First Year Seminar
Persepolis Questions 1+2
Image and text have come together throughout history to convey a message that may not have been clear with the use of only one. Persepolis uses the whimsicality of the illustration style to relay a terse subject matter. The author is remembering herself as a little girl, so it is important that we see her as such, not read her as a wise narrator looking back. Marji is experiencing a loss of innocence, as she learns that her family’s values of respecting authority and God, are not always in agreement with the real world’s use of authority and religion. She learns about her family’s rebellious past, and shapes herself to uphold a new set of ideals. Iran is forgetting that, as Mao beautifully stated, “Women hold up half the sky”. Marji contrasts her mother’s liberated identity with the ultra conservative teachers at her school and the new regime of fundamentalist Muslim women. Marji is constantly being shaped by the stories she hears about people she respects. Her relatives foremost among them. She idealizes the stories of human struggle and tries to uphold herself to similar ideals, imagining herself as a martyr for her concept of greater good. I remember hearing when I was young about my Irish “Granda” moving to America a couple years before my mom and Nana. He worked multiple jobs all around the country in order to earn enough money to send them over. When a friend of his heard about his hard work, he talked to a TV producer who set up a surprise reunion on live TV. I always took this as a lesson that if you have the good intention and will, through whatever means, your dream will be accomplished. Persepolis is an ancient city where Iran took shape. It is mythologized in Marji’s mind. The most striking moments for me are when the oppressive nature of the government really shows, and you feel indignant towards the outright inhuman treatment of the Iranian citizens. What’s even more striking is that it...
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