Fun Home by Alison Bechdel Questions

1. What did you expect when you picked up the book? Did you have any negative associations towards graphic novels? Did this book change your mind?

2. The “Fun Home” in the title refers to the funeral home where Bechdel’s father works. But the house where they live is also central to the story. What do the different houses mean to the story?

3. Do you think the title reflects the story?

4. Do you like the artwork? Do you think this book would have worked had it been a memoir rather than a graphic novel? Did the art enhance or take away from your experience?

5. Bechdel makes frequent references to authors and literature. What effect does this have on the memoir? Do you like books about books?

6. Coming out is an important theme in this memoir. How do you think Bechdel’s father felt about her coming out? Did you like how coming out was handled in this memoir?

7. Bechdel touches on Stonewall, the AIDS crisis, and various lesbian and gay books, such as Colette’s autobiography. Would you describe “Fun Home” as being about gay society in a broader sense, not just Bechdel’s own experience?

8. The narrative moves back and forth in time: the story is not told in a linear fashion. Does this work? Was it confusing? What effect did it have?

9. Is it harder to talk about a memoir than talk about a novel? On page 125, Bechdel imagines how things would differ if her family told the truth. Is Bechdel telling the truth in her own memoir? Does it matter?

10. “Performance” is an important theme. Is her father’s house a performance? What about her mother’s acting career? Is everyone in the family performing a different role?

11. Bechdel describes her relationship with her father as “close, but not close enough”. What do you think about this?

12. Bechdel relied heavily on first hand sources such as letters, journals, and photographs to document her upbringing. One example of this is the series of photos on page 120. How do these media contribute to the authenticity of the book and influence her art?

13. Dream sequences are frequently found in artistic expression. How does Bechdel’s analysis and interpretation of her dreams and her emphasis on imagery enhance her storytelling?

14. How does Bechdel’s use of a limited color palette influence the story? Does it enhance or distract from the story?

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