Memoir essay assignment

The American Scholar: How to Write a memoir

memoir essay assignment

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For example, to illustrate a panel depicting fireworks seen from a greenwich Village rooftop on July 4, 1976, she used google Images to find a photograph of the new York skyline taken from that particular building in that period. 3 67 68 She also painstakingly copied by hand many family photographs, letters, local maps and excerpts from her own childhood journal, incorporating these images into her narrative. 67 After using the reference material to draw a tight framework for the page, bechdel copied the line art illustration onto plate finish Bristol board for the final inked page, which she then scanned into her computer. 2 3 The gray-blue ink wash for each page was drawn on a separate page of watercolor paper, and combined with the inked image using Photoshop. 2 3 37 Bechdel chose the bluish wash color for its flexibility, and because it had "a bleak, elegiac quality" which suited the subject matter. 69 Bechdel attributes this detailed creative process to her "barely controlled obsessive-compulsive disorder". 67 70 Publication and reception edit fun Home was first printed in hardcover by houghton Mifflin ( Boston, new York ) on June 8, 2006. 71 This edition appeared on the new York times' hardcover Nonfiction bestseller list for two weeks, covering the period from June 18 to july 1, 2006.

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I don't like pictures that don't have information in them. I want pictures that you have to read, that you have to decode, that take time, that you can get lost. Otherwise what's the point? 66 Alison Bechdel took photographs of herself posing as each character, to use as reference in her drawing. Here, she poses for a drawing of her father. Bechdel wrote and illustrated Fun Home over a seven-year period. 1 Her meticulous artistic process made the task of illustration slow. She began each page by creating a framework in Adobe Illustrator, on which she placed the text and drew rough figures. 2 3 She used extensive photo reference and, for many panels, posed for each human figure herself, using a digital camera to record her poses. Bechdel also used photo reference for background elements.


64 The first chapter, "Old Father, Old Artificer refers to line in joyce's a portrait of the Artist as a young Man, and the second, "a happy death invokes the camus novel. "That Old Catastrophe" is a line from Wallace Stevens's " Sunday morning and "In the Shadow of the young Girls in Flower" is the literal translation of the title of one of the volumes of Marcel Proust's In search of Lost Time, which is usually. In addition to the literary allusions which are explicitly acknowledged in the text, bechdel incorporates visual allusions to television programs and other items of pop culture into her artwork, often as images on a television in the background of a panel. 33 These visual references include the film It's a wonderful Life, bert and Ernie of Sesame Street, the Smiley face, yogi bear, batman, the road Runner and Wile. Coyote, the resignation of Richard Nixon and The Flying Nun. 33 65 Artwork edit fun Home is drawn in black line art with a gray-blue ink wash. 2 sean Wilsey wrote that Fun Home' s panels "combine the detail and technical proficiency. Crumb with a seriousness, emotional complexity and innovation completely its own." 7 Writing in the gay lesbian review Worldwide, diane Ellen online Hamer contrasted "Bechdel's habit of drawing her characters very simply and yet distinctly" with "the attention to detail that she devotes to the background.

memoir essay assignment

Brooklyn: a personal Memoir: With the lost photographs

She met Bruce bechdel when the two were appearing in a college production of The taming of the Shrew, and Alison Bechdel intimates that this was "a harbinger of my parents' later marriage". 58 Helen Bechdel's role as Lady Bracknell in a local production of The Importance of being Earnest is shown in some detail; Bruce bechdel is compared with Oscar Wilde. 59 His homosexuality is also examined with allusion to marcel Proust 's In search of Lost Time. 60 The father and daughter's artistic and obsessive-compulsive tendencies are discussed with reference. Shepard 's illustrations for The wind in the willows. 61 Bruce and Alison Bechdel exchange hints about their sexualities by exchanging memoirs: the father gives the daughter Earthly paradise, an autobiographical collection of the writings of Colette ; shortly afterwards, in what Alison Bechdel describes as "an eloquent unconscious gesture she leaves a library. 62 Finally, returning to the daedalus myth, Alison Bechdel casts herself as Stephen Dedalus and her father as leopold Bloom in James joyce 's Ulysses, with parallel references to the myth of Telemachus and Odysseus. 63 The chapter headings, too, are all literary allusions.

