I had never before read a comic book or graphic novel. I was very leery of the idea, although it was an exciting prospect to read a genre that I hadn’t before. Once I began reading The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi I realized how fun it was to read and I enjoyed it immensely. I actually found myself not able to put the book down. The pictures are so engaging and the writing is a combination of the reflection of the main characters age and the adult perception of what it going on around her. I was surprised to find myself laughing out loud when the subject I was reading about was so serious.
The aspect that I found most impressive about Persepolis is that it takes you on journey of her own discovery of what the truth is. You don’t get a feeling that the narrator is telling you what the answers are, but that she herself is trying to determine what the truth is. The journey has such an authentic and identifiable feel to it because the voice of the narrator changes with her age. As she matures so do her thoughts and ideas. As the narrator experiences the feeling of disappointment in the disillusionment she faces, the reader is able to see how the truth unfolds for her. It is through this perspective that the reader is able to take on a more innocent and better informed perspective of the war history in Iran.
One of the most pivotal transitions for Marjane is from her religious beliefs about her own destiny to realizing that her ideas and the belief system is not as sound as she thinks they are. From “The Veil”, “Down With the King”, “Heroes” to “Moscow” we see the conversations Marjane has with God as she tries to figure out what she believes is right and just. Although Marjane becomes angry with God the narrator never apologizes or tries to justify her belief in God. It just is. I love that about this part of the book. Discovery, faith, and belief are always a journey, one which is part of who we become overall.
I was also touched by the patriotism that the Iranians exhibited throughout the graphic novel. It really makes one more aware of how much we take for granted those small things like enjoying the national anthem whenever we like when you see those who have it stripped away.
Because I was so touched by this patriotism I looked up some music videos that pay homage to Iran:
The interesting thing about this video is that it is set to an American song which I think is appropriate since Marjane is so fond of American pop-culture.
This video shows the culture and history of Iran set to Iranian music.
I am really enjoying the personal perspective of Iranian history from this graphic novel and all that I am learning from it. It is a wonderful experience and far more moving than I thought a graphic novel would be.
Iran Forever. Nermeltir, 2009. Youtube.com. Web. 28 Mar. 2012. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EM894rGvVqk>.
Persepolis Iran Forever. Hhemati, 2009. Youtube.com. Web. 28 Mar. 2012. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KjCqsMO2CEY>.
Satrapi, Marjane, and Marjane Satrapi. The Complete Persepolis. New York: Pantheon, 2007. Print.