Thursday, September 18, 2008


I really enjoyed our reading of Persepolis. It was interesting to be introduced to a different style of writing. I believe the graphic novels brings the reader to a whole new level. Instead of having to imagine what went on the images are right there for you. I think this was also a very good way to tell a story though a child's point-of-view. It is like incorporating the image style narrative of children's books but with an adult storyline.

It was interesting to see the life and emotions of Satrapi represented in the novel. I believe she gets her intended message across. There are many misgivings about Iran and the Middle East. She has lost many people in her life and writing this book is a way to honor them. It is an acknowledgment that, although there are radicals thinking they are saving their nation and actions of war, not everyone agrees with it. It is true in any war or cultural movement; not everyone supported the Revolutionary War or Civil War in America. People should not be bias to events because they do not understand the reasons or have no involvement. I think too often people hate what they do not understand. Persepolis is a personal view of a girl growing up during the Iranian Revolution. It allows those who do not understand the religious connotations of the movement to find other ways to connection with Satrapi such as rebelling against parents or the different trends of music.

I enjoyed seeing the childhood innocence of Marjane, such as on the first page when the girls played with the scarfs. The beginning of the story demonstrates how easily a child can be influenced by the public life around her. However, in the end, her parents influence her more. The story was shocking and emotional. I thought one of the most moving parts of the novel was when she describing how the Baba-Levy's had been killed and she left the last panel black, because "no scream in the world could have relieved [her] suffering and [her] anger" (142). I could never imagine how powerful a black box could be.

I think the movie was well done also. A handful of people had complaints about things that were changed or left out; however, I have seen enough movies that have adapted story lines and I know that everything cannot be told. So I think with the limits of movies, especially having read the first part of story, it was portrayed well. I liked the interpretation of Marjane's father telling the story of the Shah. They made the characters one dimension and very puppet-like. This describes the way the British treated the Shah; however, I think it also shows how shallow these people were. They had one desire, one dimension and that was money.

I believe the image of the Statue of Liberty with the skull face was not Satrapi making some political statement. It showed the propaganda the Iranian government printed against democracy at the time, and is it not uncommon in any nation like that. However, I also think it has a deeper meaning; it represented the death of freedom for the Iranian people and more directly Iranian women. The Statue of Liberty is a woman and it is the Iranian women who are suppressed by the veils and subjected to be the lesser gender. A main theme in the book and movie is the power of women, no matter how much the government tried to stop it. This is constantly demonstrated through Marjane's mother and grandmother. Her grandmother was one of my favorite character's in the movie and I enjoyed her words of wisdom.

There was also the mentioning that the second part of the movie was more lighthearted and trivial than the first half. This is true in the sense that she was not living in the war, and Marjane realizes after she returns to Iran and sees her friend that her woes in Austria were so minuscule. However, I think the age she was when she was in Austria should be a factor. I believe she was thirteen when she left and had to grow up away from her family in another country. For everyone at that age life is very hard and difficult. I for one can admit that when I was in middle and high school many events felt like the end of the world. I felt like I would never to recover from the heartache of a first love, and I suffered from many life-ending embarrassing moments. Looking back on my life now, those events were not the end of the world but at the time they were. I believe it was similar for Marjane; I assume the second book was also told in the same style as the first. The first book was in a child's view and the second would be in the teenage and young adult view.

Overall I enjoyed both the movie and the book, and I believe if both were reexamined there would be new things to discover the second read around.

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