Withstanding the Test of Time

“stuck in between a rock and a hard place” Photo Credit: http://tracycrossley.com/2012/12/20/stuck-between-a-rock-and-a-hard-place/

Having read the second half of Persepolis, I have realized just how respectable Marjane is throughout the entirety of the book. Despite all of the radical changes that she had gone through, she was always able to get back to her roots. The idea of having to live in Austria and being seen as an outsider due to her unconventional customs and returning to Iran only to be seen as an outsider due to her “foreign decadence” is really confounding. It was not hard to understand why there were several instances throughout her comic autobiography where she showed a lot of ambivalence. Her lack of conviction was due to her isolation and her inability to find refuge in anyone who could really understand her. This was especially evident when she moved back to Iran after things in Austria did not work out for her. To be constantly moving from household to household, only to find hostility each time, Marjane exemplified a lot of courage and firm resolve. This was an especially admirable trait of Marjane that always stood the test of time; she never gave up on her ideals not matter how bleak the ordeal.

The prominence of this autobiography revolves around the moral of a girl who was once lost but then found her way to realizing her potential through faith in her abilities. This particular scenario actually reminded me a lot of the Disney movie, Mulan. This movie illustrates the story of a girl who was only meant to become a presentable bribe for marriage but ends up saving the whole Han Dynasty from the Huns. In both of these illustrations, the heroine has a hard time being accepted in both worlds; for Mulan, she was seen as an inept bride back at home and an unfit woman to serve as a solider in the war, while Marjorie was seen as an unrefined foreigner in Austria and a profane blasphemer in Iran. I found Persepolis to be especially enjoyable to read because of this recurring motif- often found in a lot of Disney movies!

The simple illustrations throughout the comic also made the read a lot easier for me. Personally, reading dull, monotonous texts can be really hard to do sometimes and this was a nice change of pace for me. Marjane Satrapi did an excellent job of portraying the characters in her comic. Whether she intended for the characters to look this simple or she had limited artistic abilities, Marjane was able to create accommodating caricatures for the people in her life. This autobiography actually opened my eyes to the prevalent issues that existed throughout the ‘90s in Iran and makes me appreciate just how good we really have it. I don’t know how I would be able to truly live life having to fear getting prosecuted and whipped on a daily basis. The graphics for these situations, although really rudimentary, were actually intuitive. Overall, reading this book was an enriching experience for me and certainly gave me the chance to reflect upon my own life.


6 thoughts on “Withstanding the Test of Time

  1. I really like how you placed Mulan in as something to relate to because it relates well. Both Mulan and Marji were very courageous they always stood up for themselves and did what they felt was right; they are great people to learn from. I too was really inspired by the story of Marjane. Though I feel these issues don’t just take place in the 90’s and are still happening today maybe not here in America but most definitely in many other parts of the world. A lot of what Marji went through does happen to a lot of teens in our day in age here in America as well though. A lot go through some sort of punk rock or jock stage, do drugs, go to parties, date, and are trying to figure out who they really are. In most cases it does sound a lot like a High School experience. Though Marji’s life was far different and way more struggling than normal she did gain some-what traditional High school experiences that she could grow off of. Like you stated in your blog Marji may have gotten stranded away from her values and who she was sometimes but she always found a way back to them. I love how in the end she does what she always wanted to do; get out of Iran and accomplish something. She most certainly accomplished many things.

  2. I love how you compared Persepolis to Mulan! The two stories are very similar in nature. Marjane is a very respectable woman for constantly fighting against such an oppressive government and for staying strong even though she was met with disdain everywhere she went, except for her family. She did try to commit suicide though, and even though she kept going on after her failure, she obviously didn’t think she could go on. I think that’s an extremely important part of the book, that even when you think you have nothing left you have to keep going because things will always become better at some point. Like you this novel made me realize how lucky and free we really are in America. I never realized how amazing it is that I can walk out of my house without being beaten or killed for something I believe in or what I choose to wear. I love the book and the way Marjane chose to write it but I still have a hard time trying to read and observe pictures all at the same time.

  3. Buiroger7- I love how you made the connection between Persepolis to Mulan! I honestly didn’t think of that until I read your blog and I thought to myself, “I can’t believe I didn’t think of that”. I also agree with how sad it was that she couldn’t confide in anyone in Austria because they wouldn’t understand what it is like to have seen war. Even when she moved back to Iran after her four year trip in Austria, she couldn’t tell her family everything she went through because she was too ashamed to come to terms with it. I too agree that even though she strayed away from typical Iran customs she never did give up on her ideals no matter how bleak the situation is. It’s like how you said, “The prominence of this autobiography revolves around the moral of a girl who was once lost but then found her way to realizing her potential through faith in her abilities.” I agree that reading monotonous texts can be a struggle to read, but Persepolis was also a great change of pace for me as well. I don’t think the simplicity of the drawings were a lack of artistic ability, she went to art school. I think it was so the reader didn’t have to read too much into the pictures. After reading Persepolis I too reflected upon my life and appreciate the things that I have.

  4. I really enjoy reading your blog! I love how you can bring in other resources into your blog for example when you said that “This particular scenario actually reminded me a lot of the Disney movie, Mulan.” Mulan and Marjane do go through some rough times throughout their journeys. After you saying that it got me thinking about the book and I could look back and I also thought about the same thing and realize they were the same scenario. I kind of agree that “reading dull, monotonous texts can be really hard to do sometimes.” And by reading a comic it really truly reads easier than any novel, but sometimes it all depends on the student if it is easier for them to read a comic or read a novel to better understand the material. I also felt that this comic book really open my eyes and gave me a look inside the revolution that I had no clue that was going on.

  5. I, as well, think Marjane Satrapi did an excellent job portraying the characters, setting, and mood in this comic. As a reader, it kept me intrigued to see the different emotions, thoughts, and events that Satrapi experienced as a young girl. Her use of shading in the comic makes the reader understand the message Satrapi is trying to send across, and describes the emotions she has experienced during different events in her life.
    I love how you referenced Marjane Satrapi’s life to the Disney movie, Mulan. I think it made it a simple way to see that they were both being treated as outsiders. Even though both characters are being treated poorly, they decide to step up and speak up for what they believed in. They both acted like warriors. They wanted to stand up for their beliefs and protect their families from the harm of a terrorizing group. Seeing how Satrapi grew up as a young girl, truly makes me feel we should be thankful for all the opportunities we have here in the United States, and should be thankful for each day we live.

  6. I totally agree with you on the second half of Persepolis. Marjane goes through an emotional and difficult process when she moves around from house to house and gets called an outsider everywhere she goes. Think about just going to the grocery store and someone giving you a weird stare because you weren’t born in this country which is like a lot of us today. Also I really like the connection you made with the Disney story of Mulan. I feel like Mulan and Marjane had some of the same difficulties in life. The fact that she wasn’t allowed to serve in the army even though she was one of the toughest and strongest as well as the most motivated in the entire group. Marjane did an excellent job at describing her story of in a media of a comic book. I agree with you on how she had limited abilities on drawing, yet she made it see believable.

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