Symbolism And Symbols In Persepolis

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Images can evoke strong human emotion, both positive and negative, and Marjane Satrapi does an amazing job of doing both in her graphic novel Persepolis. The use of images to symbolize important events in a story is a beneficial strategy that can be seen throughout the book. Topics that play huge roles in Persepolis are nationalism (one’s pride for their country), social classes (the separation of the rich and poor), and the loss of innocence (when a person loses their naive nature to the corruptness of the world). These ideas shape the story through persuading people’s actions. For example, nationalism gives people the courage to stand up for their country, as Marjane’s family did during the war. Additionally, social classes prevent the bond…show more content…
Nationalism is when people have pride for their country and put its needs before their own for the betterment of that nation. When citizens of a nation see their nation’s flag or hear their nation’s anthem, a sense of overflowing pride and admiration is evoked. This is one of the key topics in Persepolis as Marjane and her family are “overwhelmed” by the playing of their national anthem. Iran was dealing with a corrupt, unstable, yet powerful, government and nationalism is what caused citizens to feel so patriotic as to stand up for their country, as was encouraged by Iran’s anthem being played. Marjane effectively used images to show her nationalism and the result of that pride. Marjane illustrated her family who was moved to tears for the pride of their country. Her drawing symbolizes how effective nationalism is - encouraging people of a nation to stand up. With hands over hearts and the caption reading, “We were overwhelmed” (Satrapi 83), the emotional pride for their country and all it had gone through is quite evident in Marjane’s illustration. Following this particular scene, things really begin to fall apart in Iran. The citizens, fueled by their nationalism, participate in more demonstrations and even children, including Marjane, stand up for their beliefs at school. Therefore, it is clear that nationalism, and Marjane’s drawings to represent it, played a large role in the development of this…show more content…
The fine line separating the fortunate from the less fortunate is apparent in this specific image as the classes go from the top of the pole to the bottom. At the top, the birds in the image enjoy a clean and relaxing environment, while on the lower levels, for lack of a better term, the crappier the environment becomes. To connect this image to the story, this is similar to Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, as she effectively shows the circumstances people of different social classes deal with through the deep, and at times, poignant display of images. The idea of social classes, although a vague topic for Marjane at the beginning of the story, becomes one of the most crucial elements of her account of Iran’s history. Marjane shows through images the difference in how social classes were treated. While the upper class, the class she was a part of, enjoyed parties and socializing, the lower class was subject to chaos and death. In a tragic proof of unjust actions towards the lower class, the young boys of the lower classes were sent into war believing a fake story of salvation Persepolis states, “The key to paradise was for poor people. Thousands of young kids, promised a better life, exploded on the minefields with their keys around their necks” (Satrapi 102), and, in

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