Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel, is in my opinion, a comment on the flaws of society as a whole. Bechdel spends her childhood with her mother, father, and siblings in a large mansion that her father, Bruce, is infatuated with restoring and improving even though it is already complete as far as fixtures and furniture and appearance goes. Bechdel also spends time living with her grandmother in the family owned funeral home which she refers to as the “Fun Home,” as she enjoys her time spent there more so than the time she spent at her other house. I believe that this is some sort of metaphor for closet homosexuals versus those who are openly gay.
Bechdel’s father was married to a woman, but was secretly having affairs with younger men. Just like the mansion, his marriage and family looked perfect from the outside, but things weren’t as good as they seemed. Bruce seemed like the ideal husband to some, but Alison wrote on page 17: “But would an ideal husband have sex with teenage boys?” In the photo on that page, Bruce’s eyes can be seen staring at one of the altar boys, probably checking him out. Bruce was married and wanted to keep the façade of his “perfect family” intact, and coming out as gay would’ve changed all of that. It became evident that when his wife was thinking about filing for divorce he decided to take his own life rather than have the truth come out. I believe that Bechdel was trying to point out that if society were more accepting of homosexuals, maybe Bruce never would have married a woman in the first place and could’ve been comfortable with being with a man openly.
The “Fun Home” was the place Alison preferred to stay. Ironically, it was a funeral home, which is not a place where your average child would enjoy living. However, compared to the mansion, the funeral home was a lot better, partly because Alison’s grandmother lived there, and she would tell stories about Alison’s father getting stuck in the mud as a child, which painted him as being vulnerable, which is a trait that he did not show off around his kids. Everything in the “Fun Home” is straightforward and as it appears. From the dead bodies lying in the caskets to the modest furniture and fixtures, what you see is what you get at the “Fun House.” This is symbolic of Alison being openly gay later in her life. Unlike her father, she tells her mother that she is gay and is able to openly be who she really wants to be, regardless of what others think.