Essays on Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood

by Marjane Satrapi

Essay Examples
Essay Topics
Brief overview
date
Date

Persepolis: 2000
Persepolis 2: 2004

author
Author

Marjane Satrapi

type
Type

Bande dessinée (French comic)

genre
Genre

Memoir

characters
Major Character

Marji

based-on
Based on

The author’s childhood in Iran during the Islamic Revolution

symbols-motives
Symbols / Motives

War, revolution, feminism, religious extremism

influence
Influence

The memoir has sold more than 2 million copies worldwide. It has been translated to several languages, including English, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish, Chinese, and more.

plot
Plot

In Persepolis 1, the author sees the Islamic Revolution in Iran through the eyes of her ten-year-old self. Marji, who comes from a family of the upper-middle class, has access to books that expose her to Western concepts and political thoughts. When the Iranian government reforms, Marji’s family is put in danger. Over two years of war, Marji has all kinds of experiences that pronounce her rebellious nature.

In Persepolis 2, Marji starts a new chapter of her life in a boarding house in Vienna.

purpose
Why Is This Topic Important?

The comic intertwines two crucial topics for today’s global society: freedom and feminism.

idea
Main Ideas

We see how Marji grows from a rebellious young girl into a smart, self-conscious woman.

quotes
Key Quotes

“To each his own way of calming down.”

“You’ll meet a lot of jerks in life. If they hurt you, remember it’s because they’re stupid. Don’t react to their cruelty. There’s nothing worse than bitterness and revenge. Keep your dignity and be true to yourself.”

“I wanted to be justice, love and the wrath of god all in one.”

interesting-facts
Interesting Facts

Critics and readers praised Persepolis as soon as the first volume was published. However, the comic is also surrounded with controversy, as well as censorships in the USA. The reasons for censorship include scenes of torture and inappropriate language.

argument-for
Arguments For

It’s one of the most candid and creative memoirs ever written. Its format (a comic) makes it easy to read, but the topics it tackles are heartbreaking.

argument-against
Arguments Against

Persepolis, although recommended to teenagers, may be “too much” for some. The graphic novel is raw and impressionable, and it has been censored in U.S. school districts due to images and language that are inappropriate for general use.

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