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The Comparison of the Book Persepolis and Its Movie Adaptation

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A graphic novel uses illustrations to tell a plot, just like a typical comic book. Although some graphic novels are intended purely for entertaining audiences, others illustrate historic events or discuss serious issues, such as Persepolis, written by Marjane Satrapi. The 4-book series depicts her childhood to adulthood as a young girl growing up in Iran in the late 1970s and early 1980s, during the Iranian Revolution. Written as a childhood memoir, Satrapi illustrates and displays theses events in a graphic novel, which was ultimately produced into an award-winning animated movie. Throughout the study of the graphic novel and the movie-adaptation of Persepolis, there are noticeable dissimilarities. In this paper, we will discuss them. However, the main purpose of this essay is to show those differences which make the movie-adaptation more efficient in storytelling. By comparing these 2 mediums based on storytelling, the narration style, the soundtrack and the visual effects, demonstrate the effectiveness of the film.

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There is no doubt that the narration style is drastically different in both mediums. The novel is narrated in such a way that each chapter are different vignettes of Marjane’s life and add up to a complete whole; Consequently, making it difficult for the reader to follow and have time to interpret the harsh events of the book. Moreover, the story is portrayed through the eyes of Marjane from childhood to adulthood. As a child, her view is can come across as unreliable and biased. Her point of view can be influenced by flaws such as jealousy, anger or immaturity. For instance, in the chapter “” Marjane doesn’t fully understand the situation and she alters the events to her liking. Differing from the novel, in the film, Satrapi used colour as a framing device to give structure to the story. The use of colour indicates that the scene takes place in the present, whereas the black and white ones are in the past. The switch between the 2 is used to create a contrast between the present and past. As seen in multiples scenes, such as “” the narration jumps from to the present to provide breathing room to the events. Such scenes at the airport are used as a framing device for recounting the story. Unlike the book, the story is told in a flashback form, Satrapi alters the events in a reflected and reasoned way. To conclude, the narration style of the movie-adaptation helps the storytelling.

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