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Transcript of Persepolis
The role of grandmother is central to the story as she is the most influential and important out many characters affecting Marjane. She is a symbol of trust, love, and nostalgia.
We see evidence of the grandmother's influence on Marjane's mindset focusing on morals rather than ethics particularly when she and Marjane quickly need to flush down the alcohol to avoid being prosecuted.
Dignity and Integrity
Grandmother's sense of dignity and integrity also plays a big part on influencing Marjane.
Significance to Marjane
Grandmother was the most important character for Marjane.
Techniques used by author
The reoccurring images of the jasmine flowers in the book support the idea of the grandmother being the most important character in Marjane's childhood.
The sensory imagery of the jasmine flowers shows the tone, and how Marjane felt Grandmother was a character of:
Jasmine flowers: Memory
Though visual imagery of the jasmine flower is an important theme, it is not nearly as profound as the role it plays on memory.
What is the significance?
The character, views, actions, and symbols of Grandmother all portray her significance to Marjane. Grandmother has the most important and influential legacy on Marjane's life, and also in shaping her future. Thus it is important to take into account Grandmother's implications in this story of Marjane's coming-of age, and how, as a consequence of Grandmother's importance and influence, Marjane's views and morals are effected.
Effect of Grandmother's Character
Marjane becomes adhered to her own views and beliefs to maintain integrity, because her grandmother's character serves as a moral mentor instead of an ethical disciplinarian.
To grandmother, integrity is the
preservation of one's true identity
Morals vs Ethics
set of principles outside of an individual defining right and wrong
defines how things should be according to rules
beliefs of an individual about right and wrong
defines how things should be according to one's ideologies
Sense of Humor
Confident and Joyful
Self Respect and Dignity
A Moral Teacher
"Always be true to yourself" p.150
In the particular scene we see the Grandmother lying about something that is regarded as unacceptable in the ethics of a society. But on the other hand, lying about diabetes has managed to spare lives of many innocent people only seeking pleasure in a time of despair. Had the men found the alcohol, not only would Marjane's family be in trouble, but also the producer, and the suppliers of the ingredients.
Marjane realizes that lying may not always be bad, as it is more according to a person's situation and beliefs.
As a result, Marjane is also seen lying on several occasions after the incident.
But, as Marjane finds out, lying doesn't always have good outcomes.
Learning from her grandmother, Marjane lies to the Guardians of the Revolution for a similar purpose to why Grandmother lies: to avoid trouble.
This shows an important influence that Grandmother's morals have on Marjane, and shows how she is applying these into her life.
Grandmother talks to Marjane about her memories from the past, when they were so poor they had nothing but bread to eat. She felt so ashamed, being the wife of a former prince, in order for her to keep her dignity and integrity, she pretended to cook so that neighbors wouldn't notice.
Grandmother further emphasizes the importance of dignity and integrity in the bed scene on page 150.
Her vital piece of advice, a symbol of love, is yet another way she exerts her influence on Marjane. In the particular bed scene, she influences how Marjane will portray herself to others in Austria. Grandmother knows full well how Marjane will be treated in Austria, and so giving this advice is the only way she can help keep Marjane from losing her identity.
The Grandmother is vital to the the theme of maturation in the story, because she influences which road Marjane takes in the process.
Grandmother also represents the past (nostalgia)
We get to see how important Grandmother is to Marjane right from the opening pages of the book. She mentions that ABOVE ALL reasons she wanted to be a prophet, it was because Grandmother's knees always ached.
This makes Grandmother a genuine symbol of love to Marjane as she is deeply concerned of her well-being.
The same principles of concern and care is also seen in this example, but we also get to find out that ONLY Grandmother knew about Marjane's Holy Book. This depicts Grandmother as a symbol of trust, which is important because Marjane has someone to share ideas that she might not want to share with her parents.
The author uses effective imagery to convey messages of tone and foreshadowing with visual imagery. In this example, Marjane's aunt is wearing a dress full of commas or apostrophes. This is showing the foreshadowing of the separation (like a comma is used to separate) of a possession (like an apostrophe is used to indicate possession).
This being said, the jasmine flowers are also used in a similar technique to show the importance of Grandmother.
WRATH OF GOD
The dress Marjane is wearing is full of scattered jasmine flowers, acting as a symbol of Grandmother and her ideals according to Marjane. This not only shows that Grandmother was important in the childhood of Marjane, but also shows how the author still feels about her today through tone which is identified with the visual imagery in the book.
Marjane is in the bath after hearing about her grandfather being tortured with water.
Though however traumatizing the event, the towel has pictures of jasmine flowers once again representing Grandmother who will "dry Marjane up" and mend the scars "wrinkles" gotten from hearing about such tragedies. This shows how important Grandmother was as she was always there to comfort Marjane, being a symbol of trust and love.
The first panel is when Grandmother is picking Marjane and her parents up from the airport, and the second is when Marjane heads for the airport for Austria. In both panels, Grandmother is wearing something with pictures of jasmine flowers. This shows how Grandmother is keeping her morals of being yourself, as she is truly being herself both inside and outside home. She is maintaining her identity regardless of the surroundings.
This becomes a very important example to Marjane as she goes to explore the unknown.
Because the book is based on what Marjane can recollect from her childhood memories, the vividly detailed memories of Grandmother are brought back by the jasmine flowers. She becomes a symbol of nostalgia.
The jasmine flowers falling from Grandmother's breasts is an image that plays a key role on Marjane's memory, which is evident with the flowers being scattered throughout the book acting as a trigger of memories for the author.
The olfactory memories caused by the flowers is even more intense, because Marjane is able to recollect the odor of the flowers on Grandmother's breasts. This smell-memory link is able to intensify and power long lost memories almost instantaneously. Grandmother grows to become someone that Marjane will never forget as the smell of the jasmine flowers is embedded onto every memory of Grandmother.
These memories make Grandmother an important symbol of nostalgia. She influences how Marjane thinks of the time before her childhood, and the time of revolution (GM also gets her books about the revolution) which connects the role of Grandmother to the theme of tension between past and present in the book. Not only that, she also has an effect on Marjane's future life in Austria through the moral advice she tells Marjane. to never forget.
Grandmother, representing a symbol of nostalgia, enables Marjane to connect to her family history, thus allowing Marjane to let the histories and memories live on in further generations.
Lived through three periods in Iran's History