Growing Pains

Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis portrays the journey which she endured from childhood through adulthood.  Through her use of the comic strip style, I was able to gain a sense of the author’s quirky humor and brutal honesty as she found ways to make me laugh through her pictures and words.  Despite being against reading comics when I first started this story, I found myself enjoying the book more and more as I went on.  As I progressed in the story, I understood why Satarpi chose to tell her story through this medium; it allowed her to draw out her emotions in a way that I was able to empathize with much more because I was able to see the emotion through the visuals.


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I found the second half of this story much easier to follow along and connect with because the encounters which the author faced are relevant to today’s young adult society.  In the second part of this story, we are able to gain a sense of her changing perspective of the world as she matures into an adult. In the part one of her story, Satrapi’s grandma urges her to “always keep [her] dignity and be true to [herself]” because “there is nothing worse than bitterness and vengeance” (Satrapi 150).  This theme is prevalent throughout the second half of the story as Satrapi struggles to find a place in society.  

This idea of being an outsider is something that I have encountered throughout my life and I found it easy to relate with Satrapi on this issue.  As I transitioned from elementary school to middle school, I found myself lost sometimes as my friends seemed to be moving in a different direction than I was.  While I did athletics with my friends, I found my passion in the drumline, and as time passed, I found myself growing further and further from them.  Satrapi also finds it hard to fit in appearance wise, an issue that many face because for most of us, there has been a time where we found something that we disliked about ourselves and wished we could change it. While her journey to find herself was much different from mine, I was able to identify with many of her feelings as she struggled to fit in.  I think that her honesty throughout her story really allowed me to see her as a person and not a fictitious character. 

Through her clever use of the comic book style to depict her autobiography, Satrapi really opened my eyes to the issues which Iran faced that I never really understood.  While I was not able to fully understand the revolution, her story piqued my interest and has made me want to educate myself further on the matter.  Her story allowed me to feel as though I was there during the revolution and helped me to visualize the situation easily.  Her simple way of telling her story really allowed me to relate to her character, and I enjoyed watching her grow from the adamant little girl to the successful woman she is today. 



3 thoughts on “Growing Pains

  1. Everyone has had difficult times they had to face growing up. Satrapi’s was growing up during the revolution. I’ve never read any type of comic books, but I never knew they could put so much personal details about your own life in any comic book as Satrapi’s did. I found it very relatable that she is very open and honest about her life and the mistakes that’s she’s made. I especially like the part where she shows that in her culture women are supposed to stay veiled, wear no makeup, and draw attention to them. There’s a story in the comic Marji is running to go catch her bus and two cops yell at her to stop running because she’s drawing attention to her body, however that’s the her true intend but instead of stopping and doing what she is told she yells out “ stop looking at my ass”. Like most young adults she wants freedom and to be able to make her own decisions
    Reading this comic would make one think about their own life and how they grew up. Too be able to look back and see the mistakes you made could be helpful to some people, it is very eye opening to me. It’s not like you can go back and change the past because you can’t, however you can always learn from your mistakes.

  2. There is a distinctive shift between the Marjane of the first half, and that of the second. Her adolescence contributed to a shift in character, as it generally does, but I think the fact that it largely occurred in Austria, away from both her family and the culture she grew up in, caused it to be a more dramatic change for her.

    It is also easier for people who have grown up in a country like ours to understand what it is like being a teenager, rather than what it’s like to like in a revolutionary environment. In this sense, we as readers also change as the story progresses, as the issues shift from outside problems to inside problems. Under pressures to fit in, Marjane went from the girl who choked on a stolen cigarette to being known as the school’s drug dealer. Time and again, she tried to put all of her trust into another, only for them to let her down.

    I thought it was especially humorous to see how she reacted when she returned to her childhood bedroom after her life in Europe. Everyone can relate to the feeling of seeing something they used to be obsessed with, and wonder how they even liked it in the first place. It’s all a part of growing up, and really, that’s what Persepolis is all about.

  3. I really enjoyed reading your blog. I like the fact that you put real examples from your own personal experience. All my life I have never really enjoyed reading but Persepolis was just a great book. It taught me a lot and I just love Marjane Satrapi’s sense of humor she really connects with her readers. When you stated that “… allowed her to draw out her emotions in a way that I was able to empathize with much more because I was able to see the emotion though the visuals “. I totally have to agree with you. Each sad part in the comic made me feel so sad and I would always picture myself in her shoes as I read. I really enjoy having pictures in books, some might find it distractive but I find them helpful. Satrapi was definitely an outsider and she struggled with a lot of things, I feel like that’s why she always called up God because she had no one else to talk to.
    Though out the novel I learned so much about Iran. The revolution was definitely a sad period for Iran. I must say Satrapi did such a great job on her comic because honestly if this book did not have any visuals I would have found it hard to understand. She also taught us that no matter how hard life gets we should keeping moving forward.

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