Persepolis’ pictorial effect

A comic book? In a college English class? It might sound like a joke at first, but I had no idea how much one could learn from reading a comic book, aka. a graphic novel. In fact, I believe that a comic book has a certain advantage over normal novel book, because it is also supported by the pictorial element. Instead of using words to describe a character’s emotion, the author could show it by drawing. For example, on page 189, at the beginning of the chapter named “The Vegetable”, Marjane Satrapi successfully describes the changes about her, and the effects that her hardships have had on her. The readers could easily recognize that her trip has had an apparent impact on her appearance. She looks more experienced, more mature; thus the readers could conclude that she has learned a lot from the trip; she is no longer the little girl in her parents’ arms.

The second panel I want to discuss about is the bottom panel on page 235. This is when Satrapi discovers that her boyfriend has been unfaithful to her, and decides to move out of Dr.Heller’s house. We could see that the panel is colored almost entirely in black; only the moon is still very bright. She sits on a chair, and looks up to the moon. So I think Satrapi is trying to tell us that it seems like she does not have a future at the moment; achieving her goals is similar to walking to the moon, it is impossible.

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One Response to Persepolis’ pictorial effect

  1. anniets says:

    The topic I wrote about is actually quite similar to yours and I had the same thought about it. Marjane Satrapi was able to use the style of comic book writing to fully put forth her expressions to the reader which may have been slightly more difficult if it was a written novel. By using both the visual and written elements to her writing. It allows her to portray her story better.
    Aside from that, I had a slightly different point of view in your example about her boyfriend. I thought of it as her feeling as if she has no future at that point in time. With Satrapi looking at the moon, which is the only thing that is shining, you could say that she is in the darkness trying to find a way out of this misery. Having said this, even though she uses both pictorial and written elements to her story, there is always room of interpretation. xD

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