“Persepolis” by Marjane Satrapi

The novel, Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, provides unique content and portrays a message during the revolutionary Iran era. The graphic novel depicts the author’s childhood through her adult years during the Islamic Revolution. The remarkable way she portrays light and dark shading on the images to display Marji’s mood and state of mind. Satrapi’s style of artwork portrays a new element of literature from her nuanced ideas in a rebellious way revealing the ugly truth and beautiful lie. The black and white colors play a huge role on how Satrapi portrays her emotions towards her art. Her art displays how she feels about the values of her own life. She uses dialogue when absolutely necessary as well as using pictures to illustrate her language. Satrapi’s illustrations are black and white, giving an example that Iran is a strict, straight forward country. They have strict dress codes, black veils, and make it clear what is right and wrong. In Persepolis, page seventy, there is a complete turning point in the book. Marji’s life falls apart as she discovers her Uncle Anoosh has been executed.

Later Marji loses her faith in God. Satrapi depicted what Marji was feeling in a single frame on page seventy one. “And so I was lost, without any bearings… what could be worse than that?” (71) While most of the many backgrounds of panels are square and black and white, if a darker subject is brought up some are entirely black. This visually shows emptiness and self doubt among Marji. The veil vs freedom In the novel on page five, there is a picture shown with a group of ladies chanting for the veil, and a group of ladies fighting for freedom. As seen in the illustrated text the group of ladies chanting for the veil are covered in all black, expressing a dark and hateful expression rather than the ladies covered in all white are portraying more of a peaceful loving expression. The ladies in black also have their eyes shut, which shows how Satrapi depicts her feelings towards seeing these women blind to the truth. Their eyes are closed in view of the fact that they are blind to the truth due to society and it’s forceful blindfold. Rather than the girls fighting for freedom, with their eyes wide open and fully aware of verity. An illustrated text reads, “I really don’t know what to think about the veil. Deep down I was very religious but as a family we were very modern and avant-garde.” (6)

On the left side it shows her with her hair out. The background is dark yet the photo consists of white elements, such as a ruler, some sort of hammer or tool and a bunch of grinding objects and the background is black. The tools and grinders show her mentality. She is thinking. She is drawing and painting pictures in her mind that not even society can stop her from doing. On the right side it shows her covered from head to toe with a veil. Her background is white showing that society is telling her what they practice; it is beautiful yet the veil is black. In the background is a bunch of scribbles which is her mind set and it does not know how it feels. These pictures reveal the ugly truth and the beautiful lie.

Furthermore, Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, provides unique content and portrays a message during the revolutionary Iran era. The graphic novel depicts the author’s childhood through her adult years during the Islamic Revolution. The remarkable way she portrays light and dark shading on the images to display Marji’s mood and state of mind. Satrapi’s style of artwork portrays a new element of literature from her nuanced ideas in a rebellious way revealing the ugly truth and beautiful lie.