Persepolis Stylistic Analysis

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In the graphic novel; Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi uses a wide range of stylistic and structural features as well as techniques to have an effect on her readers. The novel is an autobiography and a possible reason as to why narrative captions are present in the various panels. By including her voice, she is able to speak directly to the reader in order to aid in understanding what is going on in the scene from the descriptive captions apart from letting the audience relying on the speech bubbles solely. The final three frames make a transition from direct narration, where she explains that some people flogged themselves brutally, to indirect narration, where she simply shows what she means by how ‘far’ it could go.
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This use of graphic weight could be said to reflect stark contrasting themes of the graphic novel such as; religious fundamentalism or even good versus evil. Similarly, in the passage we can also see the juxtaposition of childhood innocence and religious extremism. The adult Muslims look very devout as they whip themselves, while the children look quite confused and bewildered. Besides a stark use of blacks and whites, the chosen figures fit the artistic style of simplistic and iconic. In the first panel the children appear like an army of young Muslims girls, all looking quite similar without any distinct features. Their expressions of bewilderment, in the second and fourth panel are all very similar with their facial features consisting of basic lines representing their noses and mouths.
Emanata is used to portray their confusion, as question marks are placed over their heads. It is also used as the ‘whacking’ noise is made in the third panel, possibly to show just how hard she hit her chest. Because in the next panel, when the girls hit there chest the same sound is not shown. The stars of pain appear on the men that beat themselves and large blood drops spray from a man’s head as he cuts himself causing the pool of blood below
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In this passage the types of transitions used are; subject to subject transitions. In the first four panels, we see the girls learning how to beat themselves from different perspectives and angles. This transition could be used specifically in those panels in order to appeal for more reader attention as it appears to be an important idea being shown. Nonsequitur transitions are also included from the fourth panel to the seventh panel. These panels do not have a logic relationship between them, each show a different form of brutality but once put together a relationship can be shown. Such as; it could be possible that the scene shows the gradual rise of self-brutality the people used to inflict on themselves.
In terms of layout, the backgrounds are completely white, meaning that these black, covered girls in the foreground could appear anywhere. The medium shots of the men flagellating themselves on a white background also make them appear in a kind of no man’s land. Satrapi uses these impossible perspectives and blank backgrounds to emphasize the extremist ideas that are being portrayed in the foregrounds. In conclusion, Marjane Satrapi use of numerous artistic styles and structure, and techniques in this passage to help her in having a positive effect on her readers, by aiding
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