March 30, 2009
“Persepolis”, by Marjane Satrapi, gives the reader a unique story of a family in Iran. The book is named after ancient Persian ruins in northern Iran. Persepolis was the ceremonial capital of Persia. In many ways, Marj’s family is symbolic to the name of the book.
Marj’s family came from political power. “Since his entourage was educated, your grandpa was named prime minister” (p 23). It wasn’t too long before he was sent to prison with the charge of being a communist. This was the beginning of her family turning to ruin. Since that point, her family always fought for their rights against governments that ruled by religion. Their education was their biggest downfall against a government that shunned education over their beliefs. By the end of the book, you realize how Marj’s family, like Persepolis, is rundown.
Like “Maus”, this story is a difficult tale to tell. Both choose to use comic books as their stories vehicle. The biggest difference is that this story is told through the eyes of an innocent girl. The reader knows that there are more things going on then are being told. However, we are viewing only the story Marj is living. An example of this was when the young people are being told that their love ones were going away for a “long trip”, when in reality they are in prison.
After reading this book, you have to realize just how lucky we are here in the United States. We have basic freedoms that other countries do not have. With the exception of Pearl Harbor and 9/11, we have never been attacked by another modern country. I’m glad I haven’t had to live life like Marj’s family.