Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood
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Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood
Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood is a graphic novel about a young Iranian girl named Marjane Satrapi that got caught up in the Iranian Revolution of 1979. The Iranian Revolution of 1979 was a civil war where a man named Ayatollah Kohmeini was opposing the Shah and his use of the secret police to control the country. Marjane Satrapi was born in Rasht, Iran in 1969. Her graphic novel Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood won many prestigious awards including Prix Alphart Coup de Cour (beginning comic artist award), Angoule International Comics Festival, and Prix dAngouleme for best book of the year. Satrapi “has also become a spokeswoman for greater freedom in Iran and a voice against war and for cross-cultural understanding.” (Marjane Satrapi). Throughout the text there are bits and pieces of the plot that help the larger meaning of the novel become more relevant. Three of which are the relationship between Satrapi and her parents, how the revolution affects her as a child, and the tension she feels between the past and the present. These themes are significant because they grow and change throughout the story as Satrapis view grows and changes. They show what she learns and how it changes the way she thinks and feels about all of the things going on around her.

Throughout the novel, young Marjane Satrapi has many friends and family members that impact her actions and her way of thinking. She was always told in school that the king was chosen by God. But her parents told her that he wasnt and that he was just a soldier with ideas to “overthrow the emperor and install a republic” (Satrapi). Other times her parents would go out and so demonstrations against the Shah and Satrapi would ask her parents if she could go with them. But her parents would never let her go because it was too dangerous. This created conflict between Satrapi and her parents because she didnt understand why she could not go. As she grew older this conflict with her parents grew and she even smoked a cigarette to prove her independence and her adulthood. Even though there was conflict, she realized that her parents loved her and cared about her education and her upbringing. But through all of their trials and tribulations, the conflict and the love that Satrapi experiences with her mom and dad is a necessary part of her growth throughout the story.

The Second important theme is how the revolution affects her as a child. Being a child during the Iranian Revolution of 1979 Satrapi got to experience and see things that children of her age in other parts of the world could not ever dream of experiencing. The stories that Satrapi heard about what happened to the people in prison impacted her greatly. When she heard about all the different torture methods that her parents friends endured in the she was so shocked that she couldnt speak. She even lost family members as a result of the revolution. Her favorite uncle, Anoosh, was accused of being a Russian spy and was taken to prison and executed.

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Marjane Satrapi And Graphic Novel. (April 16, 2021). Retrieved from