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.

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