Persepolis and Courage
Marjane Satrapi’s memoir Persepolis is considered a “coming of age” story based on her experiences growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. This graphic novel explores the life she lead in Tehran which encompassed the overthrow of the Shah’s regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution and the devastating effects of war with Iraq. Undergoing life with such a chaotic environment, it took Satrapi courage to act and live as her “authentic self” and explore what it meant to her to be authentic. Similar to Aristotle, May and Medinas Persepolis examines the concept of courage, through the view of innocence; through Satrapi’s childhood. Firstly, Aristotle discusses the idea of the courage of the “citizen-soldier” an individual who “face[s] dangers because of the penalties imposed by the laws and the reproaches they would otherwise incur, and because of the honors they win by such action; and therefor those people seem to be the bravest among whom cowards are held in dishonor and brave men in honor” (Aristotle 11). The courage of a “citizen-soldier” is prevalent and influential in Satrapi’s journey in trying to understand who she is and what she believes in. For, she points out in a childlike manner how she wants to be a prophet and how she wishes her father were a martyr. The idea of a martyr in this book is specifically significant in relation to the courage of the citizen-soldier as the people she is surrounded by are in constant struggle through out the oppressive regime. Therefor, she is influenced to believe that she needs to stand up for what she believes in regardless of the consequences. Satrapi shows how she is struggling to find her true identity within the society she is placed as she is constantly torn between the veil and the image she feels more comfortable in. Her “demin jacket with the Michael Jackson button” was contrasted with her final statement “and of course my head scarf” (Satrapi 131). The oppressive nature...
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