Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

EEL FREE TO CHOOSE ANY QUESTION: (I came up with a little draft for question number four I felt that was the easiest but you can do any.. I will attach it because I had to hand in a draft.. you can expand on that) PLEASE make sure you read the whole book I need to get an 100.
Essay #4 – 100 points:
Minimum length 3 pages or 750 words.
Use MLA format for in-text citations and include a properly formatted Works Cited page (it will have only one entry but I’d like you to practice the correct format).
Draft is due Thursday, 4/27 (paper copy in class); Final Draft is due Tuesday, 5/2 on BB. NO EXCEPTIONS, NO EXTENSIONS.

Consider the questions about Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic listed below. Choose one you feel comfortable answering for this essay.

For this essay you should make use only of your own insights and the material in Bechdel’s book. Do not consult secondary sources for ideas or theories. Also, please do not present ideas, statements or observations I made in class as your own without at least trying to explain them further using your own language.

Suggested Procedure:
Choose the question you want to answer, consult your notes from class discussions, read over the Discussion Board posts of your colleagues, and jot down some initial ideas.
Consider which of the passages and panels in the book might best help you discuss the question you want to answer. Review them (re-read the section in the book, in other words) and note the passages which could be helpful in explaining your view.
Construct a thesis that indicates your focus. You need a thesis because you are arguing for your interpretation/view of Bechdel’s work. The thesis should not be so obvious that your reader will say “so what?” – don’t settle for a generalization. Instead make a statement which indicates thought and depth, and which requires support and proof.
Find additional evidence in the text to support your thesis, and organize the rest of your essay around these examples. Don’t rely on generalizations or summaries of the story to convince your reader, but provide specific evidence and discuss the importance of the evidence for your thesis.
Conclude your essay by summing up your argument so that the readers see that your evidence does support your thesis.

Format and Conventions:
Put quotation marks around chapter titles. Title of the book should always be in italics.
Follow direct quotations with page numbers from the text, in parentheses. Close the quotation marks before the citation; put the end punctuation after it. For example: “Like many fathers, mine could occasionally be prevailed on for a spot of ‘airplane’” (3).
Use present tense to discuss Bechdel’s work. Consult Hacker’s A Pocket Style Manual for additional help (sections 32 and 33 are especially helpful).
Your audience is your colleagues and your instructor who are familiar with Bechdel’s memoir so don’t spend too much time on plot summary.

In her essay “Memory and Imagination” Patricia Hampl claims that “[o]ur capacity to move forward as developing beings rests on a healthy relation with the past…We carry our wounds and, perhaps even worse, our capacity to wound, forward with us. If we learn not only to tell our stories but to listen to what our stories tell us—to write the first draft and then return for the second draft—we are doing the work of memory” (p. 789, par. 47). Can you apply Hampl’s notion to Bechdel’s memoir? How so?
Death is an important theme in this memoir. Describe how Bechdel approaches death at different points in her life.
Fun Home frequently refers to other texts, from personal diaries and letters, to excerpts from Fitzgerald and Greek myth. Bechdel, like her father, often frames her identity through other texts. What purpose do these texts serve in Bechdel’s memoir? Do they lead closer to the truth or further from it? OR: What is the significance of the literary allusions Bechdel uses throughout the memoir? How do they contribute to the reader’s understanding of Bechdel’s development? Please remember that in order to understand the literary allusions you may have to familiarize yourself with some of the works Bechdel mentions. You do not have to read them but at least know the main plots and characters.
One of the themes we identified in Fun Home was the significance of geographical location in developing one’s identity. What role does location and landscape, both urban and country, play in the identity of Bechdel and her father?
The relationship between Alison and her father is at the heart of the memoir, but more specifically it is each of their struggles with their sexual orientation that is explored by Bechdel. Discuss Bruce and Alison’s journeys as gay individuals: the contrasts, revelations and perhaps the unresolved conflicts, among other points.
Another possibility is the theme of gender identification (don’t confuse that with sexual orientation; they are linked but are not the same thing). What do the references Bechdel makes to gender identification suggest about cultural pressures to conform?
Besides frequent literary allusions, Bechdel also makes frequent references to historical events forming the backdrop to the events happening at home. What is the impact of those references? Why does she use that type of device?

When writing your essay, please keep in mind certain points:

Alison’s (Bechdel’s) age at the time of the event – frequently she’s too young to be aware of certain ideas, despite liking or disliking certain things.
Note your reactions to the text – were you irritated, confused? Why? Did it make a difference to how you understood the work? You can use this in your essay, especially in the conclusion.
Maintain MLA format – here’s a link that can help you do that:
(Note your reactions to the book and use them, Alison (Bechdels) age at the time of the event/experience, When referencing a passage/moment from the text, don’t just list it or mention it – interepret it, that is explain how it contributes to your point)

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