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persepolis 2 - January 5 2007 Remaining in the Margins The...

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January 5, 2007 Remaining in the Margins The most determining period of a person’s life is during his or her adolescence. It is during this time in which many develop the beliefs, values and ideas that will remain with him or her for the duration of his or her life. At this stage which is so vital to her development, young Marji Satrapi lacks a sense of being, and feels as if she must adapt to her surroundings. But, in an attempt to mesh with society, she strays away from her true self, and in the process loses much of her individuality. Throughout Persepolis , Marji struggles to survive during a time of political unrest and discover her own identity. From the moment when she left her native country of Iran after the rise of an extremist regime, Marji had her doubts about her future in a foreign country. To her, the lifestyle and people who lived in Austria would be comparable to that of her favorite move, “Heidi”. However, her prejudice is quickly proven false as soon as she interacts with the daughter of her host family. After being offered blueberry scented pens and “pearly pink lipstick,” she is in awe of the naivety of the other girl, who is the same age as she. “What a traitor! While people were dying in our country, she was talking about trivial things (Satrapi 2)”. Marji has no idea that this negligible event is soon to be the least of her worries. Having to join school in the middle of its second trimester, she finds herself friendless in an environment in which many of the cliques have already been formed. So, to keep herself busy, she constantly educates herself by reading. It is through these books that she gains new outlooks on matters that she would have not been exposed to otherwise. As Marji discusses her readings with her classmates some students begin to accept her. She attempts to gain their acceptance further by lying about her background,
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as well as using drugs along with her peers. At one point, Marji goes so far as to deny her own nationality, simply to avoid being ridiculed. “The harder I tried to assimilate, the
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