Satrapi, Persepolis

As a personal injury lawyer in mobile, I look for reading material that shows me a new environment or people in a new way. I absolutely loved Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis. After reading this I see a new utility of graphic novels. Throughout this book, the pictures work to continuously remind the reader that all of the events she chronicled were happening to a child. The pictures were so much more emotional than so many words could be. It was a way to keep me, the reader, engrossed in the life of this girl. Satrapi took events that took place so far away from my own life and put them into pictures, pictures vague enough that I could place myself within them, and made them unavoidable.

Another thing I really liked about Satrapi is that she doesn’t seem to have an attitude of entitlement or snobbery because of all of the hardships she’s been through. She is still very humble and doesn’t concentrate on the pain she’s endured. It would probably be quite easy for her to much less gracious. She maintains a humor in her words and in the accompanying pictures. From the very beginning she is an incredibly likeable and relatable character when she has the inner turmoil with her veil. She seems to understand the reasoning behind things once it is explained to her, but she also has a close personal relationship with her idea of God and that keeps her questioning the rules implemented upon her instead of just becoming one person in a sea of people. She maintains her individuality by never just accepting that which she is told. She doesn’t necessarily argue things, but she definitely develops her own questions about the world in which she lives.

The final scene in the book was absolutely heart-breaking to me. Marjane at the airport waving her parents away so that she could go forth into something absolutely unknown to her was so brave and I found myself amazed at her bravery. She seemed more concerned with her parents having to watch her go, than her actually having to go herself. Her family was so important to her and little observations about her family (ie. Jasmine flowers falling from her grandmother’s breasts each night as she undressed) made it so hard to see them struggle with her leaving.

What struck me most in the book was her sincerity. When she felt like throwing herself onto the floor, she threw her comic self onto the floor. When she felt like singing and dancing, her comic self sang and danced. It must have been a very cathartic experience for her to create this literary self. The visualization of the emotions she had been feeling were probably as enjoyable for her to create as it was to read.