Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi is a graphic memoir that reveals the life of a woman growing up in pre-revolution and post-revolution Iran, as well as her experiences in Western countries. In this book, Marjane recalls and highlights historical events that affect her life during her upbringing in Iran. These include the oppression of the Shah, along with the rise and effects of the regime. These events are integrated into Persepolis in order to showcase their effects on Marjane and the other citizens of her country. These events’ inclusion are important due to the context and understanding that they grant readers unfamiliar with the text. Persepolis begins with an introduction to the Iranian Revolution, and the fall of the Shah. Satrapi shows us the burning of the Rex Cinema, an example of the Shah’s oppression (10/11). This is effectively showcased with a splash panel, which depicts the ghosts of those who died in the fire (15/2). This imagery is powerful - the deaths and pains of those inside are unimaginable; despite the difficulty in portraying this, Satrapi is able to communicate this through the illustrated facial expressions of the ghosts, along with the ghosts running towards the exits of the cinema. The text by itself is less effective, as it simply describes what happens with little emotion, but the imagery complements the text in order to convey the emotion and pain. We also see the oppression of the Shah when Marjane’s grandfather is forced into jail. This inspires
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In Satrapi’s graphic novel Persepolis, she utilizes this novel in way to overcome the barriers between those who want long novels and those who favor visual representations. This grants readers a unifying and jointed medium that bridges the gap between different types of readers— engaging a wider audience as a genre. Satrapi’s extraordinary story gives us an autobiographic account of her life growing up in Iran during the Iranian Revolution of 1979. Satrapi’s representation of her childhood self illuminates her relationship with her parents and others, depicting herself as bold and honest even in the face of adversity. Though she doesn’t subscribe to the beliefs of Islam like others, she utilizes this to think for herself.
“I don’t think of myself as a rebel; I just say what I think” – Marjane Satrapi, the author of Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood, once said. Persepolis is an autobiography of the author as a young girl growing up throughout the Islamic Revolution, which is displayed as a graphic novel. Throughout the novel, Marjane goes through many trials which mold her to become more rebellious and independent. Marjane becomes more rebellious and independent through her classmates influence, the wars restrictions, and the adults around her.
Marjane and her family rebel against the conservative Islamic regime because it opposes the morals they formed due to realizations about their influence on the others and the revolution’s impact. Upon her recognition of her participation in the inequality of social classes, Marjane begins to yearn for change and the overthrow of the Shah. In contrast, Taji feels an intensified need to rebel when she acknowledges the revolution puts her family in danger. Finally, Ebi’s revolutionary zeal peaks when he grasps how the revolution could prevent his daughter from becoming educated, an experience he greatly values. The family’s liberal values provide an example for how Iranians are not all conservative Muslims, contradicting the single story perpetuated by the media and expanding the readers’ understanding of
The graphic novel, Persepolis, is a much more complex book than a reader would assume. There is always a deeper meaning in the tales that the author tells for the duration of the story. Unrequited love is a minor part of Marji’s life, but the stories that she tells that are focused on love hold messages that everyone can learn from. Persepolis is an autobiography, which creates a personal aspect that a biography lacks. For example, miniscule changes occur throughout the novel that are subtle but revealing.
While this is happening, none of the people in Iran are fully aware of how to react because the country didn’t have a leader at the time. Marjane had to experience this imperialism during her teenage years and it played a large role in her perspective. To demonstrate this in the book, it says, “‘God did not choose the king. ’[said Marjane’s father] ‘He did so!
One major being the execution of Marji’s uncle Anoosh who was a revolutionary that escape Iran and fled to the Soviet Union. Once he was killed the Regime claimed him to be a Soviet spy. Satrapi shows us this as reason to why hardly anybody would single handedly speak out. The government had no problem silencing anyone who spoke out against them and they had no problem of the public being aware. Although some people would clearly speak out on the harshness of the Revolution other would defy it in silence, example being Marji herself. She would buy American tapes and try to make her fashion more Western like.
