Marjane Satrapi’s innovative literary approach in the graphic novel Persepolis has deepened my understanding of Iranian culture and offered a fresh perspective on Iran. Through her black and white comic book style, Satrapi has made her autobiography more relatable. The deliberate choice to present her story without color allows readers to focus on the humanity of the characters rather than superficial traits like skin color or appearance. Society often harbors negative stereotypes about Iran, but reading Persepolis can challenge these preconceptions. Ultimately, the utilization of black and white in this graphic novel makes it accessible to individuals from diverse backgrounds and age groups.
Marjane Satrapi expertly presents the history of Iran in a captivating and accessible way in her work Persepolis, allowing readers to connect with the characters and develop empathy for the country. By taking a universal approach in depicting both the setting and characters, this graphic novel enables average readers to easily relate to the situations presented. One aspect of Iranian culture that is particularly fascinating, as highlighted in the book, is the dowry tradition. This practice involves a man giving his future wife a gift that symbolizes respect, such as capital, land, or goods. Unfortunately, Satrapi emphasizes how this once meaningful tradition has been corrupted over time and now serves as a means to exploit and harm innocent young women.
This is evident in the unfair and brutal death that Niloufar experiences and the anxiety that Marjane’s mother has regarding her daughter’s safety and the potential consequences if she does not conform. Reading about Marjane’s experiences during the Iranian Revolution made me appreciate living in America and having the freedoms that I do. It also made me realize how fortunate I am to have never endured anything as challenging as Marjane did. Consequently, I feel a greater sense of empathy towards Iranians and the immense hardships they had to endure during such a tumultuous period in their lives.