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Comic Book / Are You My Mother?

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Are You My Mother? is a graphic novel by Alison Bechdel and is a sequel to Fun Home. It details Alison's relationship with her mother, in Anachronic Order.

Tropes include

  • Adult Fear:
    • Alison when talking about Winnicot notes how most of his patients were English children sent to the countryside, to escape the London bombings.
    • Helen recalls a day when Alison as a baby climbed up the stairs and knocked down a large mirror. Helen ran into the bathroom, convinced that Alison was dead.
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    • In addition, she tried and failed to breastfeed Alison, and then had to put her on the bottle.
  • All Psychology Is Freudian: Averted. Alison refers to the works of Donald Winnicott and Alice Miller.
  • Art Evolution: Alison's style is much more detailed, dropping the Deliberate Monochrome from the previous book and incorporating varying shades of red.
  • Big Beautiful Woman: Alison's partner Eloise is an attractive and full-figured woman whose nude curves are lovingly depicted in-universe and by Alison in the present-day.
  • Dramatic Necklace Removal: As a child, Helen mimicked a heroine from a movie doing this, only to break her necklace by accident.
  • I Coulda Been a Contender!: Helen says that if she hadn't had children she could've been an academic like Adrienne Rich.
  • In the Blood: Like her father, Alison has some rather interesting experiences with her various partners. She also inherits his bad temper, or at least his ability to make damages to the house.
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  • The Shrink: Alison sees several, many whom are getting certified in psychoanalysis.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The book's title comes from the picture book "Are You My Mother?"
    • Alison quotes Winnie the Pooh and refers to the Narnia books, in how the children were sent to the countryside.
  • Straying Baby: Alison as a toddler wandered out of Helen's eyesight and knocked down a large mirror.
  • The Unfavorite: Despite the relationship Alison had with her mother, she noted that her mother favored her brothers over her. Helen reveals that her mother implicitly taught her that boys were better than girls.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Alison's different therapists try to impress this into her during their sessions, namely in that she is adorable and a good person.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Alison tried to please both her parents, but failed on that front. She acknowledges it can be ridiculous to try and do so.
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  • Your Cheating Heart: Alison and Eloise cheat on each other, at various points in their life.

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