"Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic" Analysis Essay

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Alison Bechdel's graphic memoir, Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, documents the author's discovery of her own and her father's homosexuality. The book touches upon many themes, including, but not limited to, the following: sexual orientation, family relationships, and suicide. Unlike most autobiographical works, Bechdel uses the comics graphic medium to tell her story. By close-reading or carefully analyzing pages fourteen through seventeen in Fun Home one can get a better understanding of how a Bechdel employs words and graphic devices to render specific events. One can also see how the specific content of the pages thematically connects to the book as a whole. As we will see, this portion of the book echoes the strained relationship …show more content…
According to Scott McCloud, author of Understanding Comics, the placement of the word balloons from left to right indicates the order in which one must read them. This also means that each word balloon depicts a single moment in time rather than all the figures speaking at once (McCloud 96-97). There is interdependent relationship between the words and the pictures because the facial expressions convey what the family members are saying orally in response to the fathers actions. Moving on to the second panel, one can see a typical family scene depicted. The kids are sitting around watching T.V., and from the balloon you also get the sense they are annoying each other. As in panel one, one can see details that bring the scene to life. Lines are used to depict the backboard of the T.V. armoire. There is a detailed globe to right atop of what seems to be a stand holding books. The father isn't in the same room as the children, but the purpose of this will be elaborated on later. Again there is an interdependent relationship between the words and pictures because one wouldn't be able to tell what's going on by looking at the just the picture or just reading the words. Finally, page fourteen ends with the two smaller, juxtaposed panels. Both panel clearly depict the intricate details of the mirror and wood grain. The transition from one panel to the next might be moment-to-moment, but it may just be that the last