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Archive for March 2015
I just created this storyboard for the first page of the class. Check out how I’m doing
Storyboard that. (2015). Retrieved from,
1. Describe the symbolism and conflict represented in the left picture on the top of page 6.
There is symbolism and conflict represented in the left picture on the top of page 6. The image is divided into two halves within the panel. On the left, Marjane’s unveiled upper body portrays her hair, free of hijab and shows gears, wheels, a hammer and a ruler. On the right, veiled side she is appropriately dressed in a chador, while the background is decorated in a pattern of leaves and vines like a Persian design. The left side symbolizes modernism and material objects, while the right indicates fundamentalism. The left versus the right represents her dilemmas, a contrast between tradition on the right, and science and technology on the left.
2. Between her reasons for wanting to be a prophet and her set of rules (Pages 6 and 7) what inferences can you draw about the young girl’s character/personality?
Marjane believes that she is the last prophet. One frame depicts her image of herself as a prophet, the sun manes her head and people bow before her proclaiming her the celestial light. She has a deep connection to her faith and her personality revealed innocence and hope. Between her reasons for wanting to be a prophet and her set of rules there appears to be many inferences drawn about the young girl’s character and personality.
Being a prophet means somebody who is strong willed with good intentions, transmits the commands of a deity and who advocates for a cause or idea. She identifies herself with the great prophets of the past dating back to Zarathustra. She imagines herself as a symbol of love and tolerance. Marjane’s set of rules advocates for the abolishment of social classes, “Because our maid did not eat with us” (6). Her character struggles to understand why her family is fortunate. She is aware of her own class advantages and has strong beliefs as she defends the working class while retaining upper class privileges even though her parents are Marxist which includes a Cadillac and a maid. Once she recognizes both the political and social issues of Iran, she loses her faith, “Shut up, you! Get out of my life!!! I never want to see you again!” (70).
3. How does the author use visual symbolism in the picture at the bottom of Page 9?
The author uses visual symbolism in the picture at the bottom of Page 9 by portraying an explanation of juxtaposes one image against another. The first, meaning justice as she holds a scale representing fairness and righteousness with a serious look in her eyes, the second portrays happiness and love while the third, is the warrior with a mean look as the defender of all, the wrath of God. It attempts to balance the moral and political beliefs between stereotypes and what is real, between knowledge and ignorance.
4. Explain the simile on page 10 and identify its place (meaning) in the book’s overall theme and plot.
The theme depicts the rule of the Shah, the disillusionment of the revolution and the realities of living under the severe public rules. The simile on page 10 and the correlation between the theme and plot is, “The revolution is like a bicycle. When the wheels don’t work, it falls.” It depicts people piled up on a bicycle that is stationary. It’s a representation of Iran and its domino effect. The Shah needs keep his promises or people will rebel. When the people rebel they are killed because they love their country and everything stops working. Her grandmother commented, “You know, my child, since the dawn of time, dynasties have succeeded each other but the Kings always kept their promises. The Shah kept none…” (27), and so he must fall.
5. What metaphor does the author use on page 11 to portray the Persian people during 2500 years of tyranny and submission?
A snapshot of hundreds of years is encompassed by a single panel of invaders. The metaphor used on page 11, “After a long sleep of 2500 years, the revolution has finally awakened the people” portrays the Persian people during 2500 years of tyranny and submission. The panel is divided into four lines of images each portraying an event in Iran’s history, from oppressive rule to conquest to imperialism. The words guide the reader through a long line of invaders into Persia/Iran and ending with Uncle Sam. It depicted those who are rulers and the people being ruled creating a chronological sequence reflecting its history. First they dealt with
their own emperors in history then, there was the Arab invasion in which the soldiers are shown as baffled and confused. This is followed by the Mongolian invasion which seemed disorganized then came modern imperialism wearing sunglasses and an air of arrogance, yet inept rulers ending with Uncle Sam, but his eyes are closed to the violence.
6. What can one infer from picture on page 13 (middle) in terms of symbolism and irony?
The image is symbolic of an inner struggle between religion and politics. Marjane is questioning her faith, seeing the similarities and the difference between the two. Marjane is aware of the social injustices going on around her. She has a sense that she can do more with her life than what she is doing right now. Her parents are proud of the fact that she wants to make some type of difference in the world. Marjane feels that she wants to be a prophet so that she can abolish social classes, allow everyone to drive a Cadillac like her father, and to make her grandmother not ache anymore. The irony is she is living an elite lifestyle and fighting for the “other” side.
7. Respond to the imagery on page 15.
The reader grasps the tragic results of police brutality killing four hundred victims, unwilling to release the burning victims from the theatre on page 15. An urban battlefield is produced by police violence against civilians. The ghostly souls are depicting the qualities of the Tehran’s civil turmoil. In a sense the author is honoring the dead through sequencing and provides a perspective of tension while displaying the lack of humanitarianism. The theatre size shrinks which increases the stature of the police. The above view of the riot left the reader to fill in the blanks of the event whereas, the souls are seen at eye level during the violence that takes place in the theatre.
