Sokolow 1 Kendell Sokolow Professor Stupp English 102 22 September, 2016 Through the Lenses of Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic The mind of the father in the section of Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel from Visual Storytelling is complicated for the reader. Over the course of the twenty-one pages we learn not only did the main character’s father end up killing himself, but he holds a dark secrets from his family as well. It is having sex with underage boys (Visual Storytelling 161). With the complicated relationship between the Alison and her father, the reader notices he performs some unusual actions such as obsessing over the creation of the perfect house and beating his own children. However, these actions can be explained and connected to the father’s crime if the reader understands the theories of Sigmund Freud. There are also hidden messages within the texts and panels indicating the father’s secret before the reader actually sees the text revealing what it is.One of the panels in the story also indicate a message from the author to the reader concerning children who go through abuse like she did. The actions of Alison’s father in Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic is understood by the reader if they have an understanding of Freud’s defense mechanisms, subliminal messages and settings within the panels combined with text. Alison’s father obsessing with perfection in his house can be analyzed through Freud’s defense mechanisms. The defense mechanism specific to this situation is called sublimation. Sublimation is defined by Freud as replacing impulses that are socially unacceptable with
Sokolow 2 behavior that is accepted by society (Gay 7-8). In the case of Alison’s father, obsessed with creating the perfect house because he is concerned and stressing about hiding his sexual desires from his family. For example, when he is lifting his daughter in the air with his feet, he then places her back on the floor, despite her objections, to notice the messy rug (Visual Storytelling 147-148).