How Fun Home Makes Us Think About the Nature of Memory

I have talked about the nature of memory, particularly in memoirs in quite a few other classes, so I was not surprised, when we broke up into groups on Friday during class, that I once again found myself discussing how accurate memories are, in terms of memoir. Throughout her work Bechdel says “I think” frequently. While some may say that this makes her argument, or her story lose authority, I say that it does almost the exact opposite.

Last semester I took a class at UMW that focused on the Writing Process (aptly called, the Writing Process). We concluded this class with writing a memoir, that we each shared during our final exam period. In discussing how to write our memoirs, we read one; and in our discussion of that, we realized something that clearly applies to Fun Home. During our discussions of memoir and memory, my professor brought up the point that how one individual remembers something, is not necessarily the same as someone else who was there at the exact same time. Memory is not truth, and it never will be. Which is exactly why I feel that Allison Bechdel’s openness with her worries that she is not telling events exactly as they happened, as something that makes her argument all the more real.

I am more likely to believe someone when they are being brutally honest about something, than when they sound too authoritative, and I know that I am not alone in thinking this. There is something about authenticity and honest that is so completely interrelated. Does anyone else feel this way about Fun Home? Or does anyone feel completely different than this?

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