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The Old Vs. New: A Rhetorical Analysis Of Persepolis

996 words - 4 pages

In the book Persepolis, a non-fiction piece about the author Marjane Satrapi’s life in a changing Iran, Satrapi explores the idea of tensions between old and new by referencing conversations with her grandma, talking about parties, the transition of the veil into society, talking about her school, noting the demonstrations that took place in the streets, and discussing the cultural revolution that occurred. Satrapi purposefully communicates this theme to the audience to contrast the Iran she grew up in and the one her parents grew up in. The audience needs to understand the differences in order to understand the stance of the author on critical issues she faced in the book.
Satrapi clearly ...view middle of the document...

The veil is something that the new government has forced on the people. The idea of tension between old and new is critical when it comes to the veil. The best example of this is when Satrapi says “We didn’t like to wear the veil, especially when we didn’t understand why we had to” (Persepolis 3). The children grew up in a time where they never had to wear the veil. One detail that is noteworthy in the picture there is a little girl that is “strangling” a girl who is not wearing the veil, chanting “Execution in the name of freedom, ” demonstrating the conflict between the old and the new.
One piece of the story that Satrapi uses to explore the conflict of old v. new is the fact that her school changed throughout the book. In the beginning, the teachers were saying all about how the Shah was “the chosen one,” but after the revolution they were told to rip him out of their textbooks. This shows a major conflict; Satrapi really wanted to emphasize this and she made sure it was noted in the book.
In the beginning of Persepolis, Satrapi mentioned that she attended a bilingual school. The author emphasizes on the fact that she enjoyed her French school she was attending, the reason that we can infer this is due to the fact that on page 4 we see an illustration of an angry man critiquing all bilingual schools, when readers view this page the man in the illustration seems almost non-human. Satrapi portrays this by covering his mouth with a very thick, overgrown beard. This gives the whole idea of shutting down bilingual schools a very negative perception with the readers. Yet again, another part of the whole new vs. old theme that Satrapi is investigating in her writing.
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