An impenetrable way through perseverance and resistance in the book “Persepolis” has sent a powerful message to audiences everywhere. This graphic novel is a story of small Marji, who had to face formidable obstacles through her childhood. Living in Iran surrounded by war and thousands of deaths, inspired the little girl to fight for her rights. On page 102 of the book, we can see a powerful juxtaposition, where both of the panels have a profound effect on the reader. Looking at the elements of a graphic novel, Satrapi uses caption, movement and mood in both of the panels in order to enhance the significance on the narrative.
For the rest of her Iranian education, Marjane is separate from boys except for when she plays with them at home. Another way that gender roles play into Persepolis is the fact that all of the leaders mentioned were male. Marjane’s great Grandfather, Reza Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (“the Shah”), and Mohammed Mossadegh are just to name a few male Iranian leaders who ruled during or just before Marjane’s time. Another manner of gender roles in Persepolis is the way women are treated by men. For example, the incident where two men bombarded Marjane’s mother and told her that women like her should be raped against a wall and thrown in the garbage (Satrapi 74).
Without God as a guiding presence in her life, Marji began to rebel against the ever-encroaching fundamentalist institution as much as possible. Under the pretense of religion, Iran strictly enforced new laws against social gatherings and all items of decadence, “They found records and video-cassettes at their place. A deck of cards, a chess set, in other words, everything that’s banned… It earned him seventy-five lashes”(105). This sudden loss of mediums to enjoy one’s self and prevalence of excessive punishment enforcing the declared moral code (132) were invitations to rebel for Marji.
The graphic novel Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi tells us a first-hand experience about the Iran-Iraq war and the changes Iran men, women, and children had to deal with throughout the time period. The author dealt with the war and society first handily. She tells the readers about her life story and experiences. She was born in Iran in 1969. The Iran-Iraq war began in 1980, so at the age of ten Satrapi was already dealing with changes and conflicts she didn’t quite understand.
With the use of her drawing techniques, Satrapi demonstrates her desire to eliminate the moral ambiguity in the western world. Moral ambiguity is when a lack of clarity is present while dealing with an issue that has moral elements within it. Satrapi uses the lines and color contrast in her graphics to clarify ethical decision making when the westerners are making their opinion on Iran and the middle east. Due to Satrapi’s clear and distinct separation of the oppressed and oppressors in the graphic novel, she was able to tell the world what Iran truly was. When the graphic novel ‘Persepolis’ was translated in 2002 it was after the attacks on 9/11, these attacks had all Americans shook and the dislike of such “islamic nations” was very common, Dislike and hatred was spread throughout the westernized world and it only got worse as presidents spoke out in frustration and anger about Iran, this anger turned into the perspective of many westerners as they were never exposed to the real truth of what Iran was.
The story begins with the life of marjane and ends with her life. But in the background, the novel involves the war in Iran. Iran is always at war which includes the Iranian revolution and the struggle of people after the revolution. Though these are not implied does not affect their significance. They have a very important function of shaping the actions of the characters of novel which have long lasting effects.
The theme of repression is an ever-present issue in Persepolis. The picture on the right shows a bearded Islamist explaining to children why the veil needs to be imposed to counter Westernization. However, Satrapi’s home was a place of liberal values and free expression. This is shown in the scene where Marji is split between
Effects on the Memoir Persepolis Marjane Satrapi’s novel Persepolis describes experiences during the Islamic Regime that leave people suffering, dying, and fighting for a better government. Marjane Satrapi uses a comic layout to illustrate what is difficult to say in words. Her panel design depicts images of her, her family, and friends as well as how people in the community are reacting to the different events of the revolution. The use of panel design assists the memoir by making Satrapi’s purpose of portraying information more successful. Throughout the novel Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi uses panel design to advance the reader 's’ knowledge of the many situations occurring in Iran that cause distress to many individuals rebelling against the regime.
The graphic novel, Persepolis that is written by Satrapi depicts the coming of age story of Marjane and her experiences during and after the Iranian war. Through Marjane’s experiences, the character frequently encounters the hardship and conflict of growing up. However, these hardships are major factors that shape Marjane as a character and establish the context of the novel. Within this novel, Satrapi uses graphic novel conventions and literary devices to convey the conflict of Marjane; with herself, with man (in the form of her teachers), and with the society that is revealed in Persepolis.