Xenophobia

One section of Persepolis that caught my interest was the one titled “Tyrol” where she talks about not belonging to a social clique because they had all already been going on. There were two particular moments I liked that made me so intrigued by this section.

The first was at the bottom of page 165 where she asked for a ruler and her peers told her it was called a “dick” resulting in her embarrassingly asking a classmate if she could borrow his. I chose this because we see students having fun with the foreign girl. She was viewed as an outsider being made a mockery of because she did not speak the same language as them. Of course teaching her would have been too ethical. Clearly it is hard to see how cruel you are when you have not been there.

The other part I noticed was immediately after when she referred to a French girl in one o her classes: “I understood later that her reserve came from the fact that she considered the others to be spoiled children. But I was different. I had known war.” (Satrapi, 166). This is interesting because of a sort of cultural gap. Where we are from and what we have seen seems to make such a huge difference in how we are perceived. This ties in with something I have stated in our previous two readings. We live our lives in America believing we have seen the worst parts of any war. But I know now that we are not complete victims. We have here someone who was trapped in the middle of it all. She is in the midst of people who have fun and use her as a guinea pig. It is nice to see the French girl recognizes it.

Satrapi, Marjane. The complete Persepolis. New York: Pantheon Books, 2007. Print.

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