Chute And Fun Home

Throughout the reading, Chute focuses on how the comic style has allowed a platform for depicting trauma and how this trauma is portrayed by women. She accentuates how important the depiction of a women in a traumatic situation is and she highlights her as an onlooker and curator, and importantly not only as a victim. Within Fun Home, Bechdel does not hide any truths about trauma and does not dance around the subject. She addresses it as her memory prevails and more importantly fully displays her emotional truths. Through this honesty and representation, Bechdel allows for the trauma she has experienced to become real to her audience and claims authority for the art form. Chute also states that “while a few decades ago comics by women about their lives had to be published underground, today they are taking over the conversation about literature and the self.” This statement clearly demonstrates the ways in which women’s issues have been reserved, pushed back, concealed because they were somehow not ‘appropriate’ for a wider audience. However we must view the fact that women comic authors were getting in trouble for their work about women as a systematic problem. Talking about the body, sex, feminism, etc. should not be censored material just because it is truthful or causes discomfort. I do believe that it is somewhat modern artist’s responsibility to re-introduce the body in a way that is not sexual to an audience. The body needs to be normalized and not only viewed as an object of desire as it has been repeatedly in the past. And this normalization needs to be seen not just in terms of the body, but also with trauma and mental states. Obviously trauma should not be normalized but it has to be separated from the romanticization that it has received. Constantly these topics have been romanticized and somewhat attached to a feminine lens. Once again Alison Bechdel achieves this neutral stance as she depicts herself within Fun Home, dealing with trauma, communicating it to the audience, and being truthful about it. If she were to hide truths from the audience this suspense about the trauma or the events of the story would add secrecy and give these experiences a strange power that she might not intend them to have. Therefore I applaud her honestly as it leaves the reader with little to imagine or fill in the gaps with. Further through the use of color scheme and facial depiction, Bechdel illustrates the true emotions attached to the trauma she experienced. The strictly blue, black, and white colors leave no room for excitement or warmth of any kind. Further, the blank stares throughout the novel leave you with a dull feeling. She does not overhype any aspect of the actions of her father or her mental state. It is truthful and the world needs more of these kinds of novels!

1 thought on “Chute And Fun Home

  1. casperca

    I appreciate how you call out the idea that trauma has been romanticized and attached to feminism in a potentially harmful way. I applaud comics like Fun Home for showing trauma in a way that is both powerful and common, but not in a way that makes it seem like it should be normal and also without making themselves a victim. I wonder how comics as a medium allows women to express these themes in a way that other mediums cannot.


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