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PERSEPOLIS

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by

Joseph Kennedy

on 24 February 2015

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Transcript of PERSEPOLIS




sports an obvious but simple artistic style

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PERSEPOLIS

TEHRAN •
THE STORY OF A CHILDHOOD
THE STORY OF A CHILDHOOD
by Marjane Satrapi
IRAN
V



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An astute reader may already note
that is the ancient

PERSEPOLIS
capitol of
(And mistakenly conclude that this is
where the titular childhood occurs)

The is a Clue
Title
(It actually takes
place here)
The story does take place in
and
IRAN
IRAN
AND WHILE
plays one of the largest roles in the story...
IN FACT
,
The story's title, , underscores how powerfully the otherwise unrelated history of Iran defines this child's story.
(And that itself is a big theme)
PERSEPOLIS
PERSEPOLIS
is not really about Iran.

It's not a history book. It's not an epic. As the
(overshadowed)
subtitle states, it's a story "
of a childhood
", and is a very charming, very personal tale.
Much of the novel's appeal is in how it tells the
story of the titular childhood and gives insight on extremely weighty issues of
culture
,
religion
, and
politics
through their eyes.
(That child is
Marji
.)
(This is
her
)
Be
fore
we continue...
It's worth noting that is
unusual
.
PERSEPOLIS



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PERSEPOLIS
is an autobiography
PERSEPOLIS
is a graphic novel
PERSEPOLIS
is the story of a muslim woman
What makes this unusual is that
THIS
THIS
and
are pretty rare in
THEESE
And that makes a particularly
special
PERSEPOLIS
and particularly
important
story to share with secondary-level students.





( is particularly
rare.)
THIS

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PERSEPOLIS

THE STORY OF A CHILDHOOD
THE STORY OF A CHILDHOOD
by Marjane Satrapi
We'
ll
co
ba
ck
to
me



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LATER
...think about
,,
,,
(As in, the actual title of the book)
For now, let's...
You see,
•••
AN INTRODUCTION TO
:


THEESE
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and
are rarely
taught as
literature)
(
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SO
•••
What is about?
PERSEPOLIS
Really
V
PERSEPOLIS
is an overview of
Marji
's childhood before, during and after a
To put it simply,

tumultuous period

of Iranian history.
Marji, 10
Marji, 14
Marji, 31
THE IRANIAN ISLAMIC REVOLUTION
1978-1979
(Where the ruling dynasty was overthrown and replaced with a brutal theocratic republic)















Importantly,
Ani
Papa
Uncle
Anoosh
while the novel makes
social commentary, every-
thing is told on a personal
level, with the themes of
loss
and
change
and
struggle
informed and reflected by
Marji's interactions with
her family.
FA
M
I
L
Y
(Grandma)
(It doesn't)
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F
OR EXAMPLE
,

Throughout the novel, very serious 'big picture' issues
are filtered through Marji's naieve perspective.
News of important events, or the grave effects of
political upheaval are encountered through domestic
means and interpreted (and misinterpreted) domestically.
(eavesdropping)
(school play)
(fable-esque storytelling)
This creates something like a Middle Eastern
where the issues of the adult world are inescapapably
present, but are viewed with naieve misunderstanding.
This crafts a lot of the work's
sense of
humor
, and in turn, it's
charm
.
Broadly speaking,
PERSEPOLIS
's 19 chapters can be divided into 5 meaningful stages of Marji's life:
FORMATIVE
INNOCENT
CHILD
CHILD
TEENAGER
YOUNG
ADULT
(or EXPOSITORY)
(or PRE-LOSS RUMINATION)
(or POST-LOSS)
Marji, Marji's Family, and
the setting are established
CH 1 - 2
Marji begins thinking and questioning
although she does not fully understand
CH 3 - 9
Marji begins properly interacting
with the world around her
CH 10 - 14
Marji takes on (and struggles
with) responsibility
CH 15 - 17
Marji must step out
on her own
CH 18 - 19
And for all these reasons
AND MORE
I argue that...
PERSEPOLIS
I'll explain that
V
BUT WHY
?
PERSEPOLIS
V
Why reccommend ? There are a host of other novels that
PERSEPOLIS
many consider to be just as if not more educational. While
PERSEPOLIS
is developing modest popularity
(more on that later)
, it's not terribly common
in secondary-level reading curriculums. Not many seem to think it's too terribly
special. So why am I championing it so much? What has got
Is an ideal second-
ary level text
to teach.
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To answer that we finally revisit...
PERSEPOLIS
that other works don't?
INTEREST
(get ready for a lot of breaking stuff up into 3's)
One of the most important parts of a book in terms of learning is
INTEREST
.
You can have a story chalk-full of great, illuminating, enriching material, but it
doesn't do any good at all if students have no compelling reason to read it.
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Each of these factors increase student interest in unique and important ways:

Visual Elements appeal to
students that learn visually
or have difficulty following
traditional prose texts.
Redford, K. 'Graphic Novels Welcome Everyone Into the Reading Conversation'. Retrieved from http://dyslexia.yale.edu/EDU_GraphicNovels.html
1.
1.

