Persepolis By Marjane Satrapi Essay

1352 words - 5 pages

In America, many have come to recognize Iran as a terrorist nation, but in reality, many Americans stereotype Iranians because they misunderstand the country and how it got to that point. In Marjane Satrapi’s graphic novel Persepolis, she gives her readers an inside look of Iran by writing about her childhood during the Iranian Revolution and the changes in her life during that time. The frames in Satrapi’s graphic novel draw similarities and differences between advertisements and the Iranian culture. After analyzing the Satrapi’s graphic novel to advertisements we will look at the similarities and differences of how graphic novels and advertisements use words and images to establish the visual rhetoric.
In the chapter “The Veil,” Satrapi’s graphic novel displays a connection with advertisements; that being a theme of oppression toward women. In the chapter “The Veil,” Satrapi introduces her readers to her life in 1980. A frame from “The Veil,” Satrapi includes a caption and image that 1980 was the year when wearing the veil became enforced by the law (681). The frame prior to the enforcement of the veil explains that the reason behind this law is due to ‘The Islamic Revolution’ (681). With these two frames, readers see that new laws such as the veil were enforced due to “religious” reasons because the government. Having men in government enforce such laws on women demonstrates the control they are attempting to gain. Women face oppression in advertisements similarly by society telling women how they are seen and how they should look. The types of advertisements that target women this way are sexual advertisements. An example of an advertisement oppressing a woman is displayed in Dolce & Gabbana. Dolce & Gabbana created an advertisement with men surrounding a woman lying down, with one man on his knees over her. This advertisement shows a man’s dominance over the woman. In “‘Two Ways a Woman Can Get Hurt’: Advertising and Violence” by Jean Kilbourne, she explains that this need for dominance is because men do not want to show other men that they are “pussy-whipped,” which is a result from a culture that “mocks men who have real intimacy with women” (461). The veil and advertisements express a man’s dominance over a woman, and how women are easily controllable. The veil and sexual advertisements create the symbolic image that men have power over women.
Despite the veil and sexual advertisements oppressing women by telling them how they should be seen, the ways they are oppressed are polar opposites. The veil oppresses women by telling them to cover their body and hair, while sexual advertisements display women by them wearing clothes that reveal their skin and thin bodies. The cause of women to be objectified as sexual objects in advertisements is due to the current society’s acceptance of what is considered normal. With a society that accepts these standards, it has advertisements pushing the boundaries and further stereotyping a woman’s role....

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