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The Complete Persepolis

Satrapi, Marjane (Author/Illustrator)
Penguin Random House 2007. 344 pages
First published: 2003
ISBN: 9780375714832 (paperback)
Original language: French
Dewey: 955
Book type: Graphic Text
Book genre: Memoir

Text Elements:

conflict, evocative language, panel arrangement, point of view, stance

Award

Alex Award – 2004

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

As a little girl, Marjane wants to be a prophet. She invents ‘rules’ and her grandmother becomes her first disciple. The year she turns 10, however, religion becomes distinctly less whimsical in her native Iran. Following the Islamic Revolution and the implementation of a theocratic state, co-ed schools are closed, girls and women are made to wear veils, and any vestiges of Western capitalism are outlawed. Post-revolutionary Iran is depicted against the protagonist’s coming of age. Marjane sees protests and executions, covert rebellion, constant tyranny and tooth-and-nail survival. She flees to Europe, but her home is lodged inside her: “I wanted to forget everything, to make my past disappear, but my unconscious caught up with me.” As Marjane begins to articulate her identity as a feminist, she finds that repression exists in more subtle ways as well.

The book is divided into sections, each hinging on an event or theme: “The Cigarette,” “The F-14s,” “The Return” and so on. The panels present the story chronologically and high-contrast, black-and-white inking highlights salient personal and national identities.

Thanks in part to the graphic medium, this memoir of the revolution in Iran makes the complex social, political and religious issues easier to understand, while remaining faithful to the region’s shifting history.

  •  

    This personal memoir and historical account brings together the personal and political scenes in the life of the protagonist. Read the introduction and opening scene, and discuss the social and political references prior to continuing to read.

  •  In small groups, discuss the way Marjane portrays herself during the different stages of her life. How does the fact that this is a personal memoir impact the type of information she shares?
  •  

    Useful as part of a text set that explores significant issues related to adolescents in times of social and political upheaval. Use the immersion into text as part of an inquiry or action research project that considers issues stemming from the text.

  • To exercise critical judgment
  • To use information
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Media Literacy
  • Social Sciences