Saturday, 19 November 2011

Mindless Banter 2: Relationship with Bruce

At the very beginning, starting on the very first page, Allison's father starts off as seemingly okay, giving Alison a typical "airplane" as fathers tend to do. By the eleventh page, her father's true nature begins to be revealed.

Alison's father had a passion for making the house beautiful in an old gothic style. He was constantly working on fixing up the house, the garden, or anything he could think of improving upon. Alison's father is seen worrying over the state of the house, whether it was a dusty rug or something falling apart. (pg. 11)

But Alison's father was a man who worked hard at restoring their run down house into a gothic styled house rather than working hard at raising his children properly and giving them the care and attention they needed. As Alison's father payed more attention to the house and the decor than his children, I felt as if her father did not particularly care for his children, but simply saw them as tools. Alison writes: "My brothers and I were free labour. Dad considered us extensions of his own body, like precision robot arms." (pg. 20)

Her father was also a person who yelled and swore, along with having violent outbursts where he would try and often succeed at hitting the children. When his children could not complete tasks like holding a Christmas tree straight, he would swear at them, becoming angry. He grew particularly angry when somebody broke a piece of furniture or set things too close to the edge of the ledge it was sitting on. (pg. 18)

In my eyes, Alison's father seemed to be an awful father. He lacks care and has a disregard for his children's struggles. On page 80, Alison is carrying a large suitcase, complaining that it is too heavy for her to carry, but all her father is doing is yelling at her to hurry up with it.

Alison's father gave off the vibe that he didn't particularly care for his children but merely saw them as small people that he simply had to live with. To me, he appeared to be a man who was only concerned with his self image, being careful not to reveal himself or make himself look bad.

Here is a website that goes further in depth with Bruce Bechdel. Bruce

Posted by Catherine Park.

Bechdel, Alison. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic. 1. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2006. 232. Print.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting link. Feels odd to put a real face to the drawings.

    I agree, he doesn't seem like the most caring father. I wonder how things would have progressed and whether Alison and her father would have ever built a proper relationship if he hadn't died. It seems broken relationships are often mended in the later stages of life, but it's hard to tell if this relationship would re-bond or if it'd break apart further.

    Things like this always seem significantly more black-and-white with hindsight though.

    What makes a good father?

    -Steven Twigg