Are You My Mother Analysis

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Autobiographical exploration: Why We Have to Take It Seriously The genre of autobiographical exploration has become very popular as of late. It used to be a genre reserved for celebrities and famous business people who use their books to offer guidance on how to become like them. But the rise of autobiographies has created a new type of diversity in the genre. Now, we could be reading about someone who is as ordinary as us, but with something special that makes them stand out, such as a traumatizing event, a characteristic, or just their unique experiences. Through writing, these authors convey their most raw emotions and teaches us life lessons through giving us a real-lived experience, and most of all, the writers are able to find more truth…show more content…
This is because during the process, the author often have to deal with aspects of their lives that are unpleasant. By allowing themselves to be vulnerable, they are opening up the opportunity to dig deep into their history, acknowledge their emotions, attempt to make sense of their past and present, and be honest in the process. Alison Bechdel is a notable writer of the autobiographical genre and in her book Are You My Mother? she gives a very truthful account of her relationship with her mother, as well as her attempt to understand and explore it beyond the surface of what it seems. She mixes the graphic novel genre and the autobiographical genre together to create her own form of narrative. The first chapter, “The Ordinary Devoted Mother” opens with a reoccurring dream that she had and the moments before she revealed to her mother that she is writing an autobiographical book about her father and their family. From the very beginning, we see her unrestrained emotion coming out when she imagines that she is talking to her mother. She says to herself, “You smarmy,…show more content…
In “On Becoming Educated” by Joy Castro, she openly admits that she is “a first-generation college student, here by fluke on fellowship, and the theorists’ English seems foreign to me, filled with jargon and abstractions at which I can only guess” (267). Admitting this does Castro no benefit. It could be even seen to make her words feel less important or believable because she is admitting incompetence to a degree. However, admitting this truth allows her to open a new door and examine the problems she had with feminist theory graduate course. She admits that she struggled. “I disengage,” she wrote. But then we see her emotion and her passion come out when she reads a different type of book, an autobiography. “I’ve encountered a text that speaks passionately to me, a text radical and thrilling, an author whose feminist, ethnic, sexual, and working-class concerns corresponds to my own, a book that acknowledges real-world prejudice, poverty, and sexual violation, that mixes poetry and history, memoir and argument” (267-268). The autobiographical exploration of Gloria Anzaldua had lit up a passion in Castro, but to her colleagues, the book was too “angry.” Anzaldua’s raw emotions and feelings had made the class reluctant to take Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza seriously.
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