Persepolis Eastern elegance and Western contrast these are the most amazing elements of nostalgic autobiography created by Marjane Satrapi in the form of graphic memoir. Although the readers have got used to traditional styles in literature, and have skepticism about comics and animation style, when these styles are applied to an extremely serious theme, such as revolutionary and war-torn Iran, Marjane Satrapi managed to convince the readers in seriousness of her graphic novel that creates an amazing world of late 1970s and early 1980s Teheran and offers a whimsical combination of the comic book and serious glimpse into the lives of people living during the period of upheaval. Moreover, she managed to ruin the image of Iranian enemy in the consciousness of Western readers, and succeeded to show that Iranians are not potential terrorists, but quite educated, interesting, intellectual, and nice people. This novel awakes strange emotions. Indeed, only few people have courage enough to choose the comic style for their books to explain the history of their life. Few of them are so brave and talented to choose the comic book to explain their country’s history (Favorite Books of 2003, p.36).
Marjane Satrapi is one of those talented people, who managed to create the surrealistic world, using black and white drawings.
... people in books. She stated that "People in books split wood," which would symbolize her longing for an escape from her monotony. The second style ... such as those in romance novels. "I envied people in books who swooned." She shows that by comparing herself to ... story. The first style is comparison / contrast . Dillard utilizes comparison / contrast to compare herself to characters in books. She longs ...
Persepolis tells the readers the story of living and growing up in the time of revolution and contradictions. This unusual artwork, which is often compared to the woodcuts, allows the story of a small girl Marjane to unfold and develop in surprising ways (Favorite Books of 2003, p.36).
Marjane Satrapi was born in Rasht, near the Caspian Sea, in 1969. A great-granddaughter of a former Persian emperor grew up in Tehran, surrounded by political conversations and books. Probably, her surroundings prompted the girl the idea to write the story of her life and her country. The graphic illustrations allow the reader to feel the spirit of her times.
The first vignette in Persepolis is her self-portrait. This picture is based on her class photo taken in 1980. The girl at the vignette wears a veil it was a new obligation that was imposed by the Iran government. It may seem quite strange to the readers, especially to those, who were born in free, radical, and democratic countries, but Marjane Satrapi lived in Iran, and her parents sent her to the secular Lycee Franquais, until the Islamic fundamentalists close it down. She explains and illustrates then, We didn’t really like to wear the veil, especially since we didn’t understand why we had to (Favorite Books of 2003, p.36).
The girls didnt know why do they have to wear these strange costumes, and simply played with them.
One of these girls tries to tear the veil off and complains that this new strange thing is too hot for her. Another girl on Marjane Satrapis illustration discovered that these new costumes may be handy, as the jumps the rope with three black veils tied together so they make a perfect rope for jumping. Another one plays with veil, and scares her classmate, as she pulls the veil over the head and shouts, ” Ooh, I’m the monster of darkness (Favorite Books of 2003, p.36).
Marjane Satrapi presents completely different picture of reality of those times (The Comic-Book Heroes with a Touch of Genius, p.64).
Her parents, leftist intellectuals, do not like political realities and attend protests and demonstrations concerning the Shah’s departure. The girl and her friends on Marjane Satrapis illustrations also protest in their childish way. This illustration is juxtaposition between the children’s protest and political realities of those times. After the Shah flees, the political exiles and prisoners finally come back to their homes. They tell the stories about their misfortunes and misadventures.
... literally do anything with this story. The reason this book is special is because it is about triplet girls. I have first hand ... is a dream. Reality is where my story takes place. The cover of my book will have a picture of the mansion ... experience because I am a triplet. In my story ...
The girl listens to these dramatic stories, rich in terrific and horrifying details, and invents new ideas for games with her friends The one who loses will be tortured,” these are the new rules for their childish games. Marjane Satrapi tells another story about the men who were attacking her mother because mother went out without a veil. The mother tells with the tears on her eyes that the ugly men insulted her and tells that they said that women like me should be pushed up against a wall and fucked. And then thrown in the garbage” (Favorite Books of 2003, p.36).
A little bit later, quite soon the veil became obligatory. The universities were closed and the Iran-Iraq War began. Interesting enough, but Marjane Satrapi manages to tell not only the gloomy and dark story of terrifying horror of war, injustice, and insults, but manages to describe that everything was not as bad as it seemed to be.
She shows the homemade wine distilleries, the clandestine parries, friendship that unites people, the skipping of class to flirt with boys, and other things that make the reader smile, and sometimes even burst with laughter and forgetting that the graphic novel is the novel of revolution, war, and gloomy and bitter events of the days that took place somewhere far, far away in the past. Marjane Satrapi uses a deceptively simple genre to explore complicated ideas, such as the loss of faith, the lies of the governments and politicians during the war, class consciousness, the hypocritical righteousness of the newly converted, and the everyday contradictions and confusions of growing up secular under a fundamentalist regime (Favorite Books of 2003, p.36).
When you look through the graphic novel, you immediately understand that Marjane Satrapi was an extraordinary young woman, who tried to ruin all misrepresentations and prejudices about the Iranian people. Her attempts are clearly seen in a nice series of comic strips in her “Persepolis”. These illustrations were so interesting that over 20,000 copies of them were sold in their French version (Kutschera, p.49).
By amazing illustrations the young woman tries to explain the difference between the Iranians and the Arabs (Rall, p.72).
... . While the readers continue, a story of such events is playing in their heads. Indian Woman is a poem which describes the ... family. Jeanette Armstrong manages to portray the general native Indian woman, the triumphs which are faced, and the major downfalls such ... and tasks which were performed, whether willingly or not. Indian Woman is a poem containing painful images, internal structure, and voice ...