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memoir essay assignment

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The underlying theme of death is also portrayed. Unlike most young people, the bechdel children have a tangible relationship with death because of the family mortuary business. Alison ponders whether her father's death was an accident or suicide, and finds it more likely that he killed himself purposefully. 51 Allusions edit The allusive literary references used in Fun Home are about not merely structural or stylistic: Bechdel writes, "I employ these allusions. Not only as descriptive devices, but because my parents are most real to me in fictional terms.

And perhaps my cool aesthetic distance itself does more to convey the Arctic climate of our family than any particular literary comparison." 52 Bechdel, as the narrator, considers her relationship to her father through the myth of daedalus and Icarus. 53 As a child, she confused her family and their Gothic revival handwriting home with the Addams Family seen in the cartoons of Charles Addams. 54 Bruce bechdel's suicide is discussed with reference to Albert Camus ' novel a happy death and essay the myth of Sisyphus. 55 His careful construction of an aesthetic and intellectual world is compared to The Great Gatsby. Scott Fitzgerald, and the narrator suggests that Bruce bechdel modeled elements of his life after Fitzgerald's, as portrayed in the biography The far Side of Paradise. 56 His wife helen is compared with the protagonists of the henry james novels Washington Square and The portrait of a lady. 57 Helen Bechdel was an amateur actress, and plays in which she acted are also used to illuminate aspects of her marriage.

Butch to his nelly. Utilitarian to his aesthete." 40 This opposition was a source of tension in their relationship, as both tried to express their dissatisfaction with their given gender roles : "Not only were we inverts, we were inversions of each other. While i was trying to compensate for something unmanly in him, he was attempting to express something feminine through. It was a war of cross-purposes, and so doomed to perpetual escalation." 41 However, shortly before Bruce bechdel's death, he and his daughter have a conversation in which Bruce confesses some of his sexual history; this is presented as a partial resolution to the conflict. 42 At several points in the book, bechdel questions whether her decision to come out as a lesbian was one of the triggers for her father's suicide. 29 43 This question is never answered definitively, but Bechdel closely examines the connection between her father's closeted sexuality and her own open lesbianism, revealing her debt to her father in both positive and negative lights.

Themes edit bechdel describes her journey of discovering her own sexuality: "My realization at nineteen that I was a lesbian came about in a manner consistent with my bookish upbringing." 44 Yet, hints of her sexual orientation arose early in her childhood; she wished "for. 46 Her father also exhibited homosexual behaviors, but the revelation of this made bechdel feel uneasy. "I'd been upstaged, demoted from protagonist in my own drama to comic relief in my parents' tragedy". 47 Father and daughter handled their issues differently. Bechdel chose to accept the fact, before she had lesbian relationship, but her father hid his sexuality. 48 he was afraid of coming out, as illustrated by "the fear in his eyes" when the conversation topic comes dangerously close to homosexuality. 49 In addition to sexual orientation, the memoir touches on the theme of gender identity. Bechdel had viewed her father as "a big sissy" 50 while her father constantly tried to change his daughter into a more feminine person throughout her childhood.

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31 32 This emotional distance, in turn, is connected with his being a closeted homosexual. 33 Bruce bechdel had homosexual relationships in the military and with his high school students; some of those students were also family friends and babysitters. 34 At the age of 44, two weeks after his wife requested a divorce, he stepped into the path of an oncoming Sunbeam Bread truck and was killed. 35 Although short the evidence is equivocal, Alison Bechdel concludes that her father committed suicide. The story also deals with Alison Bechdel's own struggle with her sexual identity, reaching a catharsis in the realization that she is a lesbian and her coming out to her parents. 31 38 The memoir frankly examines her sexual development, including transcripts from best her childhood diary, anecdotes about masturbation, and tales of her first sexual experiences with her girlfriend, joan. 39 In addition to their common homosexuality, alison and Bruce bechdel share obsessive-compulsive tendencies and artistic leanings, albeit with opposing aesthetic senses: "I was Spartan to my father's Athenian. Modern to his Victorian.

