Monday, February 10, 2014

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi is an intricate graphic novel that tells the story of one woman's childhood in Iran.

Having been trained as a teacher, I have a problem where occasionally I'll be reading something and all I can think about it how much I want to teach that novel. And that's what I kept thinking when I was reading Persepolis. For years and years and years now, America has has the tendency to think of the Middle East as a homogeneous culture that is comprised of one belief set (and that is the belief set that has driven a very small minority to very big displays of patriotism (or terrorism if you prefer)). Satrapi writes about her experience growing up in a country that was experiencing some pretty intense revolutionary changes. She writes of the hypocritical nature of people--how people are so willing to move with the regime changes of a government. She writes of the confusion of being a young girl in a culture that keeps changing history and "facts". Yet somehow, Satrapi manages to keep humor in her story. She makes experiences relateable by using a significant amount of catharsis--lightening dark material with humorous comments.

I cannot recommend this graphic novel enough. I can't wait to pick up a copy of the second set (The Story of a Return).

Favorite Quotations: "One can forgive but one should never forget."
"To each his own way of calming down."
"No scream in the world could have relieved my suffering and my anger."
"In life you'll meet a lot of jerks. If they hurt you, tell yourself that it's because they're stupid. That will help keep you from reacting to their cruelty. Because there is nothing worse than bitterness and vengeance...always keep your dignity and be true to yourself."

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