The Effect Of War In Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis

1438 words - 6 pages

War has always been something to be dreaded by people since nothing good comes from it. War affects people of all ages, cultures, races and religion. It brings change, destruction and death and these affect people to great extents. “Every day as a result of war and conflict thousands of civilians are killed, and more than half of these victims are children” (Graca & Salgado, 81). War is hard on each and every affected person, but the most affected are the children.
Persepolis is a book that centers on the author’s family during the Iran-Iraq war that lasted for eight years. Marjane’s experience of the war is quite innocent since she saw it from the eyes of a well protected child. She grew up with need to help and make things better for everyone without really understanding what it takes to make the world a better place. In her mind the only possible way to make a change is by becoming a prophet and using supernatural powers to make the world a better place. Marjane’s childhood is proving that children form defense mechanisms to deal with difficulties. These defense mechanisms take children to “happy” places where things are better and everyone is happy unlike in the real world.
My thesis statement is that children’s innocence enables them to cope in difficult situations. Children generally have a tendency to lighten the mood in sad situations because of their innocent nature. They turn even the saddest situations to mild, innocent situations. This is evident when Marjane says “these stories had given me new ideas for games”, (Satrapi, 55). By saying this she refers to her uncle’s stories of how he and other prisoners were tortured in prison. Stories of torture have never been easy to hear even for adults but Marjane so innocently finds them fascinating and decides to play torture with her friends, who so willingly accept. By applying their innocence in to torture stories, Marjane converts the torture stories in to a new play game.
The story begins with Marjane’s picture in the year 1980 when she was a school girl at age ten. In the picture Marjane is with other girls but they are not so happy. It is odd since a lot of children like taking pictures with their friends especially in school. Marjane says “then came 1980: the year it became obligatory to wear the veil to school” (Satrapi, 6). With the revolution came changes and the veil was a part of the change. It was required for all women and girls to cover up. They did not quite understand why they had to wear them and so they used them to skip and threw them around like new toys that they have been give. They also playfully make fun of the revolution by mimicking what they see people doing. In their minds, nothing is really so serious and the things they see people doing in the streets becomes just another new game to be played in the field. The whole revolution and political unrest was met with a lot of curiosity where Marjane asked so many questions in trying to understand the events of...

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