I found that this method worked very well for this graphic novel. It makes you work a little harder to understand the story but I appreciate that. As mentioned in other blog posts I was also very interested in how she included the works of other authors in the story because of how that connects this story with others. I noticed how the relationship between Bechdel and her father was very dynamic as the story went on. This reminded me of how parents can be annoying when we are younger but as we grow up they become less annoying. I appreciate the art work in this novel too. As Nikki said I really like her use of angles to make objects and rooms appear large or small. This meant we were seeing things from her perspective because we are seeing things through her eyes. I like how the story jumps around because this represents how I think in my day to day.

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