Table of Contents
There a variety of thematic societal concerns covered by Alison Bechdel's 'fun home' as the plot develops progressively. The themes are designed to rotate around the family life dynamics to which Bechdel's family appears to be engrossed. The theme of sexuality is vivid is several instances provided in the story. There is a developing factor of sexual orientation emphasised by Bechdel. As the story develops, the issue of sexual orientation unveils itself strongly as manifested by the developing twist in terms of sexual expression seen in Bechdel and her father, Bruce. For instance, Bruce's homosexual tendencies are evident in several instances seen in his military life, former high school schoolmates' interaction, and some of his close family relations and friends (Bechdel 58-59). They both try to express their nature assigned gender roles using artwork, however, when Bruce commits suicide Alison chooses to come out and express her sexual orientation to the world.
The theme of modernity is visible in the story in the unfolding relationship between Alison and her father. On one side there is the move towards conservative tendencies as seen in Bruce while on his daughter's side there is the continuous championing of modernity. This creates necessary conflicts throughout the story, which essentially develops the plot of the story in a progressive manner. This can be seen Alison's declaration that, "I was Spartan to my father's Athenian. Modern to his Victorian. Butch to his nelly. Utilitarian to his aesthete" (Bechdel 15). This forms the centre of the story and consequently contributes to developing other themes and parts.
The form of 'fun home' projects a well developed plot with a distinct starting point, middle point, climax and anti climax of the story. The artist has expressed his characters through creation of cartoon characters. This cartoon characters consequently adapt the memoir's theme through use of imagery of the real characters behind the scene. For instance, she perfected the art of drawing numerous family photographs then infusing them into the narrative in order to give it a real life form (Simona 24). This gives the story a lively form compared to the traditional literature, which strictly pursues text format.
Figures of speech
Bechdel has employed several figures of speech as constructive elements as she develops the plot of her memoir. Repetition has been used in various instances in the story, for instance, this is found in Bechdel's statement, "Not only were we inverts, we were inversions of each other" (Bechdel 98). In this case, this form of repetition is commonly known as anaphora. Alison has used hyperbole when she is describing the relationship between herself and Bruce. This can be seen when she says, "It was a war of cross-purposes, and so was doomed to perpetual escalation" (Bechdel 98). The use of 'perpetual escalation borrows greatly from her father's military environment regarding the instrumental use of wartime jargon. She is merely trying to emphasise on the rift that had developed between them.
Alison has also employed the use of antithesis as can be seen in the phrases, "While I was trying to compensate for something unmanly in him, he was attempting to express something feminine through me" (Bechdel 98).
The first phrase brings out the element of lesbianism associated with Alison, while the second phrase brings out the element of homosexuality associated with Bruce Bechdel. Imagery has also been used in several instances in the story. The most explicit instances can be seen in, "I was Spartan to my father's Athenian" (Bechdel 98). Spartan is a modern day epic movie, which is ornamentally set in the past. However, Athens is traditionally known as an old city.