A Color Has Many Meanings
Persepolis is a story that is illustrated in black and white. The author, Marjane Satrapi, uses many visual techniques throughout the story to draw in the reader and develop the storyline. One of these visual techniques is that she chooses to use the color of the characters’ clothing as a representation of how they feel towards the revolution. The characters are shown wearing black, white, or a mixed black and white pattern. The characters in Persepolis are drawn with white clothing when they are supporting the revolution. There are many instances throughout the story when characters are drawn with white clothing, especially Marjane’s family. A year after the Islamic Revolution started, children were obligated to wear the veil at school. There is an illustration of this time period in the story and the children are shown wearing white clothing at school and playing with their veils rather than wearing them (Satrapi 3). The reason the children are portrayed in white is because they are uneducated about the Shah at this point in time since religion was not taught at Marjane’s school before the revolution. There is a panel showing people demonstrating for and against the veil. The demonstrators on the right are chanting, “freedom!” and they are shown in white clothing. One of these demonstrators happens to be Marjane’s mother (Satrapi 5). Another example of demonstrators shown wearing white is when they are throwing stones at the army (Satrapi 18). They are shown in white clothing because they are supporting the revolution and demanding freedom.
Throughout the story, Marjane imagines speaking with God who represents her religious side. When she tells her parents she wants to be a doctor and not a prophet, God asks her about it. Marjane says, “I felt guilty towards God”. In this panel she is shown in white (Satrapi 9). This is because wanting to be a doctor instead of a prophet would place her on the progressive side and not the...
Cited: Satrapi, Marjane. Persepolis: The Story of Childhood. New York: Pantheon Books, 2003.
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