Persepolis Essay Analysis

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The Use of Color in Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis
The book Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi is, interestingly, al illustrated in black-and-white portraits with additional splashes of gray. Although there are many critics about Satrapi’s use of this style, it eventually compels towards her story’s ultimate goal to show to the reader that her life was always filled with danger, anger, sadness, violence, religious extremism, tyrannical political reigns and brain-washing propaganda. Hence, Satrapi knows this book well because it is her life, and she obviously knows that what she has presented to the reader is really the reality of her life. If depressing color shades are meant to be part of her story then they must correlate somehow throughout the literary piece. Marjane Satrapi manipulates the use of dark colors along with white to create a sense of antiquity and of depression that both envelop the real meaning of the graphic novel Persepolis.

At the very beginning of the book the appearance is that off black, white and grey on the introduction. She writes that “in the second millennium B.C., while the Elam nation was developing a civilization alongside Babylon, Indo-European invaders gave their name to the immense Iranian plateau where they settled. The word ‘Iran’ was derived from ‘Ayryana Vaejo,’ which means ‘the origin of the Aryans.’”(1) It is this very origin of Satrapi’s people, who rose near the capital of Persepolis, that the roots to her present life rise from. Immediately the reader is made to think about the past, and it is form the black and white past that she goes on to her early childhood. Years are immediately given by Satrapi, writing that when she was “10 years old” it was “1980” (3), and that “in 1979 a revolution took place called ‘the Islamic Revolution’.”(3) Although years are not used quite often from then on, Satrapi keeps pressing the idea of the past when the shah of Iran “made a declaration on TV” (49) that he would abdicate. The picture...
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