Graphic Novels are... novel!
by using a distinctive format,
PERSEPOLIS stands out and
1.
drums up interest.

Texts that bill themselves as
"based off a true story" draw
significant reader interest
simply because it's real
1.



In perhaps the most important
influence on student interest,
Persepolis provides minority
students who often do not get
to read works that depict their
culture and is relevant to their
lives
BONUS
!
!
BANNED BOOK
PERSEPOLIS
has the
the added appeal of being a...
2.
2.
Using Graphic Novels in Education: Persepolis. Retrieved from http://cbldf.org/librarian-tools/using-graphic-novels-in-education/using-graphic-novels-in-education-persepolis/
INTRODUCTION
For a work to be truly valuable in the field of education, it must do more than
simply present information. It must also act as an "intellectual gateway" that
that
INTRODUCES
students to new concepts and ideas, allowing them to branch
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Biographies are held with a
certain stigma by many
students who are already
reluctant to pick up non-
1.



PERSEPOLIS manages to cover a
surprisingly extensive overview
of Iranian (and Muslim) history
and culture in a way that's
easy to read and connect to,
even as a total foreigner
BONUS
!
!
PERSEPOLIS
is
originally a French
work and can act as
out and discover, explore, and experience new things and gain new skills.
PERSEPOLIS is a good introduction to:
Graphic Novels
CONTENT
MECHANICS

A lot of graphic novels expect the reader
to be unusually savvy
with the medium and its conventions, generally for the purpose
of deconstruction or commentary.
Works like or carry an expectation of
extensive prior knowledge and are extremely intertextual.
and are pretty inaccessable
Works like
without already understanding the characters and worlds.
PERSEPOLIS
does not wildly experiment within the medium.
That is to say, when you read
PERSEPOLIS
, you're reading
a fairly standard, straightforward display of the graphic novel form.

PERSEPOLIS

PERSEPOLIS
strikes a good balance between being over-
refferrential and over-isolated by toying with cultural interplay
that are not mandatory to fully understanding the story and
its themes.

PERSEPOLIS
is neither a superhero story nor a science-
fiction, importantly defying the assumptions many readers have
about graphic novels. By introducing an atypical genre, the work
illustrates the conventions of the
medium
, rather than the conv-
entions of the genres that most typically associate with it.

BREAKING RULES OF
PERSPECTIVE
USE OF NEGATIVE v.
POSITIVE SPACE
REPEATING/OVERLAPPING SHAPE-PATTERNS
HIGH CONTRAST USE
OF BLACK AND WHITE
Unlike works like ,
PERSEPOLIS
does black and
white illustrations without a noisy
visual vocabulary.
PERSEPOLIS
extremely straightforward and
'
simplistic design choices make it
much easier for new readers to
read, understand, and most imp-
ortantly, analyze.
(childlike atmosphere)
(conformity)
(dark and light atmospheres)
This makes an
PERSEPOLIS
ideal introduction to concepts of
graphic analysis, which are vital
when analyzing graphic novels.
VISUAL THEMES
_____________
High Contrast B/W -
However, still has enough stylistic range to act

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Positive/Negative Space -
Starkness, Harshness
Childishness, Earnestness
Repeating Patterns -
Conformity/Uniformity
~
~
~
Dark/Light Atmosphere
PERSEPOLIS
Even the very first page
acts as a fantastic illust-
ration of defining artistic themes
that continue throughout the
novel that would be immediately
noticeable (if not recognizable) to
graphic novel newcomers.
as a comprehensive introductory tour to important GN techniques
For example...
FULL PAGE
ILLUSTRATIONS
(to underscore important
events or ideas)
Theocratic School Mid-War
Loss of Faith/Anoosh
Last trip with family outside of Iran, before war
REVISITED
COMPOSITION
(to create parallelism and
foreshadowing)
USE OF SPACE
TO CONVEY THE
PASSAGE OF TIME
an effective intro-
duction to French Lit
as well!
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fiction reading anyway.
PERSEPOLIS offers a bio-
graphical story told in a
way (and with a medium)
extremely appealing and
digestible to students new
to biographies
1.

