Summary Of Alison Bechdel's 'The Ideal Husband'?

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In her graphic memoir Fun Home, Alison Bechdel tells the interweaving stories of her upbringing, her father’s life and death, and her own journey to come to terms with her sexuality. Bechdel tells these stories in a largely nonlinear fashion, arranging scenes by common theme rather than chronologicity. The only exception to this rule is chapter six, “The Ideal Husband”. This chapter recounts the summer of Bechdel’s fourteenth birthday, during which a number of milestones occur. By abandoning her preferred method of story-telling, Bechdel exposes the similarities between these events and also demonstrates the profound impact these events had on the course of her life. Chapter six starts with a whirlwind of incidents—Bechdel admits to this…show more content…
Wilde’s true identity was revealed just as that of his character had been—but Wilde faced far bleaker consequences. In almost startling parallelism, Bruce is tried under largely the same circumstances as Wilde, having been reported by the concerned relative of a potential paramour just as Wilde was. Unlike Wilde, however, the secret of Bruce’s sexuality remains veiled—Bechdel writes that only “a whiff of the sexual aroma of the true offense could be detected in the sentence.” (180). Thus Bruce’s secret was safely shrouded. Bechdel herself was also keeping a secret this summer. In early June, she started menstruating, but declined to tell her mother, hoping “that by ignoring it, it would go away.” (158). Beginning one’s menstrual cycle is often seen as a rite of passage into womanhood. By rejecting it, Bechdel is symbolically rejecting her femininity—her own true identity, just as Wilde and Bruce had. Overshadowing all of the local crises of Beech Creek throughout the summer was the Watergate scandal. This served as the crux for all of the deceit plaguing Bechdel’s summer. The news coverage of the hearings was pervasive and perpetual, bringing themes of deception and cover-ups into the homes of America. Bechdel writes “Gaps, erasures, and other lacunae had saturated the news for the past year.” (172). The Watergate hearings served as a backdrop and even point of reference for the numerous clandestine incidents Bechdel experienced

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