Akshay Rama Mr. Clarke Literature/Writing 28 September 2013 Too much for a 12 year old In the story The Cigarette in the graphic novel Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi it shows the different conflicts Marji has. Marji is conflicted with her parents, however it is not a bad thing, it is a crucial part of her growth as a person. Marji and her mom agree that the revolution is what is best for the country while rejecting other views like when her mom was mad at her for going out for burgers instead of attending grammar class.
This rebellious attitude enables her to create her own identity and grow into her own self. This relationship is shown by Marji when she is being scolded by her mom for ditching grammar class, frustrated she calls her mom the “Guardian of the Revolution”. Marji also takes a step into adulthood by doing an action her mom would never approve of, smoking a cigarette stolen from her uncle. Later, Marji hears a broadcast with her mom and this makes her realize that the government is trying to prevent peace and is telling them the wrong information.
In this story we see how Marji and the society both start to understand what the government is trying to do while seeing Marji grow. Marji is able to grow from the experiences she goes through with her parents and the society. Marji finally learns what the government is doing, before Marji was always confused of how the government was being run. After listening to the news broadcast Marji realizes that the government is trying to prevent the peace and therefore wants the war to go on.
As Marji is growing, the society is growing with her also, even though the government is trying to manipulate the citizens. Marji and the society found out that the regime is trying to eradicate all the people who are against the regime. When Marji is forced to argue with her mom she shows that she can back up her beliefs and not give in to her mom’s anger. These competing groups essentially were creating growing pains with their competing agendas, something that the people realized the government was trying to rid society of.
Marji is simply able to deal to with the growth of herself and the society around her with rebellion. An example of this can be seen we she decides to ditch grammar class and go to a burger joint with her friends; she is disobeying the school’s rule and her parents. Knowing that there would be a consequence from either the school or her parents she is able to enjoy her day. As soon as she returns home she is confronted by her mom who questioned her; Marji is able to keep calm and instead of apologizing she kept to her belief that it was the right thing to do.
Satrapi shows that Marji was finally able to stand up for herself. After hearing the broadcast she asks her mom for permission to go down to the basement, a place where she is undisrupted and can think about the regime and what is actually happening. During this time Marji pulls out a cigarette and starts smoking it; showing us that he disobeying her mom’s rules. She is able to deal with this by thinking about it by herself. As Satrapi exemplifies, during wartime, societies undergo a form of mental change changing the lives of many individuals.
Through Marji’s growth, Satrapi is able to illustrate that with time and experience comes wisdom. With society’s growth, Satrapi is able to illustrate how societies change and adapt with times. Pairing these together, Satrapi is able to explore and show how every situation has two meanings, where one is represented by an individual, while another is represented by the population. At the same time, Satrapi also explores perspective, and how individuals deal with conflicting agendas and ideas as Marji did throughout the story.