Analysis of The Use of Illustration in "Fun Home" by Alison Bechdel

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About this sample


Words: 1563 |

Pages: 3|

8 min read

Published: Jan 28, 2021

Words: 1563|Pages: 3|8 min read

Published: Jan 28, 2021

Fun Home is a family tragicomic is a realistic memoir by Alison Bechdel. It centers explicitly around her folks, Helen and Bruce, and their job in her life. Bechdel manufactures the story around the deplorable occasion of her dad's demise. also, following her voyage from little youngster to youthful grown-up as she grasps her very own lesbian sexuality, her dad Bruce's (no doubt) suicide, and his mystery homosexuality or promiscuity that he kept covered up for an amazing duration while having illicit relationships with underage young men. It is frequently felt that graphic novels and comic books are here and there less modern or not as important as customary books as though the utilization of outlines instead of long message depictions makes it a progressively oversimplified medium.

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Be that as it may, the mixing of illustration and text in graphic novels makes similarly as mind boggling of an encounter, I think, gives a fascinating chance to examine the methods of cooperation among content and representations. In this paper, I will be taking a look at Alison Bechdel’s memoir Fun Home to determine different ways that the use of illustration was brought up in the book. I will be showcasing through examination of different entries from the book, that illustration support the text by uncovering the idea of the connection among Alison and her father Bruce, utilizing exact symbolism that mirrors the text, and giving further knowledge into the manner in which the writer of the book sees her reality and the individuals in it. Also, in this paper, I will be speaking on the art style and how it influences whether you would read it or not.

The connection among Alison and Bruce gets simpler for the reader to comprehend when looking at their interaction with one another, for instance a discussion between them in Bruce’s library from pages 84-86 which features how their relationship and how it’s basically cold all the time and that happens because of Bruce’s distinction with the real world, and the scene on page 220 and 221 between them in the vehicle on their way to a movies which delineates the extraordinary battle it is for them to convey their staggering likenesses. Exact symbolism that supports the text can be discovered when contrasting the first and last scenes in the book, which both include Alison as a little youngster as though she is flying while she and Bruce's relationship is associated to the myth of Icarus, and on page 134 which speaks to Alison’s genuinely inaccessible “artists’ colony” family in their own separated inventive bubble in the house.

Further knowledge into Alison's perspective on the world can be picked up by taking a look at instances of how she outwardly speaks to masculinity and femininity, for instance the manner in which she depicts the feminine gay men in New York on page 190 and when she visited she is presented to the gay community and she is fascinated by “cosmeticized masculinity” that she saw in gay men, and a male dancer in the book is drawn in an elegant way and Alison thought to herself it was feminine and strange that a man would be doing that pose. She draws herself as masculine throughout the book which I thought was interesting as well because in the book she expressed how she doesn’t like girly clothes.

At this point when the outlines are investigated as well as the text in Fun Home, further knowledge into the connection among Alison and Bruce can be picked up. One occurrence of this is the scene between them in Bruce’s library like I stated earlier. In text, Alison muses about her dad’s secretive ways, portraying his “preference of a fiction to reality,” and the strange similitudes between his demise and F. Scott Fitzgerald's, as though Bruce had arranged it that way. Bruce is a riddle to her he has a complex internal world that his little girl will never comprehend or invade, so she is left guessing after his passing. At the same time, the pictures play out an apparently unremarkable scene among Alison and Bruce in which she approaches him for cash to purchase books. They are perceptibly cold to one another for a dad and daughter. They say the minimum to each other, and barley makes eye contact throughout the scene.

