In this section of Persepolis, there was one thing that stood out to me more than anything else, and that was page 154. Or, I should say the lack of a page 154. It was so jarring to see the blank page after the completion of the section “The Dowry.” At first, I thought maybe she just left this page blank so she could start the next section on the right-side page, but sections have ended and started on the left page before, so why choose this moment to break the pattern of simply starting the next section on the immediate following page? It’s not as though the start of the new section would influence the end of “The Dowry” because you’d have to turn the page anyway. I then, of course, realized that this is likely where the story was split up into part one and part two. That being said, I think the effect it has is still valid.
Satrapi’s whole life changes at the bottom of page 153. She shows us this stylized image of her father carrying her mother away and lets the reader know she regrets looking back and seeing them this way. In this image, it’s less the image of her mother’s face that draws my eye and more the shadowed image of her father. Everyone else on the page is drawn “normally” whereas his face is drawn with black ink and white lining. It gives a horrifically somber look to the image. And the blank page on the opposite side has the same effect that it would had we finished the first Persepolis and were going to set it down. It has a note of finality, like we’re meant to linger here in this place. And I think that speaks to Marji’s feelings in this section about her time away from her parents. She’s still lingering in this place of comparing each guardian she has to her parents and wishing she were with them. She constantly thinks about things in terms of whether or not her parents would approve. And I think that’s a very natural thing for us in our culture as well. Even after reading another fifty pages after that, I still found myself thinking about that image followed by that blank page, so the effect it has really does carry forward, even though it might really be nothing more than just the practical fact that this is where the two parts were split up.