Saturday, 26 November 2011

Mindless Banter 3: Father's Pressure

Upon reading Fun Home, the impression that was left from Alison's father was that he was insecure. In truth, he appeared to be a person who couldn't accept himself for who he was. He was afraid of his sexuality, saw that Alison was a lesbian as well, and tried to change her ways somehow.

Bruce [Alison's father] had a picture of himself wearing a women's bathing suit and was striking a "lissome, elegant" pose, rather than joking posing. It was a picture Alison had fond after he had passed away. Along with this photo, Alison also found one of Roy, the Bechdel's yard work assistant and babysitter. The picture of Roy is described to be beautiful. Alison's father had made a "curiously ineffectual attempt at censorship" by hiding the photo within photos from a trip they took as a family.

I think that because Bruce had always been hiding who he really was, he ended up forcing what he would have wanted for himself onto his daughter Alison. On page 106, Alison is preparing to go out, and her father is handing her a pearl necklace to which Alison is objecting. Alison writes, "But I wanted the muscles and tweed like my father wanted the velvet and pearls - subjectively, for myself."

When Bruce takes Alison on a business trip to Philidelphia, they encounter a rather "unsettling sight". Alison sees for the first time a woman that has a man's haircut and wote mens' clothes. At the same time, her father spotted the woman as well and snapped, "is THAT what you want to look like?".

Bruce had asked Alison this question because he could see that glint in her eyes; the one that he recognized to be longing. And of course, the last thing Bruce wanted was for Alison to be like the lady in men's clothes.

To me, Bruce seemed liked he was very insecure about his way of living and sexuality and didn't want Alison to be like him. He did what he could in order to hide himself from the family and tried to push Alison in the right direction, although what he tried was not much help in the end.

A quick link I found rather interesting about sexual orientation. I wonder why people ask if it's a mental disorder. Link!

Post by Catherine Park

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

"Sexual Orientation, Homosexuality and Bisexuality." American Psychological Association (APA). American Psychology Association, 2011. Web. 26 Nov. 2011. <>.

No comments:

Post a Comment