Bruce never gazes upward from his book (a biography Fitzgerald's wife, Zelda) and shows up totally unconcerned with Alison's quality and questions. He sits encompassed by his books, reading in a rocker, looking engaged and genuine. Bruce can't break his fixation on writing for his girl and stays in his own reality notwithstanding her. Alison then again has a marginally fomented outward appearance, as though she fears addressing her dad. She is encountering a similar dissatisfaction about being bolted out of her dad's reality as she does when scrutinizing his passing as she composes the content bit of the book. The text isn't portraying truly what occurs in the illustrations, nonetheless, the two parts of the scene work together to fabricate one importance: Alison's distance from her father because he’s hard to figure out. Another scene which investigates their relationship is the scene in Bruce's vehicle on pages 220 and 221, in which they guardedly endeavor to talk about their sexuality just because. The main text in the scene is their exchange and a portion of Alison's considerations at the time. The full spread of indistinguishable square panels makes a sentiment of anticipation as though they are solidified in time. 'I kept still, like he was splendid deer I didn’t want to startle.” The format of the scene makes the force and tranquility that she is feeling consummately in that unequivocal minute where she nearly makes an association with her baffling dad. Their rapidly moving outward appearances from one box to the following makes them both seem anxious.

The sameness of the panels, aside from just for the text and outward appearances of the characters, mirrors the equivalence of Alison and Bruce that is so evident in this scene. The two of them experience issues conveying yet need to open up, they have battled with a significant number of similar issues identified with their strange personalities, they are both tested by their entangled relationship. They are even drawn with comparative facial highlights, for example, their noses and facial structures, which is simple for the reader/audience to see when they are drawn next to each other in rehashing square panels for two whole pages.

When I come across graphic novels such as Fun Home the style of the craftsmanship vigorously impacts whether I need to understand it or not. As a graphic novel, Alison has worked admirably on making the craftsmanship realistic as it ought to be. Her style is attracted a way which is semi-practical and doesn't edit profanity or nakedness. The style is straightforward yet honorable, drawn with fresh dull lines. Forgetting about little subtleties, the illustrations work superbly of conveying the storyline. The style of the graphic novel is straightforward and neat, yet there are often vivid changes in the style. Alison's style initially comprises of dark fresh lines shaded by various tones of blue. The typical portrayal of profundity and point of view comprises of darker shades of blue. On page 41 is the first time the style changes significantly. An image of The Addams Family is seen inside a book, yet it is blindingly and extremely unique in relation to the remainder of the novel. It is attracted the style of the first creator of The Addams Family, Charles Addams.

Another style change that truly stands apart is on page 107. A photo of a man is also in a style totally different from the same as the typical style is appeared. The man is laying back, lose or snoozing on a bed and the photograph is completely concealed utilizing cross bring forth. From the standard, this one photo is totally unique and appears to be strange. Asides from the explosions of various styles, I discovered articulations didn't depict the character's mood appropriately. At times in the novel when I calculated the characters would be in some type of mood, their appearance just demonstrated weariness. For example, on page 182 At the point when Beth Gryglewicz and Alison choose to spruce up in old clothes that belonged to Alison's dad. Yet, in the scene when the two young ladies are putting on the outfits, they look exhausted, baffled, or tired and those are feelings a youth doesn't feel when sprucing up in their parent's clothes.

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In the graphic novel Fun Home by Alison Bechdel, the text interfaces with the descriptions from numerous points of view. Details found in the illustration enable us to add more to the connection among Alison and Bruce and add to our comprehension picked up from the text. Exact symbolism is utilized to reflect and fortify what is written in the text. At last, close investigation of Alison's drawings encourages us to all the more likely handle how she sees her reality and the individuals in it. Fun Home and the graphic novel medium in general are intriguing, though incredibly unique in relation to the conventional novel. Images joined with text, when they work well, are similarly as successful as text alone at making a complex and multi layered account of which profound comprehension can be picked up. 

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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Analysis of The Use of Illustration in “Fun Home” by Alison Bechdel. (2021, January 25). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 20, 2024, from
“Analysis of The Use of Illustration in “Fun Home” by Alison Bechdel.” GradesFixer, 25 Jan. 2021,
Analysis of The Use of Illustration in “Fun Home” by Alison Bechdel. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 20 May 2024].
Analysis of The Use of Illustration in “Fun Home” by Alison Bechdel [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2021 Jan 25 [cited 2024 May 20]. Available from:
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