Identity In Alison Bechdel's Fun Home

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The knowledge of exploring who you are as male or female represents the ability to comprehend our identity and become part of society’s standards. Gender is a social constructed characteristic interviewed with cultural views and behaviors ruled by context. Because gender is ruled by society’s standards it has become a negative developmental issue for those who do not fit into gender expectations. Repressive hostility upon identity is a central theme discussed in Fun Home by Alison Bechdel. By using graphic illustrations the author shows in a intimate medium her childhood memories so readers can empathize with her memoir easily. The book gives insight of how identity can be overshadowed by shame and self-destructive habits if individuals opt…show more content…
Bruce Bechdel, as the pioneer of their family’s façade, strived to have neatness and perfection in their lives so his gender struggle would not shine through his attempt to be a perfect man. Because he forced his family into a fictional life, literature became an escape from reality and the only intimate bond Alison and Bruce Bechdel developed as father and daughter. “My diary was rapidly becoming as onerous as the rest of my life” (Bechdel 142). Literature not only became indispensable in Alison’s life but, it was an open door to understand his father death and her problematic childhood. Reading and engaging with books is presented as a way to transmit repressed ideas and desires that would not be said in real life. Bruce Bechdel used the power of literature to throw himself into different roles as a way to free his mind from gender expectations, "But in a way Gatsby’s pristine books and my father’s worn ones signify the same thing – the preference of a fiction to reality” (Bechdel 85). Because Bruce Bechdel strived to overshadow his homosexuality, he engaged in a life full of lies and artifice as the character from The Great Gatsby. Bruce Bechdel wanted to show a perfect life with an outstanding family but, in reality, he was a repressed homosexual man. His compulsive habits not only affected the family’s dynamic but…show more content…
But, if these experiences overshadow the feeling of acceptance how can individual fit into society standards? Fun home opens a controversial discussion about homosexuality and how people overshadow their identities if they do not have a constant nurturing support to overcome their fear and loneliness. Alison Bechdel demonstrates two sides of sexual exploration, Bruce Bechdel as the hidden disruption against interpersonal relationships and Alison as the openness of sexual discovery through literature and empathy. Indeed, Gender identity is one factor that contempt human beings to belong into a category in society because we are driven by emotions and fears. Having a purpose in life can define who we are and the actions we commit in life and if we are not capable to find our own identity, we tend to hide ourselves behind compulsive habits that end in negative consequences as Bruce Bechdel
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