Fun Home

Joan Character Analysis

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 arrow. She is dating Alison at the time of Bruce’s death, and Helen gifts her a book of Wallace Stevens poems from Bruce’s library shortly after his death.

Joan Quotes in Fun Home

The Fun Home quotes below are all either spoken by Joan or refer to Joan. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Gender Identity and Coming of Age Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Mariner Books edition of Fun Home published in 2007.
Chapter 2 Quotes

Joan drove home with me and we arrived that evening. My little brother John and I greeted each other with ghastly, uncontrollable grins.

Related Characters: Alison Bechdel (speaker), Bruce Bechdel, Joan, John Bechdel
Page Number: 46
Explanation and Analysis:

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Joan Character Timeline in Fun Home

The timeline below shows where the character Joan appears in Fun Home. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2: A Happy Death
Repression vs. Openness Theme Icon
Death and the Tragicomic Theme Icon
...to her apartment from work, cried genuinely for about two minutes while hugging her girlfriend Joan, and that was it. (full context)
Chapter 3: That Old Catastrophe
Gender Identity and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Repression vs. Openness Theme Icon
Fiction and Reality Theme Icon
...into her new lesbian sexuality and identity. Over an image of Alison in bed with Joan, her first girlfriend, Alison narrates that by midterm she’d ingratiated herself completely. Joan was a... (full context)
Repression vs. Openness Theme Icon
Fiction and Reality Theme Icon
Death and the Tragicomic Theme Icon
Artifice Theme Icon
...the news from home became increasingly unsettling about the erratic behavior of Bruce. Soon after Joan and Alison moved in together for the summer, Alison got a call about her mother’s... (full context)
Chapter 7: The Antihero’s Journey
Gender Identity and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Repression vs. Openness Theme Icon
Fiction and Reality Theme Icon
Over an image of Alison’s face near Joan’s pelvis, Alison narrates that going toward her peers felt like the safer route. Like Odysseus... (full context)
Gender Identity and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Repression vs. Openness Theme Icon
Fiction and Reality Theme Icon
Death and the Tragicomic Theme Icon
Alison returned to school and her relationship with Joan. A letter from Bruce followed expressing his excitement at reading the Kate Millett book. In... (full context)