Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

Reply to comment

sarahk's picture

The graphics combined with

The graphics combined with words in Persepolis allow me to be further invested in the characters and their immediate emotions. I find that the images allow for the reader to provide their own more specific interpretation of the dialogue, while a worded description of an emotional reaction is less personal. The graphics also provide contradictions to the dialogue and statements about the plot that are vital to the novel. For example, in the beginning of the novel, when the narrator is talking to God and considering him as a friend and savior, there is a drawing where she asks him to be quiet and "wait a second" in order to hear the burning of the Rex Cinema. In this drawing, God is unaware of the burning and merely a spectator in her life, making a huge statement about the author's belief in fate and God's actual control over the wars of her country.


A theme I find incredibly interesting in this novel is the differences in beliefs between the different generations of women. Satrapi is vibrant and ready to revolt. She sees justice where it is present, and is aware of the irony when justice is not present. For instance, she describes the newly established dress codes for fundamentalist citizens, and she describes the "justness" of men having codes just as much as women do. Satrapi's mother reacts more from a place of motherhood and wifehood to the politics and war. Her deeply personal reaction to the men telling her she deserves to be raped and killed is an example of her personalization of the political within the private sphere. Satrapi, on the other hand, constantly wants to take her personal into the political sphere. When she hears of a classmate's father killing many innocent people, she leads a group of people to torture that classmate, making a political statement for that personal offense. However, she soon realizes the political is not straight-forward, and everyone's personal reaction to the political makes things extremely confusing. Satrapi's mother's most interesting contradiction is when she first tells her daughter that there is no justice in the world, but then says it is important to forgive because that is the only way there will ever be justice.


To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
5 + 6 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.