Application of a Theory
The modern world is highly complex as different cultures are closely interrelated with each other. Although people tend to present all processes and events in an over-simplistic and binary form, the actual reality is very different. In this context, the ideas of Haj Yazdiha seem to be very relevant. She uses the theory of hybridity to prove that all cultures are interdependent. Thus, the actual meaning of situations or events depends on the relationships between representatives of different cultures (Yazdiha 31). Moreover, these relationships may evolve over time according to changes in people’s interests. Correspondingly, it may lead to different social outcomes. The correctness and possibility of the further expansion of this theory are observed in relation to the following stories: “Fun Home” by Alison Bechdel, “Good as Yesterday” by Manuel Munoz, and “Invasions,
Bechdel’s “Fun Home” reveals her search for sexual identity in the context of her relationships with her father. Both Alison and her father Bruce experienced numerous problems in their lives due to the conflict between their internal world and views imposed by society. Despite regular conflicts with her father, Alison was affected by the information about his death. When she informed her girlfriend Joan about this tragedy, she “cried genuinely for about two minutes” (Bechdel 57). As Bruce was a homosexual, he tried to find the optimal way to organize his life. However, he was unable to deal with psychological problems after his wife’s decision on the divorce. At the same time, Alison’s sincere presentation of her lesbian sexual identity had a serious impact on her father. The content of the graphic memoir indicates the hidden meaning behind the described events occurring in this family. The major hidden meaning refers to the need for finding one’s actual identity. Each individual should be mostly oriented to his/her personal values and those of his/her close people rather than the rest of society. The form of the memoir is even more important than its content. The author relies on the non-standard organization of her ideas using recursive elements. Moreover, several allusions to Greek literature reveal that the existing problems are common to different historical epochs. The theory of hybridity helps to understand the internal world of Alison and her father as well as encourages people to be more tolerant towards each other.
Munoz’s “Good as Yesterday” appeals to the interrelations between the traditional culture and deviant one. The girl Vero, her younger brother Nicky, and deviant character Julian indicate the most urgent problems and concerns of modern society. Despite the positive attitude of Vero (at least in the past) and Nicky, Julian did not show any respect to the feelings of other people. Vero understood that the gifts made by Nicky for Julian while visiting him in the detention facility were highly expensive as she did “the math in her head” regarding “the money he [had] spent for this visit” (Munoz 197). The story does not reveal the possibility of improvements in Julian’s behavior. In general, the content is organized around the conflicts between the traditional and deviant cultures. The author indicates that they are much closer in relation to one another than it is generally believed. The form of the story is untypical and non-linear with many flashbacks. In this way, the author provides the explanations of the characters’ actions and beliefs. All of them are based on the characters’ previous life experience. The theory of hybridity is applicable in this context as it indicates the mutual impact of the traditional and deviant cultures on one another. Thus, they do not exist in isolation.
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The hybridity theory allows analyzing all complexities of the real world in a realistic manner. In particular, it specifies the conditions that lead to positive, negative or uncertain consequences of cultures’ mixture. Bechdel’s “Fun Home” indicates that positive outcomes may be achieved only if a person can fully realize his/her identity. Although Bruce was unable to solve his psychological problems, Alison came to the correct conclusion from this experience.
In conclusion, various cultures do not exist in isolation. They interact with each other and produce a lasting impact on people. The hybridity theory is especially relevant in this regard as it provides the systematic account of this influence and allows assessing the future impact of such interactions. The analyzed stories indicate different cases of the theory’s application. Bechdel’s “Fun Home” shows that people should determine their identity to integrate into society without compromising their values and beliefs. Munoz’s “Good as Yesterday” explores the relationships between the traditional and deviant cultures.