Who has it better than us? NOBODY!!!
Who has it better than us? NOBODY!!!
Marjane Satrapi wrote the graphic novel “The Complete Persepolis” for many reasons; however the ultimate purpose of her story is to teach. Marjane Satrapi wanted to open up people’s eyes worldwide to Iranian culture in order to put to rest any incorrect misunderstandings about the Islamic faith. For instance, many westerners are incorrect in thinking that all Muslim’s agree with the actions taken by a small radical group that orchestrated the September 11th attacks, which is simply incorrect. Instead Marjane Satrapi wanted to show the reader that Iranian culture has similar characteristics as Western culture. Marjane Satrapi also wanted to raise awareness on how hard it can be for a foreigner or a person of minority to assimilate into an unknown culture. Marjane Satrapi recalls her own struggles in an attempt to help others. By combining historical events from the Iranian Revolution and her own personal experiences, Marjane Satrapi was able to teach two teach the reader two valuable lessons.
Marjane Satrapi was given a very special opportunity when she was fourteen; she was sent to Austria to finish up her schooling while avoiding the Iran-Iraq conflict. With this opportunity Marjane Satrapi saw firsthand how people viewed her culture: strange. Throughout the graphic novel, Marjane Satrapi tries to educate the western reader that Iranian culture might seem different, yet it is quite similar. In the chapter “The Convocation”, Marjane Satrapi gives the reader an excellent example of how Iranian culture is not so different after all. On page 294, Marjane Satrapi uses an illustration to prove her point. The illustration portrays three women wearing a hooded head- scarf. Then next to each woman is what their hairstyle looks like under their hood-scarf, showing that all three women have different styles. The point of the illustration is to show that even though each woman looks the same from “outside” the Veil, they are actually quite different which is portrayed by their hairstyles. Marjane Satrapi was able to show the reader that just because you can’t visibly see any similarities, many still exist.
The same special opportunity that allowed Marjane Satrapi to view her culture from an outsiders view is the same opportunity that caused her pain and anger. Marjane Satrapi found it difficult to assimilate into Austrian culture and she uses her graphic novel to educate the world on the struggles she encountered. Marjane Satrapi found in particular interactions with males to be much different than she had been used to however is willing to change her beliefs in order to fit in with her peers. In the chapter “Hide and Seek”, Marjane Satrapi tries her best to lose her virginity in order to be more like her friends. Marjane Satrapi states, “I didn’t want to be a timid virgin any longer… Unfortunately, the next morning I was as much a virgin and as timid as the night before”. (pgs. 212-213) Islamic tradition calls for no pre-marital sex, however Marjane Satrapi was willing to go against her faith in order to assimilate into western culture. Marjane Satrapi is not telling the reader not to have sex, but rather do not change who you are just because people think you’re a different.
In the book Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, she talks about what it is like to be an outsider. She is considered to be an outsider because she does not belong or fit in wherever she goes and always is trying to fit in or become friends with any group of people or classmates. In the beginning…
In the graphic novel “The Complete Persepolis” by Marjane Satrapi, a very common theme is “family comes first” which is instilled upon the main character. Marjane grew up during the Iranian Revolution which was followed by a long war with its neighbor Iraq. Due to the state of upheaval in her country of Iran, Marjane and her family lived in constant fear. Marjane quickly learned the importance of family, even more importantly that family must come first in order to survive. Throughout the graphic novel Marjane encounters multiple experiences in which acquaintances of her and even she herself put their family’s well-being ahead of others.
In the chapter “The Passport”, Marjane’s family finds out first- hand the harsh reality of family comes first as it had a direct affect on them negatively. Marjane’s Uncle Teher suffered his third heart attack in July 1982, leaving him in critical condition. He was taken to the hospital in Tehran however they were not equipped to perform surgery in that hospital. The only option remaining for the family was to request a passport for Uncle Teher so that he could fly to England for surgery. Marjane’s father figured it would take too long to get the passport granted therefore approached his friend Khosro about making Uncle Teher a fake passport. Khosro agreed to help out Marjane’s family until a tragedy suddenly occurred. Khosro had been lodging a communist girl who was hiding for her life when she was suddenly spotted and executed by the Fundamentalist. The author states, “Khosro found his house ransacked…Fled across the mountains to Turkey…And sought Asylum with his brother in Sweden.”(pg.125) Khosro knew that he would surely be executed next for aiding the communist girl therefore he was left with no choice but to flee for his life. As a consequence, Uncle Teher died three weeks later, ironically the day his legal passport arrived. However at no point did Marjane or her family feel anger towards Khosro because they understood that family comes first and it was understandable that he fled the country to live with his brother. Marjane will later put her family first as she is scared that they were killed in a bombing.
In the chapter “The Shabbat”, Marjane was out shopping when she heard news that a missile exploded in her neighborhood. She immediately stopped what she was doing and rushed home to find a large crowd surrounding her street. Upon pushing herself through the large gathering of people, Marjane hears news that the missile exploded at the end of the street. Marjane states, “My building and the Baba-Levy’s were at the end of the street. Once chance in two that it was our building…Let them be alive. Let them be alive. Let them…”(pgs.139-140) Even though Marjane’s good friend Neda was her neighbor, she was hoping more worried about the well-being of her family more than her friend. Even though that is a normal reaction, it shows the importance of her family, especially during a time of great turmoil. The theme “family comes first” is very common in Persepolis because during the Iranian Revolution and the subsequent war with Iraq, people were just trying to survive and the best way to do so is with the people you trust the most, your family.
An image that stuck out to me the most was the image of the torturing on page 51. It showed a slight taste of what other prisoners go through outside of the United States. Even when incarcerated, prisoners in the United States still have some what of rights and are treated…
In the graphic novel “The Complete Persepolis” by Marjane Satrapi, the use of illustrations provides clarity that novels sometimes can’t. In the chapter “The Party”, there is an illustration of the Shah being forced out of power in Iran by its citizens with the caption “The people wanted only one thing: His depature! So finally…”. (pg.41) The picture depicts six of the Shah’s loyal followers showing extreme remorse as their leader is being exiled. The rest of the image consists of three Iranian citizens shouting “out!” as the Shah is saying goodbye to his six supporters. This illustration was effective because it shows the clear split in the country: the elite supported the Shah because they received great treatment while the majority of the country supported a new regime and wanted the Shah removed. The caption makes you believe that EVERYONE in Iran wanted the Shah removed, however this was not true. The illustration helps clarify the caption by showing the reader that the Shah did have a small amount of support, but it was only a small minority that consisted of the rich. This is very typical of any totalitarian regime in that only a small group of people are content while the rest of the country is suffering. This image stuck out to me because of its historical accuracy which in turn helped clarify the authors statement that everyone in Iran wanted the Shah removed.
The majority of Haruki Murakami’s short stories are characterized by less-than-healthy relationships. Married couples are distant, a mother despises her young son, a brother and sister are almost too close, and young adults, lacking deep friendships, find themselves lonely. The most loving and…