I searched the history of Beech Creek because of the extensive talk in chapter five about how Alison felt it contributed to her dad’s passing. The part that interested me most is the description of the geography, “…the general topographical appearance of the two townships (Beech Creek and Bald Eagle) being very much alike, particularly in their eastern portions. Each is flanked in its southern border by the Bald Eagle range; each is crossed by the Bald Eagle Creek; and the Bald Eagle “bottoms” and “ridges” and the Allegheny range are common to both, and need not again be described in detail, as the view of them presented in the sketch of Bald Eagle township will appropriately apply to this township, save only that the Allegheny ridge is broken, at the south side of the township, forming a pass, through which Beech Creek flows. Then along this creek are flats more or less extensive, whereas Bald Eagle has no bottom land except along its principal stream” (Maynard). If we merge this with the description and images from Fun Home, it seems to me like one would feel very trapped in Beech Creek. Bechdel also explains how it was a very small town full of very similar people, “…in our town of 800 souls, there were 26 Bechdel families…,” adding to the vibe of feeling trapped, even though they could have gotten around the mountains. Bechdel essentially says if he would have gotten out of that city and moved to somewhere more accepting, maybe he would have been comfortable in who he was instead of living a lie. Together, it makes me wonder if her father felt trapped in his city as well as inside himself because of the city.
-Do you think that the place you live can influence your life to the point it seems to have influenced Alison’s father?
-Why do you think she emphasizes the city so much? Does it relate to feeling trapped like I think, or something else?
(link to the Historical View of Clinton County, Pennsylvania by “D. S. Maynard;” CHAPTER XII: http://www.clintoncogensociety.org/history/BeechCreek.html)