How is representation relevant to this book?
Representation is really relevant to this book as it stands for several minority groups and in this context, it is representing the LGBTQ++ community as Bruce Allen Bechdel and Alison Bechdel are homosexual. It also represents family relationships and how social norms can affect them. These themes that are represented tie back to the idea of political correctness which is essentially how Bruce expects Allison to play the role of a daughter while Allison expects Bruce to play the role of the ideal husband and father.
How much of it is Bechdel’s own search for representation?
I think that the entire graphic novel is Bechdel’s search for representation as she represents how she and her father had dealt with being a part of what was seen at the time, a minority group (LGBTQ++). What she represents in her graphic novel is how her father wanted to represent himself as something that he wasn’t (the ideal man in society’s eyes) which is what eventually led to essentially him kill himself. It’s really like the message, ‘you reap what you sow’. Bruce wanted to and did express his sexuality, and he accomplished this through reading books and sharing them with his community. However, while he was doing this he ended up actually repressing all of his feelings and was living in a fictional or fantasy world, something which was displayed by him through the books he was reading. These repressed feelings were what led Bruce to his eventual death as he was unable to accept his own identity. In contrast, Allison had come to realization of her sexuality and wasn’t living in a fantasy-like world her father leading her to accept herself and she joined communities which let her explore her identity.
Should art be a mirror or a window?
Art could actually be both a mirror and a window. Art could be a mirror as it usually reflects the artist’s emotions and their thoughts. However, it could also be a window as it helps people by giving an insight into the artist’s life as well as social life as he or she perceives it. The reason as to why the two ideas of art being a window and a mirror are linked is because they can be used to spark debate and open society’s eyes to the predicament that people face. For example, Fun Home is technically a piece of art, it is a mirror as it reflects her story and her relationship with her father but it is also a window as she is allowing her audience to witness her relationship with her father through her perspective.
Asians don’t imagine that all Asians look alike; blacks don’t think all blacks look alike.
“Who gets to tell you what you look like? It’s not a representation of identity so much as it is a renegotiation of it.”
- Art represents life continues to either show stereotypical identities (geishas, yandere, kawaii schoolgirl)
- Or renegotiated identities which are accepted by the society (crazy rich Asians & Black Panther -> people looking at africans as just africans whereas when people look at asians they are able to identify.)
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