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mpottash's picture

Persepolis and the Use of Images

In considering what it means for a book to rely on pictures, I was reminded of our discussion last class on titling papers.  Many people thought the by titling a paper, it limited the reader's ability to attribute her own ideas and attitudes to it.  Can the same be said for illustrations in a graphic novel such as Persepolis.  I have often heard the viewpoint that illustrations in books limit the imagination by not allowing us to paint our own pictures of the characters or events.  It is often the case that when I see a movie of a book that I love, I am disappointed because the movie paints the characters differently than I imagined them.  This being said, do books that rely on illustrations to tell a story place a limit on our imagination?  It it like giving a title to a a paper?  

There can also be said to be benefit of illustrations.  We have had discussion in class about the limits of words.  If it is true that words are limiting and do not allow us to express ourselves fully, do illustrations allow for the better expression of our inner ideas? If this is the case, perhaps it is this aspect that would allow us to call a graphic novel "feminist": perhaps it allows the author to express ideas that would otherwise not be expressed (or course, is is also possible that pictures can be more limiting than words).

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