My definition so far of what a graphic text is that it is a story that is accompanied by images. I keep my definition very loose as there are many creative ways that people can find to make graphic texts so the definition should be open for more possibilities.
The speech and narrative language work together to tell this story by having the narrative language tell her inner feelings and her reflection on her life. Her speech and the visuals in the story tells anecdotes that give context and further deepen the reflection the narrative is telling. The visual imagery can show things that can’t be described in a way that leaves it to interpretation for the reader.
The character whose story is told here is both Alison Bechdel and her Father’s story. Or at least what she has interpreted about her Father from her perspective as she can never truly know what he thinks as she isn’t him. The identity that is shown throughout this book is homosexuality.
There is a contrast shown between how Bechdel and her Father both express their identity in different ways. Both express them differently due to upbringings of their time with her Father being brought up in a more homophobic time than her causing him to remain closeted. Then he ended up taking out these tendencies in a pedophillic manner to young boys. The contrast to this is that Bechdel instead comes out and is brave enough to reach out to others like her, leaves the closet and finds a girlfriend and thus never exhibits the same pedophilloic behaviour as him.
They are both under the same identity yet how they explore this identity through life differs as they are brought up in different environments. With the contrast of the pedophile old man with the youthful lesbian college student.
This story also shows mental illness that Bechdel has suffered from a child. Identity is represented throughout Bechdel and her father and shows their experiences in the panels as she reflects on them in the narrative text.
this is a graphic memoir- how does this genre affect your reading of it?
This story being a graphic memoir allows me to follow two lines of thought. The narrative text which speaks in more complex words that reflects and describes the inner feelings of whats going on below the surface of the story. As well as, the speech and visual imagery in the story which is more simple which lets me see how Bechdel and her Father interact in daily life. I think this story being told with visual imagery is important because the house is an important aspect of the story and it is displayed best through visual imagery rather than having to be described in great detail. The house being in the background also impacts the framing of shots in this story with the drapery visual showing the divide between Bechdel and her father as many a time they are shown to be separated by them. This sort of framing could not be done in another genre as there would be no visuals that could subtly hint to their relationship in the same way.
The last page in chapter two page 54 is a page that I find the most striking in this book. I find it striking because the expression on Bechdel’s face in this scene is very haunted and I’m very drawn to it unlike any other scene. This page is finishing a chapter that had just been recounting how her father died and this is a scene with her just standing in front of his grave finally realising that he is truly dead. This page also has a lot of references to other parts of the text in it with allusions to the grandmothers story in the text and the phallic shape of his grave stone referencing to his pedophillic behavior.
Homosexual sex is shown in this story and well as female masturbation. Both things are generally associated as shameful concepts that are not apporpriate to a general audience due to ideas of shame. But this story was about Bechdel showing herself and her past without any shame. No things were glossed over or hidden this is the honest truth of her life.