Critical Lens Essay - Persepolis I/Ii

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According to H.M. Tomlinson, “The right good book is always a book of travel; it is about a life’s journey.” This quote means that a good book is about an interesting series of events and advancements. A book worth reading would be about change and character growth. This is an accurate quote. This statement is proven to be true in Persepolis I and Persepolis II by Marjane Satrapi. In Persepolis I and Persepolis II by Marjane Satrapi, her character growth and life’s journey is displayed through symbolism and characterization.

Character growth is displayed through symbolism in Persepolis I. In Persepolis I, after Marji’s uncle, Anoosh, is executed by the Iranian government. Marji is upset about it; when God appears in her room to ask her what’s wrong, she tells him to get out. This shows character growth because God symbolizes her childhood. When Marji was younger, she was religious and wanted to be The Last Prophet because of her grandmother’s aches and the differences between the social classes in Iran, such as her father driving a Cadillac when others couldn’t do so. When she tells God to leave, Marji is essentially saying good-bye to her childhood. This shows a new stage in Marji’s life due to a traumatic event.

Marji’s first cigarette is also another symbol of character growth. In Persepolis I, when Marji is twelve years old, she cuts class. Her mother disapproves and yells at her for lying and missing class because it is important. Marji disagrees with her mother’s point of view. She then goes to the basement smokes a cigarette she stole from her uncle two weeks earlier. Marji’s first cigarette is a sign of rebellion; it shows she doesn’t agree with her mother. It shows she has her own thoughts separate and independent from her mother’s. As Marji finishes the cigarette, she says that she’s a grown-up. This is another display of her character growth, and another moment in her life’s journey.

Character growth is displayed though...
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