Eileen's Reviews > The Complete Persepolis

The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
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's review
Jan 05, 09

really liked it
bookshelves: ya-graphic-novel
Read in December, 2008

I loved Persepolis! I previously read Reading Lolita in Tehran, so I was familiar with the restriction of freedom in Iran as a result of the Revolution. The graphic novel format really brought Marjane’s story to life. I knew Marjane was going to be a spunky character; as a young child she is quite sure she is going to be the last prophet. Her childhood is anything but typical and yet she still fights with her parents, listens to American music and defies authority. The consequences of this defiance are possibly life threatening. At certain points, I was terrified for Marjane. Her mother allows her to walk outside alone at the age of 13. She is stopped by the women’s branch of the Guardians, wearing her Nikes, jean jacket and Michael Jackson button. I was so relieved she was released safely. The first book ends with Marjane leaving for Vienna.

In Persepolis 2, Marjane experiences typical teen troubles, but does not have her family to help her through these tough times. She is an outsider. Eventually, she returns to Iran. Even there she feels like an outsider, but eventually finds a group of like-minded friends. Life is extremely difficult and restricted. One of my favorite parts is when Marjane explains that a woman leaving the house worrying about her veil, the length of her pants, visible makeup and whether she will be whipped has little time to ponder what happened to her most basic rights. I found it interesting to read the Satrapi’s view on the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq (p.168). They don’t trust Iranian media, but Marjane notes that Western media portrays them only as terrorists and fundamentalists. Before Marjane’s parents sent her to Europe, now Marjane decides it is time for her to leave again. Her mother says it all, “This time, you’re leaving for good, you are a free woman. The Iran of today is not for you. I forbid you to come back.”

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