Fun Home

Fun Home Imagery

Bathing (Tactile Imagery)

Because Bechdel's memoir is illustrated, there is visual imagery on every page. However, she also uses other forms of imagery to stimulate the reader's senses. For example, she describes the feeling of her father bathing her: "the suffusion of warmth as the hot water sluiced over me... the sudden unbearable cold of its absence" (22). This is an instance of tactile imagery, which Bechdel expertly employs as a way of invoking the distance between her younger self and her father. 

Interstate 80 (Auditory Imagery)

Bechdel uses auditory imagery to convey how far removed the Bechdels' home felt from any evidence of human civilization. Over an image of young Alison, her brothers, and their father playing cards outside by candlelight, she writes, "The massive earthen berm [Bald Eagle Mountain] effectively deadened any hint of noise from the glorious thoroughfare... except on hot, still nights when the humidity was particularly conducive" (127). 

Locusts (Auditory Imagery)

Bechdel recalls one particular summer during her adolescence when a plague of locusts descended upon Beech Creek. Over images of her family engaged in outdoor activities like playing croquet and mowing the lawn, she writes, "EEEREEEREEEREEE" to show how disruptive the locusts were. She further expands on this visual indicator by juxtaposing it with auditory imagery. "The locusts settled down to an orgy in our tall maple trees, cloaking us from dawn to dusk in the ambient noise of their conjugal exertions," she writes, "perhaps their vibrating chorus shook looks the screws on some collective libidinal impulse, unleashing it into the atmosphere" (156-157). Here, Bechdel's use of auditory imagery allows her to emphasize the chaos that enveloped her family that summer.