8. Why do the writer’s parents find her request to play Monopoly humorous? (Page 18)
Marjane’s parents find her request to play monopoly humorous because it is a capitalist game and they had spent the day protesting against the Shah whom is a capitalist, “Monopoly! I can’t believe it. Ha Ha” (18).
9. What might Marji’s refusal to play Monopoly symbolize on Page 25?
Marjane’s refusal to play Monopoly symbolized her desire experience what it felt like to be in a cell filled with water as her grandfather. She tried to recreate the torture he endured, “My hands were wrinkled when I came out, like grandpa’s.” (25).
10. Comment on the image at the bottom of page 22. What change does it reflect?
The image on page 22 depicts a dream sequence with her great grandfather described as the last emperor of Persia. Her grandfather is seen as a young man riding an elephant with symbols of royalty around him such as, castles, the sun and a lion with a sword. He represents freedom for innocent people. Is he also chosen by God? The teachings from home and school were contradicting each other. As well as teachers, Marjane was certain that God also told her the Shaw was sent by God. She was confused and thought, “Maybe God helped them nevertheless” (22), the children often receive mixed messages while being instructed into a new belief system.
11. Where does the author employ exposition to reveal both family and national back-story (background)?
The author employs exposition to reveal family in the beginning of the story with her mother being portrayed as feminist fighting for the women in Iran who had their individual expression and freedoms repressed, “At one demonstration, a German journalist took a photo of my mother” (5). Her father begins to explain the history of their country and it is revealed that Marjane’s grandfather had been a prince before Reza Shah came to power and, after had been the Prime Minister of Iran. In the chapter, “Moscow” Marjane learns that her Uncle Anoosh had been in prison and she is proud that he is a hero of the Revolution. Marjane has a maid named Mehri who introduces the class conflict, “But is it her fault that she was born where she was???” (37). Mehri’s parents had given Mehri to the Satrapi’s as a child because they had too many children to feed.
The author employs exposition to reveal the national backstory by describing tension between the past and present. It reveals the sleeping people, “After a long sleep of 2500 years, the revolution has finally awakened the people,” the clash between police and civilians (11), “They forbade people to rescue those locked inside” (14), daily protests, “My parents demonstrated ever day” (18), and depicted inhumane acts, “I never imagined that you could use that appliance for torture” (51). Marjane’s pride in her history is in direct conflict with the imprisonment of political revolutionaries.
12. In terms of the book’s overall theme and meaning, how does exposition in the chapter entitled “Persepolis” shed light on the 1979 revolution that overthrew the Shah of Iran?
The exposition in the chapter entitled “Persepolis” sheds light on the 1979 revolution that overthrew the Shah of Iran by describing Iran’s history of both great wealth and poverty. The Shah kept no promises and money had been spent frivolously. The sentiment of a dying a young man in the revolution is to be considered a martyr as Eby takes note while taking photographs at the hospital. But, ironically, as a second dead man is carried out on a stretcher during the demonstration, the dead man was thought to be a hero even though his widow told them he had died of cancer. It is seen that The 1979 Revolution is characterized a Marxist revolution accepted
by the urban culturally privileged on behalf of the disadvantaged people in Iran.
13. Satrapi has a way of expressing powerful thoughts in the most concise terms. Describe this talent for word choice and meaning in the last box of Page 37.
The talent used for the word choice in the last box of Page 37 is original and accurately describes empathy and compassion through words and an image. Marjane begins to recognize the injustice in the class system.
14. What one or two sentences in the book impress you as being quite powerful? Please explain.
I found this sentence powerful, “There are lots of heroes in my family. My grandpa was in prison, my uncle Anoosh too: for nine years!” (61). Marjane has a number of heroes. Her Uncle Anoosh and her grandfather are two of them because they were in prison and suffered. She felt that being locked up meant that you are a good person. She believed that being locked up in prison meant that you did something good and that the “bad” government imprisoned a person because of it.
15. What scenes or images or text cause some of the more powerful emotions intended for the reading audience?
One image and text that evokes powerful emotions intended for the reading audience is, “In the end he was cut to pieces” (52). This refers to the inhumane torture. A second image is of the ghostly souls being burned in the theatre, “…But the people knew it was the Shah’s fault!!!” (15). It depicts the dead through sequencing as the tension increases.
16. Please add and respond to any of your own analytical questions.
I would like to add my own analytical question:
What is the mirror motif within the story?
The mirror is not only a reflection of a person’s outer being but also echoes the inner soul. The mirror motif begins on page 5 as the reader sees the mother’s reflection in a mirror. She is frowning with a worried look depicting doubt of self. She needs to change her appearance for personal safety. Page 16 depicts Marjane’s reflection and is compared to Fidel Castro revealing an new found ambiguity in herself as she begins to lose her faith. Page 53 shows Marjane’s reflection of guilt, a sense of fragmentation from the playground tortures. And on Page 68 the reader views the Marjane uncertain about her identity revealing and shows her instability.
Satrapi, Marjane. Persepolis: The story of a childhood. New York: Pantheon Books, 2003.