12 March 2014

Summary of Persepolis and Related Questions

Picture found: inayahcollection.com
11.     Marjane Satrai does seem like a believable character to me but she is definitely a very unique character.  She actually reminds me a little bit of people I’ve known in many ways.  For example, I went to middle school with a boy once who had moved here from Europe.  He had moved here knowing very little English in the beginning.  Just like Marji in the story, he did not have many friends at first and struggled because he could to not communicate correctly.  Just like Marji he made “friends” with some people who weren’t the best choice of friends. Many hung out with him because they enjoyed laughing at the foreign boy.   When the students lied to Marji and taught her that the word ruler was dick I remembered how my classmates did similar things to this boy.  There were some very awkward moments in class because this boy was taught to use curse words without knowing it. I remember one time a boy escorted him to the girl’s locker room for gym class. He went into the locker room and caused quite a scene. He acted like he had no idea it was the wrong locker room and I wonder to this day if he was just playing dumb.  The truth is he was always smarter than the boys who were doing these things to him and I remember always seeing him with a book just like Marji, who was always reading.  As the years went on he learned more English it was obvious how bright he actually was.  I remember he began to voice his opinion about how materialistic and spoiled we were as Americans.  He would make fun of anyone for spending their money on things like Jordans and expensive glasses.

22.     I think Satrai tells this story partly because she wants the world outside of her home country to know what she and people like her have been through. Nowadays everyone is so consumed with their own lives and many younger people do not pay attention to big events happening outside of their own country or even city.  By telling her story through a graphic novel she may be able to spread the truth about her life to more people than through other forms of literature.  The pictures add extra details and help make it easier to understand all she has gone through. It also can help other young children who moved to new foreign places. It gives them someone they can relate to.

33.     I think this is a stereotypical coming-of-age story because in many ways Marji is a young girl who is getting older and becoming more of a rebel as time goes on.  This is very typical of teenage girls. As we mature I feel like many of young adults start to question things such as authority figures (|like the nuns) and I guess this is all typical of a young girl trying to find herself and make meaning of her life.  She was struggling making new friends in a new place much like I felt when I first started high school.

44.     I feel that since this novel was written from a woman’s point of view it actually made me enjoy what I was reading more. I felt like I could relate to it a little better than probably some of my male classmates can. Also, the majority of comic books have been written from a male point of view. We all know about Superman and Bat Man but not many of us know about woman characters from comics.  This makes this comic unique.

Summary of Persepolis Part 1

The story starts with Marji the main character telling us about what life was like growing up in her home country of Iran.  Before the Islamic Revolution, she had a pretty good life full of freedom but after the revolution her life changed drastically. She was no longer allowed to go to school with boys, could no longer go to a bilingual school to learn French, and had to wear a veil on her head everyday.   This was hard for her to understand as a kid because she could not understand why things were changing so drastically.  This made me think about what my life would be like if our government made sudden changes like this in the United States.  It made me realize how lucky I am to be born in America.  She then explained how many people such as her parents began to protest against the government that was forcing these changes and that her mother was scared for her safety because her picture was all over the newspaper protesting.  Marji seems to have an extreme interest in religion and tells everybody that she is the last prophet.  She even made her own Holy Book.  Some people like her teacher think she is crazy for thinking this way but her family seems to accept and love her anyway. 
In the next chapter, we learned about Marji’s love for reading.  Honestly, I felt a little stupid because I do not know many of the historical figures eh was reading about but I do remember some of the important ones from my high school history classes.  Marji also claims that she has such a close relationship with God that he likes to visit her from time to time.  In this chapter, Marji also talks about some of the horrible things the government did to her people such as burning down a movie theater full of people.  Marji begs her parents to let her help them and the other people of Iran protest against the government.  Her parents basically don’t take her seriously because she is so young and force her to go back to bed. She felt very upset and did not understand why god was not listening to her wishes this time.

Summary of Persepolis Part 2

            In the next chapter, Marji makes a comment about how she likes the King. Her father could not believe what she said an informed her of the real reason this man was made King. He stressed to her that god did not choose her.  He explained about how corrupt politicians from Europe helped him gain power in order to make sure they could profit off of Iran. He then explained to her that her Grandpa used to be a prince. She talked about how he was stripped of his title of Prince but was then made Prime Minister because he was so educated.  However, her Grandpa did not agree with the new governments policies and actually became a communist. He ended up being thrown in jail multiple times for resisting this new government.
            In another chapter we had to read it talked all about Marji’s experience in Austria. She moved there to escape the horrors of Iran thinking she was going to have a new fresh start living with her moms best friend. The truth is she ended up getting put in a boarding house ran by nuns.  This was her first time having to live in a room with another person and she ended up getting a roommate named Lucia.  I believe that Marji went through a big period of growth while in Austria. She was forced to meet new friends, was forced to learn a new language and was forced to learn how to live on her own. I laughed went she went food shopping at Aldi’s because that is my supermarket of choice in Sheepshead Bay. They actually just opened one around the corner from me. In the beginning, it seemed like her roommate Lucia and her might not have been able to become close friends due to them speaking different languages. Lucia ended up inviting Marji to go on vacation to visit her parents in Austria. After this trip Marji starts to see Lucia as a sister.
            The last chapter was an interesting one. Marji ended up making the Head Nun at the boarding house angry. She was caught eating in the television room while eating out of a pot. The Head Nun ended up offending Marji by saying, ”Its true what they say about Iranians. They have no education.”  Marji responded, “It’s true what they say about you too. You were all prostitutes before becoming nuns!”  As a result of what she said, Marji was kicked out of the boarding house.  I honestly don’t know how I would have reacted if I was Marji. Even though I don’t believe in mouthing off to my superiors I know I would have been extremely heated if someone said something like that to me.

1 comment:

  1. Great thoughts, Victoria! Your summaries are a tad long, though ;-)