Just an extra thought…


Well, here I am. Back at the class blog. Partially because I believe at some point I fell a blog post behind and am hoping that I can still throw a few points in the gradebook (cough cough Hi Liz cough cough), but also because I just found myself looking over all we’ve gone through in the past semester. With this final post to our lovely blog, I wanted to just point out a small thing that caught my eye in our final days. During one of my last hours sitting in that dark corner and leaning against the brick wall, I found myself flipping through Fun Home. It was something on the very first page in the book that caught my eye and got me thinking. This was the image:


I could be thinking too deep into this, and most likely am, but I started to think about what this picture represents. It is the first page. You open the book, you see this. Before you read the family tragicomic, it probably has no real meaning to you. If I had even taken the time to look at it then, I’d have thought it was just an illustration of a shadowed adult leaning against a post as a child swings around next to them. Nothing special. But after reading Fun Home and learning of the relationship between these two characters, who we can now assume to be Bruce and Alison, this image suddenly has a different meaning to me. As Alison Bechdel illustrated through her graphic novel, the childhood relationship between the father and daughter was a strained one. Bruce was a distant father and Alison compares the children to furniture in the house. However, I think that she was wanting that close relationship with him all along. There’s the instance on page 19 where she tries to show some affection by kissing his hand. After reading her story, I see this image as Alison quite literally leaning toward or gravitating towards her father in search of that relationship and affection. She’s holding onto the post, anchoring her where her current fraught relationship is with him, but she is leaning in for more.

One thought on “Just an extra thought…

  1. It is an interesting choice for the front interior page to pick Alison and her father watching a sunset, an image fraught with symbolism of ending and finality. Yet, as we’ve discussed in class, Alison and Bruce’s relationship is at its best just before his death, turning what is traditionally a somber symbol of death and decline on its head, and setting up that drastic disconnect of father and daughter reuniting just before father leaves daughter for good.

    And as one final comment, in a rather eerie temporal coincidence, Helena Fontana Bechdel (Alison’s mother) passed away the day after our final exam. Here’s the State College newspaper obituary: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/centredaily/obituary.aspx?n=helen-fontana-bechdel&pid=164806087&fhid=22842.

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