Analysis Of Water Imagery In Fun Home

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The human social structure is based on the grouping of people together based on some characteristic, whether it be nationality, religion, participation in a particular activity or club, or any of the other many social divisions. The solidarity of these groupings is derived from the interpersonal connections. When the most intimate grouping, the nuclear family structure does not have these powerful bonds, it leads to estrangement in its members, and can lead to the collapse of the family unit. However, these bonds are pliable, and are constantly reshaped by social interactions. In Fun Home, water imagery depicting interactions between Alison and her father Bruce is used to increase emotional proximity, whereas water imagery depicting interactions …show more content…
The first important scene is, while sitting on a dock overlooking New York Harbor, Alison resolves her feelings about her father. In this instance, like the bathing example, when there is water imagery in connection with Bruce, the emotional distance between Alison and her father decreases as, in this case, she realizes that he was “a tragic victim of homophobia” (196). While considering that Bruce may have been motivated to do all of the harmful things to his family because of his own internal suppression causes Alison pain at first, it results in a positive experience: the reconciliation and recognition that his violent outbursts and “narrative of injustice, of sexual shame[,] and fear,” might have been caused by factors that were out of his control (196). By doing so, it makes Bruce seem less accountable for his actions, and makes Alison more sympathetic to his convoluted internal state. The second important scene is when Alison and Bruce swim together (230-232). In contrast to the similar situation with her mother, Alison and her father are physically touching while in the pool. Furthermore, this is the only panel in the entire memoir where Alison and Bruce are smiling at the same time. Although the physical distance between Alison and Bruce increases as the panels progress, unlike the earlier pool scene with Helen where the increased physical distance resulted in greater emotional distance, in this case, it leads to greater emotional closeness and trust. Alison jumping off the diving board into Bruce’s open arms illustrates the greatest emotional and physical proximity between the pair, as Alison recognizes that “He [would be] there to catch me when I leapt” (232). Even though the jump itself is risky, Alison’s safety is guaranteed: Bruce will catch her as she splashes into the water. In this moment of

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