memoir essay assignment

26 Incidents are told and re-told in the light of new information or themes. 27 Bechdel describes the structure of Fun Home as a labyrinth, "going over the same material, but starting from the outside and spiraling in to the center of the story." 28 In an essay on memoirs and truth in the academic journal pmla, nancy. Miller explains that as Bechdel revisits scenes and themes "she re-creates memories in which the force of attachment generates the structure of the memoir itself." 29 Additionally, the memoir derives its structure from allusions to various works of literature, greek myth and visual arts ;. 26 Miller notes that the narratives of the referenced literary texts "provide clues, both true and false, to the mysteries of family relations." 29 The memoir focuses on Bechdel's family, and is centered on her relationship with her father, Bruce. Bruce bechdel was a funeral director and high school English teacher in beech Creek, where Alison and her siblings grew. The book's title comes from the family nickname for the funeral home, the family business in which Bruce bechdel grew up and later worked; the phrase also refers ironically to Bruce bechdel's tyrannical domestic religions rule. 30 Bruce bechdel's two occupations are reflected in Fun Home' s focus on death and literature. 31 In the beginning of the book, the memoir exhibits Bruce bechdel's obsession with restoring the family's Victorian home. 31 His obsessive need to restore the house is connected to his emotional distance from his family, which he expressed in coldness and occasional bouts of abusive rage.

was an official selection of the Angoulême International Comics Festival and has been the subject of an academic conference in France. Fun Home has been the subject of numerous academic publications in areas such as biography studies and cultural studies, as part of a larger turn towards serious academic investment in the study of comics / sequential art. 13 Fun Home also generated controversy: a public library in Missouri removed it from its shelves for five months after local residents objected to its contents, and the book's use in universities in Utah and south Carolina has been challenged. Bechdel later traced her maternal relationship in Are you my mother?: a comic Drama. In 2013 a musical adaptation of Fun Home at The public Theater enjoyed multiple extensions to its run, 18 19 with book and lyrics written by Obie award -winning playwright Lisa Kron, and score composed by tony Award -nominated jeanine tesori. The production, directed by sam Gold, was called "the first mainstream musical about a young lesbian." 20 As a musical theatre piece, fun Home was a finalist for the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, while winning the lucille lortel Award for Outstanding Musical, the new. The Broadway production opened in April 2015 25 and earned an even dozen nominations for the 69th Tony Awards, winning the tony Award for Best Musical. Contents Plot and thematic summary edit a panel from Fun Home depicting Bruce (left) and Alison Bechdel. The narrative of Fun Home is non-linear and recursive.

It chronicles the author's childhood and youth in rural. Pennsylvania, united States, focusing on her complex relationship with her father. The book addresses themes of sexual orientation, gender roles, suicide, emotional abuse, dysfunctional family life, and the role of literature in understanding oneself and one's family. Fun Home took seven years, in part because of Bechdel's laborious artistic process, which includes photographing herself in poses for each human figure. 1 2 3 4, fun Home has been both a popular and critical success, and spent two weeks on the. New York times, paper best Seller list. 5 6, in, the new York times Sunday book review, sean Wilsey called it "a pioneering work, pushing two genres ( comics and memoir) in multiple new directions." 7, several publications named. Fun Home as one of the best books of 2006; it was also included in several lists of the best books of the 2000s.

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To write an academic essay, start by coming up with a 1-2 sentence thesis statement that will be the main topic or argument in your essay. Then, find a variety of scholarly sources table that support your thesis and disprove any counterarguments. Once you've found sources, include"s, facts, and statistics from them in your essay. Make sure you cite any sources you use and create a bibliography at the end of your paper. Did this summary help you? This article is about the book. For the musical, see. Fun Home: a family Tragicomic is a 2006 graphic memoir by the American cartoonist, alison Bechdel, author of the comic strip, dykes to watch Out For.

Memoir essay assignment
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Free shipping on qualifying offers. Whip your memoirs into shape or begin writing them! Memoir Writing course develops an ability to write based on personal experience, with literary purpose.

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  1. Students have different criteria when choosing their favorites; some of them prefer those who dont give hard homework assignments, or dont ask difficult questions. How to write a conclusion paragraph is one of the crucial questions for every student. Now, you have universal tips how to write it step-by-step. Brooklyn: a personal Memoir: With the lost photographs of david Attie truman Capote, david Attie, george Plimpton, Eli Attie.

  2. An essay is, generally, a piece of writing that gives the author's own argument — but the definition is vague, overlapping with those of a paper, an article, a pamphlet, and a short story. My favorite college teacher. There are many different teachers in college and high school that arouse the most controversial emotions.

  3. Now comes the hard part: how to organize the damn thing. Most people embarking on a memoir are paralyzed by the size of the task. What to put in?

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