Persepolis Essay Prompts

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a. As portrayed in Persepolis, Marjane's life in many ways is very different from yours, but there may be more connections than are at first apparent.  Explore this possibility by comparing and/or contrasting one of your own experiences with one or two of hers as you know them through the book.  Make sure your comparison and/or contrast adds up to more than just an observation of similarity or difference.  What is the significance of these connections and why should it matter that your experiences in some way may resemble hers?

b. In her introduction to Persepolis, Satrapi offers a brief history of Iran before stating the following: “Since then, this old and great civilization has been discussed mostly in connection with fundamentalism, fanaticism, and terrorism.  As an Iranian who has lived more than half of my life in Iran, I know that this image is far from the truth.  This is why writing Persepolis was so important to me.  I believe that an entire nation should not be judged by the wrongdoings of a few extremists.”  In what ways does Satrapi counter these often stereotypical views of her country?  In your response, reference those parts of the book that best illustrate her desire to show that Iranians are like people everywhere, leading normal lives and having similar hopes and dreams.

c. A unique feature of Satrapi’s Persepolis is its ability to convey story, to evoke emotion, and to construct reality through images.  What is gained by the telling of this memoir through  images?  What  might be lost, or at least less effective, if told through words alone?  In your response, mention some of the images from the book that you find to be particularly powerful or interesting, and explain how they add to the book’s impact.
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