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Persepolis - Hing Potter Politics of the Middle East and...

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Hing Potter Politics of the Middle East and North Africa Political Science 206 – F2010 Persepolis In her autobiography of her early childhood in Iran, Marjane Satrapi illustrates her experiences and trials while learning the political views of the Iranian people at the time. Within the title “Persepolis,” Satrapi digs into the roots of the Iranian culture to when the people were commonly referred to as Persians. “Persa” means Persia in Greek and with “ Perses” meaning Persians; in addition with “ opolis” meaning “city,” therefore you get “Persepolis” meaning Persian City. Persepolis helps to give an alternative view of Iran during the Iranian Revolution and the Iran/Iraq War. As Satrapi’s book is mainly geared towards western cultures, she presents to her audience a personal perspective and an unusual perspective, a child’s, rather than the more popular views through the eyes of adults or pop culture media. This view through a child’s eye gives an alternative view on the ideas of Iranian politics, terrorism and the social society. As a comic strip narrative, visuals are created to assist the reader in understanding the scenes of each page. An illustrated novel presents a clearer message to the reader as opposed to a prose, where the reader is forced to imagine each scene, ultimately skewing the author’s words and intentions. In addition, as a black and white illustrated novel, it helps to show that as a child, most things are viewed in black and white. There are no grey areas. As children we are educated early on to understand the simplicities of wrong and right, but not how to bend the truth. In addition, black and white help to set the novel as a past event, following the status quo of historical culture presented through various mediums. However, in some aspects, I believe that Satrapi has overlooked the idea that as an adult with a different mindset, it can be hard to relieve
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childhood memories in their pure original form. It can’t be helped that some of the thoughts portrayed in the booked are tainted, possibly even by the publisher in the process of fine tuning the product. As a child, ignorance is bliss. As an adult you can’t claim ignorance.
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