High and Low cultures are terms given to value the quality of the text. Low culture text is usually the text written for entertainment and pleasure and does not encourage complex reflection and thoughts . Comics are considered as a Low culture and comics and graphic novel are similar to each other but graphic novel are not considered to be Low culture. High culture text is written to encourage complex reflection and thought. High culture are usually full of literary features while low culture has low literary features. Text with high culture also called privileged text and text with low culture is called marginalized .
2- Everyone has his own way of thinking, if three people read a book they will think differently and will have different opinions about it that’s why we respond to the text is shaped by our ideology because everyone understand it from a different perspective. The same thing happens when different people read a graphic novel , they all have different opinions and ideas and they discuss it some people may change their opinions after they heard someone’s else opinion ,that’s how it changes our beliefs, attitudes and values toward literature
3- Symbols in a Graphic novel are easy to understand cause most of the are colours , body language , objects and clothing etc.. .In Persepolis Satrapi has made it different than any other graphic novels , she made no colours only black and white and this is a symbol of something that happened in the past .
4- Satrapi choose to write Persepolis in form of a graphic novel to tell her story ,because she want us to understand what she understands .She is writing her story so she wants us to feel how it feels to grow up during a revolution and a war , and how it feels to move from your country to a different one having a new life she wants us to feel what she felt and she actually succeeded at it
Style and Literary Traditions:
Persepolis is more bildungsroman than a memoir, because Satrapi didn’t only want to tell the story of her childhood but she wanted to show the way she lived in Iran at the time of the Islamic revolution, also she wanted to show how she grew morally, socially and spiritually making herself an example of how a young girls grew up at this time and bildungsroman is when protagonist must progress from childhood to adulthood, leave home to undergo a journey, and develop a more mature understanding of his or her self.
Satrapi also shows how is feels for a young girl to grow up during a Revolution and live in Iran while it was at war with Iraq, those young girls saw communists getting shot and killed by the shah army and hearing stories about political prisoners being tortured during the revolution and saw planes blowing up buildings and other events too. Although it was horrible but Satrapi use a satirical tone sometimes when talking to the revolution guardians
Satrapi has been able to manipulate the literary features well though it is a graphic novel which sometimes authors find it hard to use the literary features. Satrapi has used alot of symbols and one of the most important symbol was “ the veil “ which shows the rebellious side of Satrapi and that she was against wearing it but the Islamic government said it is obligatory for women and girls to wear veil. She has also been hyperbole about it
Satrapi has used many allusions; most of them are people some are rebellious figures like : Che Guevara, Fidel Castro , they symbolize how a young generation is forced to become revolutionary even though they know little about the turmoil they fight , most of the allusion are about being rebellion and the war.
Unlike other writers, Marjane Satrapi has it a little easier because she is able to literally show us what she wants us to see , and the Major thing about persepolis is that it has no colours it’s all black and white to give the story a more ancient feel, she wants us to see that all of this has already occurred. Moreover, the simplicity of her images allows her to demonstrate that this time in her life was not a great one, and that most of it is blurry. Perhaps the lack of color also signifies how somber that time was.
Furthermore, she usually draws herself in the background, this shows how inferior she unworthy of being at the same level of men. As she gets older in the novel, she starts to show herself more, it is almost as if she is starting to believe that she is finally getting to the level of men. She begins to talk more to people, and not only speaks her thoughts to herself.
Any young woman growing up is going to face struggles especially during her adolescence. However, to grow up in the midst of the Iranian revolution is undoubtedly a life changing experience. In a society where one certain religion is forced upon you, and where you go, what you wear, who you see, and all that you do is restricted, it is clearly difficult to accept. Especially to a determined and independent young lady such as Marjane Satrapi. In Persepolis one of the most important themes of the novel is government and society and its role in determining the sequence of events that Satrapi’s life takes on such as in the first chapter veils are forced on the women of Iran.
In Persepolis Satrapi has used many themes and as mentioned one of the most important themes is government and society. The Iranian society after the revolution was forced to do what their government tells them like wearing the veil and this is also connected to the theocracy and dictatorship theme that the Islamic government turned into a dictatorship , dictatorship was not only with the government but also in Satrapi’s house she calls her mother a “ the dictator … guardian of the revolution of the house
The government played a big role in 1980’s Iran by implementing new laws and restricting old freedoms, whoever does obey is either sent to jail and tortured or being executed and a lot of people where being executed for doing things forbidden by Islam ,the government used Islam as a cover to do whatever they want without people questioning them. Even though the Islamic government prevented partying and drinking, people went to illegal parties and drank wine this is considered as an act of rebellion which is also a theme.
Rebellion is also a major theme in Persepolis, rebellion is not only against a government it can also be rebellion to what people say. Satrapi uses cigarettes as a symbol of rebellion, she want to show that she can do whatever men can do because at this time in Iran there were feminism. Moreover , Satrapi uses more rebellion figures to support her rebellion theme like Che Guevara, Fidel Castro and Trotsky they are a symbol for freedom
Iran was in an outer war with Iraq and internal war against Iranians. Those are the best words that could describe what is happening inside Iran in that time, the army was fight the Iraq’s and was also killing communists and people that have a secular thoughts. Although, the kids of the lower class are sent to war to fight for their country, but before they are sent, they are given this golden key which sybolizes the riches and wealth they will have if they go into war for their country. Not having much, these kids end up joining the army being promised these dreams that never happen. While on the other hand the higher classes are partying and enjoying themselves, not doing anything to protect their country, but only themselves.
Isn’t that sad. Also in the case of Marjane her maid doesn’t sit with her and her parents had a cadillac showing that they were wealthy, but Marjane didn’ like the idea of that. If you are a powerful person that has a lot of money, or if you were a king, you were part of the high class people. If you are poor or a peasant, you are considered to be in the lower class. What also exists is a middle class who refers to those who can make enough money to dress properly and own certain things that peasants can’t. Being a part of the middle class doesn’t make you a high class person because you don’t have power and don’t have a fortune, but it’s enough for good living
Martyrdom was also a major theme in Persepolis since the war started and Satrapi describes it “To die a martyr is to inject blood into the veins of society.” Marjane reflects that the regime depends on the war to retain its political control of the country. A million people lose their lives in the war. The regime becomes more repressive and seeks to stop “the enemy within” by arresting and executing those that defy its rule. Heroism is also a theme which is connected to Persepolis where Satrapi symbolizes the political prisoners that were tortured and executed as heroes and when she found out that her uncle Anoosh was tortured too ,she thought of him as a hero
At this time in Iran the social classes was also a major theme in the novel mostly all social classes were unequal and this wasn’t fair to Marjane at some points. She comes to learn that if you are not in the same social class as someone else, you are not able to marry them. Also, higher social classes were treated better and were paid more attention to, other than the lower class people. There was a specific part of the book where some kids asked Marjane if she had any “star wars” toys, and she didn’t. All little Marjane had were some boring books to offer them.
Persepolis is very powerful and informative. It showed the history of Iran’s civil war and revolution and the fall of the Shah. When someone would say the word “Iran” people would think of oil, criminals, and communist. they never knew that they would be able to relate Iran to family, love, peace, hope, Michael Jackson. It has definitely given a new meaning behind the word “Iran.” It has also given a new outlook of the people of Iran.
Courtney from Study Moose
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