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Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis Essay

1493 words - 6 pages

Persepolis, a graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi, is not a run-of-the-mill comic book. It is written with purpose. Satrapi wrote and illustrated this book to show Americans that their perspective of her home country, Iran, is askew. She believes Americans are too focused on the “fundamentalism, fanaticism, and terrorism” (Satrapi ii), of the nation and that they forget to notice the normality and humanness of it. Since these two perspectives have vast differences, Satrapi wants to change their minds. Thus, it is crucial that she effectively communicate this humanness of Iran to the literary audience in America. Since the literary devices in a work are needed to correctly convey a message, she found it necessary to include these and manipulate them in her favor. Satrapi uses the innocence of a child along with morals in her pictures and a relation of cultures to effectively communicate her message. It is necessary to examine how she manipulates such literary devices in order to gain a full understanding of the text.
To begin with, Satrapi writes Persepolis from a child’s point of view. Young Marjane Satrapi displays the characteristics that any child might have. She is simple, innocent, and easily influenced. For example, when her parents are demonstrating against the king, Marjane Satrapi says, “As for me, I love the king, he was chosen by God” (Satrapi 19). Her teacher tells her this, and she believes her teacher because Marjane Satrapi is a child and, in all innocence, will believe anything because her teacher, in her eyes, knows everything. Situations such as this show the influence of authority on her as a child because the teacher is an authority who tells Satrapi a misleading fact and Satrapi believes her, or is influenced by her. Furthermore, innocence is a concept that everyone, despite his nationality, can relate to. When someone dreams of a perfect world, he dreams of a place with no harm coming to others, no misconduct, and no bad intentions. It is a dream of a world filled with innocence. Consequently, when the audience relates to this striving for a perfect world, it can only link such simple ideals to peace and freedom.
Secondly, when the audience in America relates the innocence of Satrapi as a child to freedom and peace, it should be obvious to notice a strong correlation with their own nation. The United States claims to be the stronghold of freedom in the world and is one of the top international promoters of peace. If the children in Iran are as innocent as the American audiences once were, they cannot be blamed for the wrong-doings of their country. Satrapi uses her childhood to point out the normality of people in Iran. She tries to show that, in reality, they have their own separate opinions and are merely represented by a bad government. Being the author of Persepolis and writing with a clear purpose, Marjane Satrapi realizes how the American audience will relate to this. The American audience will relate to this...

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