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Satrapi’s Story Through A Child’s Eyes

The first thing that struck me about this first segment of Persepolis is the fact that Satrapi is that the way the story is being told is through the lens of childhood, because that’s when it was occurring. Of course, some of the ideas presented and discussed are not child-like at all, but the truth is that she was exposed to them at that age. The way the story is told through pictures and through the voice of Satrapi gives it a lighter feel than you would expect from a discussion about revolution, imprisonment, torture and death. I found myself laughing at moments that weren’t necessarily funny, simply because the words were coming from a child. But when I stopped to think about it I realized that fact actually made it even less funny. A child making up games about torture might be funny in a fictitious comic strip, but not in a story that’s true. I just think it’s interesting that the story is kind of being filtered twice. Once, through this child-like perspective, but then again because it’s Satrapi writing about her childhood experiences as an adult. I think this contributes to the ease of the consumption of the book as well. I think less people would read her story if it weren’t for the fact that it’s presented in the form of a graphic novel and presented in a way that lightens it, even if just a bit.

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3 Comments

  1. Emma Joaquin Emma Joaquin

    I think the fact that, as readers, our initial reaction is to laugh or smile at what feels like lighthearted moments in this story adds to our feelings of worry thereafter. The issues discussed in the book alone are concerning, but the fact that the person contemplating them is a child is even more concerning and sad to think about. I agree that the child perspective makes the story more readable, and I also think it makes it more interesting. Satrapi could have written this memoir reflecting back at her childhood like many others do, but instead she did it from the perspective she had when she was young.

  2. Nora Apt Nora Apt

    I appreciated your commentary that sheds light on Satrapi’s use of double-filtering. I agree that the use of the child’s perspective increases the readability of the novel as well as her use of graphics. Perhaps the only other method that would attract readers to her story is a children’s book; however, the subject matter seems too dense and not one suited for young kids. In this case, graphics serve as a tool to alleviate the subject matter.

  3. Alexander Seeley Alexander Seeley

    Agreed, I think this is a great way to communicate issues to all generations of people.Also, seeing these issues through a child’s eyes is incredibly powerful as we are able to experience with her, as we suffer/laugh with her vicariously, putting ourself into her shoes with a wild mentality.

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