Visual Rhetoric in Persepolis

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Nils Tangemann
Josh Holland
English A SL
Section: Part 3
Works read: Satrapi, Marjane. Persepolis. Pantheon. New York. 2003 Question: How and why is a social group represented in a particular way? The Display of Revolutionists in Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis In Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis there are several important social groups that all play a role towards creating the whole picture that describes little Marji’s everyday life in 1970s Iran. The nature of the revolution during that time created a huge divide between the different social groups. This was dominated by different opinions that were expressed using violence, intimidation and other mental and physical threatening methods. Satrapi uses visual representation and plot devices in her graphic novel Persepolis to expose the hypocrisy of the Islamic revolution. First of all, the author displays all members of the army and Islamic revolutionary groups without any distinction from each other; they are one homogenous group. Secondly, a story about the corruptness of policemen and government officials is used to demonstrate how detached those people act towards their fake values that they preach to other people. Lastly, the fact that the army is recruiting new soldiers through a method that is obviously aimed at non- or less-educated youth shows that the regime is scared of the higher educated population knowing that they will not have a chance in recruiting this social group because of their opposition. An aspect of the novel that comes to mind immediately when reading the text is Satrapi’s choice to display the members of the revolutionist Islamic regime in a different way than the family or friends of ten year old Marji. While the individuals that are a direct part of Marji’s social life are displayed in great detail, the revolutionists are always shown in a more general fashion, therefore not distinguishing those characters. An example of this can be found in the chapter “The bicycle” when...
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