The Complexity of Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis Essay

Published: 2021-09-11 19:25:08
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Category: Film

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If a person were to hastily flip through the pages of Marjane Satrapi’s graphicnovel Persepolis, using only eyes to judge, the book could easily be put off as justanother piece of literary fluff. Their inner literary critic might utter a perplexed gasp andtheir mind might reel with the wonder at how they happened upon something that wassurely intended for the children’s comic book section. With any further examination ofthe book’s literary content and the power of its simplified artwork, however, such an easyto assume accusation shows through as fatally incorrect. Persepolis is the memoir of ayoung woman growing up in the decimating national conflicts of 1970s Iran depictedalongside an unexpectedly, simplified artwork style.
At first it may appear that this isdone only for the sake of unique marketability or because it is merely Satrapi’s naturaldrawing style. A deeper examination, however, will reveal that “…a form ofamplification through simplification” (McCloud, 30) is achieved and visual support isgiven to the text in a manner that realistic or more “serious” art could not accomplish. Though simplified in its artistic approach, Persepolis is anything but simplified incontent. When a writer chooses to include illustrations in a piece of literature, the first taskis to decide the level of abstraction/ realism the art will present.
In Persepolis’ case, asimplified art style works best, as it amplifies only the primary features of the text, unlikerealism which would be far more focused on social details. Given the book’s heavysubject matter (of both a war beyond massive devastation and the metamorphosis of a girl caught in its trauma), Persepolis has a great deal of information to cover in t. . captivating and personally significant aspects of her experience.
Through generality and a lack ofexplicit realism, Satrapi invigorates the book’s deeper messages in a manner that extendsbeyond the written word and into conceptual imagery. “By de-emphasizing theappearance of the physical world…the cartoon places itself in the world of concepts”(McCloud 41), concepts that convey the subjective, but still far too true life of MarjaneSatrapi. This simplified and symbolic universe is not Iran or Austria or France; it is Marjane’s Persepolis. Works CitedMcCloud, Scott. Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art. New York: HyperCollinsPublishers, 1993.
PrintStrapi, Marjane. Persepolis: The Story of Childhood. Paris, France: L’Association, 2003. Print. Strapi, Marjane. Persepolis 2: The Story of Return.
Paris, France: L’Association, 2004.Print

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