Persepolis – Marjane Satrapi

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This is one book that I can honestly say I am glad that I read it. It was so interesting and gave me a first hand insight into the Islamic Revolution. Told with the innocent mind of a child who finds flaws in public life and her home life, this book is a work of genius.
Persepolis is a graphic novel that not only tells of the revolution in Iran but shows its readers. The images are simple and black and white but they are also hard hitting and perfectly matched with the plot. In particular they help to put into perspective the feelings of Marjane as a child and how she struggles to understand the revolution, her life in school and her life at home.
As a person with strong religious beliefs, Marjane finds it difficult to swallow all the lessons she is being taught at school and home. With the changes during the revolution and the religious changes, Marjane has trouble fitting in with her friends whilst at home the laid back attitude of her parents adds to Marjane’s confusion.
This book is emotional and thought-provoking as it is based on the true events of a country’s heartbreak. However the emotions of Marjane and her attitude towards the war and the violence becomes hardened. As she gets older she seems to become sensitised to the world around her, to the violence escalating from the war. From a young age, Marjane has witnessed horrors from the war, innocent people dying and people being killed for unjustified reasons. She is hurt because as a strong religious child she can’t make sense of something so painful and destructive. It is interesting to watch her grow and how she processes the world around her.
I would definitely recommend this graphic novel to all readers, it’s an area than many people don’t read a lot about and a part of history that to is generally unknown. Despite being spread across one hundred pages, it really puts into understanding the Islamic revolution and the hardships it placed on many families living in Tehran and elsewhere.
Overall I am giving this novel a 5 out of 5 stars on goodreads, I am really looking forward to reading the second book in this series and seeing how Marjane grows. Although I know the direction of the Islamic Revolution, the people involved are often forgotten about and the story of one girl in the middle of a war can reflect the lives of the millions of people who fell victim to something so destructive and uncontrollable. Hopefully this book can become not only a gateway into understanding this troubling period in history but also show the human damage of war. As Marjane has written in the Introduction, ‘One can forgive but one should never forget.’
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