Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis Reflection Essay

Due to Marjane’s Satrapi’s unusual style of literature in the graphic novel Persepolis, I now have a more profound understanding about the Iranian culture, and now look at Iran with a different outlook. By portraying her childhood story in a black and white comic book style Satrapi, makes her novel easier to relate to. The reason she chose to make her autobiographical novel black and white is so that the person reading it would not judge the characters by their skin color or physic, but rather see them for what they really are, human.

Forgeries often have a negative stereotypical perception about Iran but upon reading Persepolis ones opinion of Iran changes. In a sense by choosing to make the novel in black and white the graphic novel is overall more relatable to people of all ages and backgrounds.

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The reader can therefore better identify with the characters and ultimately develop sympathy towards Iran. In Persepolis Marjane Satrapi makes Iran’s historical background easier to understand while at the same time very interesting to read about.

Since the author chooses to portray this autobiography’s setting and characters in a very universal manner, it is very simple for an average reader to relate themselves with the situations in the graphic novel. A concept in the novel I found very unique about the Iranian culture was that of the Dowry. I learned that the dowry is basically when a man gives his future wife a gift such as capital, land or any kind of goods that is meant to represent his respect for her. Satrapi emphasizes how these values are long gone and the idea of the dowry is now used for the raping and killing of innocent young women.

This can be seen in the unjust and cruel death Niloufar suffers and the fear Marjane’s mother has toward her daughter’s safety and what can happen to her if she does not behave accordingly. This made me appreciate living in America and enjoying all the rights that I do, because after reading Marjane’s story about her childhood during the Iranian Revolution I am more grateful that I have never had to undergo anything like Marjane did. I am more sympathetic towards the Iranians and everything they had to go through such a dramatic and critical changes in their everyday lives.

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