Persepolis: Part 1 and 2
Monday, May 16, 2011Posted by Melissa (Avid Reader)
Persepolis 1: The Story of a Childhood
by Marjane Satrapi
Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return
by Marjane Satrapi
This graphic novel has been on my TBR list for far too long. I finally had a chance to read it and I was not disappointed. The first book covers the author’s childhood in war-torn Iran, while the second deals with her teenage and adult years.
It’s disturbing, but incredibly important, to be reminded of the freedoms we take for granted. Perhaps the scariest part of the book is realizing that they had those freedoms and they were revoked. I can’t fathom someone telling me I had to wear a veil all of a sudden when I’ve spent my life without one.
Everything from rock n’ roll posters to Michael Jackson CDs became illegal. The most controversial item of all was the any thinking that contradicted the regime’s belief system.
Satrapi’s spunk and defiance make her an irresistible child. We see the oppression creep into her life and understand it better than she can at first. Her wonderful parents teach her to stand up for her beliefs and she is surrounded by strong family members who do just that.
**Spoilers of the first book, but not the second**
At the end of the first book, Satrapi is sent to live in Austria without her parents. Thus begins her assimilation to western culture. When she eventually returns to Iran, this creates a dichotomy in her personality. She never felt truly at home in Austria, but when she’s back in Iran, she realizes she doesn’t quite belong there either.
The second book loses a bit of the magic of the first, just as growing up in the real world always does. Instead of an innocent child’s view of a violence and oppression, we have a young woman trying to figure out who she is all while being influenced by both western and eastern cultures. It’s more a coming of age tale than the first book.
“When we're afraid, we lose all sense of analysis and reflection. Our fear paralyzes us.”