It also covers a tale of early
womanhood in an oppressive
government, providing poign-
ant and important political
and social context for stud-
ents new to such issues.
STANDARDS
The contemporary educator must look out for more than just a good, engaging,
and insightful read. They must look for books that fulfill the standard set by the
state as well, and PERSEPOLIS manages to deliver on standard opportunities in spades
1.
BONUS
!
!
PERSEPOLIS
has
an
Oscar-nominated
animated film adaptation
2.
Using Graphic Novels in Education: Persepolis. Retrieved from http://cbldf.org/librarian-tools/using-graphic-novels-in-education/using-graphic-novels-in-education-persepolis/
available for free on
(here it is!)
This makes
PERSEPOLIS an
excellent opport-
unity to satisfy
LAFS.6.RL.3.7
,
LAFS.7.RL.3.7
,
LAFS.8.RL.3.7
, or
LAFS.910.RL.3.7

in a rare adaptation (graphic
novel to animated film) that
can't really be seen elsewhere
LAFS.910.RL.2.6
Analyze a particular point of view or cultural experience reflected in a work of literature from outside the United States, drawing on a wide reading of world literature.
Browse and Search Standards. Curriculum Planning and Learning Management System. Retrieved from http://www.cpalms.org/Public/search/Standard#0
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.1, 6.2,6.3
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.1, 7.2, 7.3
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL8.1, 8.2, 8.3
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.910.1, 910.2, 910.3
Key Ideas and Details
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.4, 6.5, 6.6
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.4, 7.5, 7.6
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL8.4, 8.5, 8.6
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL910.4, 910.5, 910.6
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.68.5
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.68.6
Craft and Structure
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.9
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.9
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.68.8
Integration of Knowledge
and Ideas
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.10
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.10
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.10
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL910.10
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.68.10
Range of Reading and
Level of Text Complexity
Cartoonish Style -
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.6.3
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.7.3
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.8.3
Knowledge of Language
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.6.4
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.6.5
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.6.6
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.7.4
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.7.5
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.7.6
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.8.4
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.8.5
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.8.6
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.9-10.4
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.9-10.5
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.9-10.6
Vocabulary Acquisition
and Use
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.6.9
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.9
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.8.9
Research to Build and
Present Knowledge
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.6.1
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.7.1
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.8.1
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1
Comprehension and
Construction

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.6.4
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.7.4
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.8.4
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.4
Presentation of Know-
ledge and Ideas
But THESE are all mostly general.
The real valuable stuff are standards
like THESE where PERSEPOLIS uniquely
addesses standards
most other works
CAN'T
NONE OF THIS
is to say that is
PERSEPOLIS
the
BEST
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or
or
,
do I believe
the
BEST
or
or
to teach.
________
________
________
________
NOR
HOWEVER
,
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when you view as a balance
PERSEPOLIS
between its successes in medium and cont-
ent, you see it as it is: An irreplacable kind of success
AND
is the first book of a
The sense of continuity
and sustained invest-
series is a great draw
ment from reading a
for many young
series (a duology)
readers.
it is
that covers more untraveled ground than any one text.
better
V
AND THAT'S
what makes
PERSEPOLIS
such a valuable read. Not because of any one thing,
but because of the area covered when you compare
the
interest
it inspires in students against the concepts
it
introduces
them to against the
standards
the work meets,
you get an
unmatched
opportunity for learning.
Lexile Measurement: 380L
Grade Readibility:
5.8
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi | Scholastic.com.
Scholastic
. Retrieved from http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/book/persepolis#cart/cleanup
1.
1.
Perhaps you'll notice
here
that Marji's very character
design has changed.
(
here
too)
This is an example of how the novel's art
accentuates and even develops some of
the story's themes (in this case,
change
)
Here's an example of such a thematic arc...
(justifying some of the stages)
Marji begins the story with a childlike relationship
with God, portrayed as a sort of imaginary friend.
At this point, she wants to be
a prophet
One night, Marji becomes especially enamored
by the protests her mother and father take
At this point, she wants to be
a revolutionary
part in and demands to take part. God
disappears.
Finally, the revolutionary uncle she
idolized was falsely accused of espion-
age and executed for treason.
In a fit of rage, Marji orders God away
Marji is now deeply
uncertain
and
pathless
.
END.
Full transcript