Marjane Satrapi 's Persepolis Story

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Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis tells the story of her life as a young girl in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. Satrapi’s story is told through an autobiographical graphic novel which is revolutionary because such stories are often told through more common mediums such as Television interviews and text based novels; this difference helps to set Persepolis apart from other works about revolutionary Iran. The Persian people have been largely dehumanized by mass media in a post September 11th society because of the actions of a small group of radical extremists. The true function of Persepolis as a text is not exposing the true happenings during the Islamic Revolution but is rather the way Satrapi humanizes the Persian people by showing their compassion, morals and even rebellion through the novel’s minimalist style, visualization techniques (simple images symbolizing complex or abstract ideas), inclusion of common norms in a traditional Islamic state and the development of the protagonist’s (Marjane) coming of age story. The rebellious and humanizing spirit of Persepolis is masterfully presented in section 15: “The Cigarette” and this section will be the subject of analysis for this essay. Satrapi’s main objective in writing Persepolis is to break down the alienation of the innocent Persian civilians by creating separation between the civilian Persian population and the radical extremists. Satrapi does this by showing the morals and compassionate side of the Persian civilians
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