She tells an exciting story about Iranian centuries-old culture, and adds that the people, who belong to other cultures, think that Iran is a country of religious fundamentalists, where Iranian women either have no place in the society or that they are hysterical black crows (Kutschera, p.49).
Persepolis explains that Iranian women hardly could be called downtrodden weeds; Marjane Satrapi has slapped several men because their behavior was inappropriate in the street, and her mothers maid has kicked out her husband, because he was bad and she had no desire to live with him anymore. Satrapi explains that Iranian women did have voice; they did have the choice, and undertook all efforts to live a better life. Marjane Satrapi as if declares by her comic strips that Iranian women were not silent lambs, but instead, they were very active and were strong personalities, with their own convictions and understanding of what is right and what is wrong. One can hardly call Persepolis an imaginary land. The story is very credible, and, probably, it is even more convincing because it provides a realistic interpretation of historical and political events through the small 10 year-old girl. Her comic strips are very unusual, as they tell not only the story of her family, and her school friends, but also portray political stories told by her father, grandmother, mother, and family friends. Another set of illustrations tells somewhat gloomy stories.
These are the stories of how people lived during the revolution that ousted the Shah, with some illustrations and gibes about Reza Shah, the Shahs father, an illiterate pretty officer whose desire was to create a republic, who was convinced by his mentors from Britain to establish an empire. There are also stories told by her schoolmistress, the legends, according to which the emperor was chosen by God; however, these legends sound quite doubtful, when the girls father reminds that when the emperor came to power, he confiscated all what belonged to Marjanes forefathers, the Quadjars. Marjanes grandmother tells that their family was very poor, and the situation was so bad that they had nothing to eat and were almost dying from starvation. Marjanes grandmother at the picture tells that their family was so poor that they had only bread to eat and grandmother was so ashamed that she was boiling water to pretend that she was cooking dinner, for the neighbors not to understand how terrible the situation was, and the neighbors wouldnt notice anything. The comic strip then shows children, who were coming home from school and their dialogue, where the girl thinks that mother is cooking something good, and her brother disappoints her that she is just boiling water again simply to make the neighbors believe that everything was good. This illustration is quite simple, but at the same time it is very effective and stylized. It seems that the illustration carries a message that can be easily understood by everybody regardless of religious, ethnical, or political belonging.
... this person and hides. At last the Joad's family were making enough money to eat properly. Tom ... people in the camp ruled themselves. Nevertheless, the family was not able to find any work in surrounding ... to give himself up in Tom's place. Later family leaves the camp heading towards the government camp. Once ... met Muley, a neighbor, who told that his family moved to his uncle's place. That night they ...
Although the message is serious, and Marjane Satrapi tries to explain very important things, the style of illustration evokes a smile of pleasure. Probably this amazing mixture of seriousness and comic makes her work unique, political, didactic, and at the same time playful and childish, providing the readers with a real wry pleasure. The illustrations also tell the stories about the champions of Marjanes childhood, about Uncle Anouche, who established the short-lived independent republic of (Iranian, pro-Soviet) Azerbaijan in 1946 together with Great Uncle Fereydoune, and other heroes of her great family. Nobody of Marjanes friends could boast such great people in their families. However, soon after the Islamic revolution all those heroes were swept away by the merciless waves of repressions. Some of those heroes were sent to exile, some of them were murdered, and her Uncle Anouche was sent to prison, and later was executed as a Russian spy. These tragic events become even more dramatic, as they are told by a small girl, with all her sincerity and frankness (Saunders, p.53).
When you look through the illustrations, you understand that the young Iranian girl experienced all those terrible things she is writing about.
She remembers coming home from school under bombardment, collisions and conflicts with Islamic fundamentalists, visiting her Uncle who was imprisoned and waited his execution Childs interpretation of events and political cataclysms is very realistic (Cooke, p.74).
It allows Marjane Satrapi to speak about serious things with a childish simple language. In addition, the naivety of Marjane, a character of the graphic novel, guarantees ironic laughter and compassionate smiling of adults. In conclusion it can be said that in her graphic novel Persepolis Marjane Satrapi indeed managed to ruin the image of Iranian enemy in the consciousness of Western readers, and succeeded to show that Iranians are not potential terrorists, but quite educated, interesting, intellectual, and nice people. Moreover, the young woman also succeeded to examine the problem of adaptation of the immigrant and foreigner in surfeited European country. Works Cited Cooke, R. “The Art of Words and Pictures: Long Considered the Preserve of Thrash-Metal Geeks, the Graphic Novel Is Entering a Golden Age of Sophistication-And Even Respectability.” New Statesman 135.4811 (2006): 74.
... death. - The memory of his uncle and his uncle’s charge that “with great power comes great responsibility” continue to motivate Peter - ... along the journey. If the hero survives, the hero may achieve a great gift or "boon. " The hero must then decide whether to ... and/or the elements (fire, wind, water, storms, harvest) - hero’s weapons/blessings: Odysseus’ bow, Arthur’s sword, Achilles invulnerability ...
“Favorite Books of 2003.” The Progressive 67.12 (2003): 36. Kutschera, C. “Every Picture Tells a Story. Magazine Title: The Middle East.” The Middle East (2002): 49. Rall, T. “Drawing Behind the Lines.” Foreign Policy 142 (2004): 72. Saunders, K. “Survival Strategies.” New Statesman 134.4744 (2005): 53. “The Comic-Book Heroes with a Touch of Genius.” The Daily Mail 22 December 2006: 64..