Fun Home

Alison Bechdel

The author and protagonist of Fun Home, Alison traces her life from childhood into early adulthood, centering her reflections on the circumstances surrounding her father Bruce’s death as well as the progression of… (read full character analysis)

Bruce Bechdel

Alison’s father, a provincial English teacher and World War II veteran who loves literature and surface aesthetics of all kinds. Bruce is extremely feminine in Alison’s view, as he’s obsessed with flowers and artificial… (read full character analysis)

Helen Bechdel

Alison’s mother, Helen reminds Alison of a character out of a Henry James book in that she is an idealistic young woman who becomes entrapped and dragged down by the negative influence of Bruce(read full character analysis)

Joan

Alison’s first girlfriend whom she meets at Oberlin. Joan is a poet, feminist, and activist, and has one glass eye because when she was young a boy shot it out with a defective toy… (read full character analysis)

Roy

One of Bruce’s English students, he also serves as a babysitter for the Bechdel children and helps out around the house. In college, Alison finds out that Bruce was having an affair with… (read full character analysis)
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Minor Characters
Bill
Another of Bruce’s young helpers he was likely having an affair with. Bill tries to teach the Bechdel kids how to shoot a gun when he accompanies them on a trip to the family’s Bullpen.
John Bechdel
Alison’s youngest brother, who greets Alison with a strange mutual grin the night after Bruce’s death.
Christian Bechdel
Alison’s eldest brother.
Grammy
Bruce’s mother who lives in the front part of the funeral home. She has a thick country accent, and the Bechdel children’s favorite story is her rendition of the time Bruce got stuck in the mud as a very young boy and was rescued by the mailman.
Grandfather
Bruce’s father, who dies while Bruce and Helen are in Europe, causing the couple to return home so Bruce can take over the funeral home business.
Beth Gryglewicz
Alison’s childhood best friend. Once, Beth tries to convince Alison to go to the football game, but instead Alison convinces her to dress up in Bruce’s clothes and they go around the neighborhood pretending to be old-school con artists.
Dr. Nancy Gryglewicz
Beth’s mom, who invites the Bechdel children to stay at her house for two days while Helen works on her thesis.
Dr. Gryglewicze
Dr. Nancy Gryglewicz’s husband, also a doctor, who is family friends with the Bechdels.
Elly
Helen’s good friend and ex-roommate who lives in Greenwich Village in New York City. The Bechdels usually stay at her apartment when they visit the city.
Truck Driver
The driver of the Sunbeam Bread truck that hits and kills Bruce.
Tammi
One of Alison’s childhood friends.
Ruth
One of Bruce’s sisters who lives very close to Alison’s family.
Sue
Another of Bruce’s sisters who lives down the street from Alison’s family.
Mort DeHaas
The mailman who pulls Bruce out of the mud as a toddler in Grammy’s story.
Female Trucker
The woman who Alison sees wearing men’s clothing when Bruce takes her to a luncheonette in Philadelphia when Alison is four or five. The young Alison is entranced by the trucker.
Mark Walsh
The seventeen-year-old from a nearby town who gets Bruce in trouble for offering a him beer while looking for Mark’s brother, Dave Walsh.
Dave Walsh
The brother of Mark Walsh, who calls the police on Bruce and also most likely has engaged in some sort of sexual relationship with Bruce.
Jack
One of the actors in Helen’s production of The Importance of Being Earnest who chats with Bruce at the Bechdel’s Labor Day after-party.
Professor Avery
The professor who teaches Alison Ulysses.
Uncle Fred
Bruce’s brother.
Richard and Tom
A gay couple. They are friends of Elly’s who Alison meets in Greenwich Village.