“Persepolis”

“Persepolis” is a book written by author, Marjane Satrapi. This book taps at your heart strings when you read about growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution.

The author creatively utilizes a comic strip that is basic black and white in color to demonstrate her life events in Tehran when she was a very young girl, from the age of 6 through her fourteenth birthday.

We were able to learn, through her writing, about the overthrow of the Shah’s regime and also the victory of the Islamic Revolution, along with the recounts of the war with Iraq, which left horrible memories.

Marjane Satrapi, being the only child of a Marxists and also being born to an ancestor who was one of Iran’s last emperors, we are able to learn so much from the author’s view of the events she witnessed.

We are able to achieve a basic look at everyday life in the country of Iran, gaining a good look at the history and events during that time period, in which Marjane Satrapi, so easily describes. She allows us to gain a good idea about the public and private lives of those who reside in Iran.

The author was able to witness the dethroning of emperors of Iran, as well as the cruel and inhumane whippings that were given in acts of punishment. She also tells us about some of the heroes who were involved in the revolution. She shows us the great expense of human life that was paid in her country, during this time of political repression.

The author is convincing when she shows that one can use laughter to help us get through hard times and she also talks about the hardships that were sometimes so bad that she was unable to laugh.

The little girl in the writing is unforgettable! The 1979 revolution was a part of history that led this author to give her accounts of Iran and it is extremely interesting to look at the little cartoon strips and get a sense of the real life that the revolution spilled upon the author.

The writing of Majane Satrapi is unlike anything else, I’ve ever seen. It has combinations of laughter through the comic strips. It also pulls at your emotions as you learn about the circumstances that took place in Iran during the time, the author tells us about. You are able to see the events through the eyes of a little girl, and you want to offer help but she is so strong in her mind and will, you know that she will make it through these ordeals.

The little comic strip that holds the drawing of the little girls with the head covering, displays a small child who seems much older, while the one she is shown sitting with her mother, shows great understanding. There are strips that show a leader wit his crown and the party drawings demonstrate great laughter along with others that display disappointment and contempt. The trip pictures, show fantasy and security in finding a better place and it is drawn with hope for a better future in the eyes of Marjane Satrapi.

In this French, autobiographical novel, the author who was born in the year, 1969 shows how a good spirit can erect from hardships.

The cover of the book shows the little drawing of the little girl, surrounded by the color, red. The drawing emits a child who is caught up in the political events that lay substantially upon her thoughts. You can see the disappointment in the girl’s expression and realize from the very beginning that the author wasn’t happy with the events that she witnessed.

Throughout the pages of Marjane Satrapi’s comic strips and writing she offers her readers detailed accounts and realizing that the whippings and brutality does take place in Iran, we are able to sympathize with the writer.

Satrapi offers the same drawing that decorates the front of her book in the comic strip where she is shown in the veil scenes saying, (Satrapi, 2004) “This is me when I was 10 years old. This was in 1980.”

In another strip we can see what her class members looked like and it displays that they all dressed the same. She says, “This is a class photo. I’m sitting on the far left so you don’t see me.” She chooses to leave herself out of this portrayal of her class consisting of only females.

She demonstrates the revolution so that a small child can understand. You can see the angry people in one of the strips, while the author writes, “In 1979 a Revolution took place. It was later called “The Islamic Revolution.”

Another comic strips show when she had to start wearing the veil in 1980 and it shows a woman demanding that she and others wear the veils, while you see a curious little girl peeking over the wall, as she listens to the instructions from the school teacher, where she attends classes. One would never think that small, young girls could be so opinionated about certain events, especially in a country like Iran. But, the author is successful in showing the true nature of human beings, no matter what country they reside in.

We can see the protest from the children who don’t want to wear the veils where the comic strip demonstrates the children voicing their opinions and saying, the veils make them hot and uncomfortable. The children are also seen showing contempt as they talk about freedom and humor is added when the young girl’s acts as if she’s dressing up like a monster.

The children being used in these comic strips show the true vision of how they perceived the events that occurred during this time period in their country and we are able to view reality through the thoughts and portrayals of the children, who are always honest about their feelings.

The writing shows how Satrapi’s parents sent her to Europe, for safety issues. Marjane Satrapi’s mother is shown to be a free thinker with her own ideas about the way a country is supposed to be ran which reflects in the thought and ideas of her daughter who held similar views.

Satrapie shows her admiration for those who were imprisoned by the Shah of Iran. She is so curious about their accounts of torure in Iran. We also learn about Uncle Anoosh, who was eventually killed after he had a stay in prison. These events left a lasting impact with the writer and she is able to cope with these events through her writing.

Marjane Satrapi was very educational in her writing and you can learn so much about the country of Iran by reading her accounts.  The author was courageous during her young years, and is today as she leaves behind a good look into the life in Iran.