Persepolis Viewing Worksheet

1.) The Graphic Novel Form:

Following along with the book, look for 2 specific images/scenes that reveal a specific perspective on Satrapi’s story as memoir—this could be a script therapy moments, a moment of trauma or grief, genealogy, filiation narrative, or oral history in terms of capturing the voices of others living through an experience.

Images I have chosen both of them are categorized under love themes. 

a.) When Marjane’s first boyfriend in Vienna cheated on her. She said that she survived the war in Iran, but her love experience killed her. Which meant a lot to her, even more than the war. She started to imagine her boyfriend ugly and has bad writing skills.


b.) When Marjane decided to get divorced from her husband, Reza, whose she has met in Iran when she came back from Vienna.


2.) Graphic narratives:

Bluestone says, “Where the novel discourses, the film must picture” (242). Further, he argues that film cannot express mental or emotional states as adequately as the novel. Do you think these statements hold true for a specific scene in Persepolis, book vs. film? 

I do not agree with that. The film, from my point of you, shows more than the novel. In films, we can see emotions, movements, face expressions. We simply be more close to the characters than we do in the novels.

  1. Give an example of a specific scene in the book that you find concrete and personal, and describe how the graphic narrative or film increases its power: When Marjane’s uncle, Anoosh, has met Marjane and the family. I think it was very powerful and full of emotions. It was very well secreted in the book.
  2. Give an example of a specific scene in the film that demonstrates this, and describe why you find it more or less moving than the scene that you described in the book.

I was confused when I saw the scene of the uncle Anoosh, when he left the prison and went to his family walking in days and faced many obstacles such as being hungry and thirsty. He was miserable. in the book, the scene was very detailed that the mother was worried about her son, while the father cared only about the late time his son visited them and the his wife was mad at him. However, in the film, the scene was less. It was not in details like the book, it did not show the reaction of the father.


3.) Global Issues, Personal Perspectives, and Ethnocriticism:

Luc Sante’s review of Persepolis in the New York Times describes Satrapi’s narrative as “compelling and extremely complex…” and suggests “the graphic form, with its cinematic motion and its style as personal as handwriting” is key to offering an intimate view of a global perspective. Arnold Krupat defines ethnocriticism as showing the “shifting space in which two cultures encounter one another” and in which cultures meet, often through imperialism (Smith 269).

Find a scene from the film that you feel captures a sense of personal perspectives on global issues, and describe how this scene shows the power of the graphic novel to offer a global perspective and to engage Krupat’s definition of ethnocriticism.

When Marjane traveled to Vienna. Everything was new to her. However, Marjane, the author, has described it very well from the moment she arrived to Vienna with her face expressions to the moment she found out her boy friend cheating on her and decided to go back to her family in Iran. Marjane described the struggled she went through in the new country and how she dealt with it and quickly adjusted with her new situation with talking to her roommate and making friends, and trying to learn their language.

Work Cited:

Satrapi, Marjane. The Complete Persepolis. Pantheon, 2004.

Smith, Sidonie, and Julia Watson. Reading Autobiography: A Guide for Interpreting Life Narratives. 2nd ed., University of Minnesota Press, 2010. Print.

1 Comment so far

  1.    Sinclair Cox on October 19, 2019 1:07 pm      Reply

    Overall, your site looks like it’s going very well. I can see that all the posts are there, but one suggestion I have is to write further on the points you make in your posts. For this one, you could write more on the scenes you chose for part 1 and what kind of perspectives are revealed through those scenes. You mention some really interesting points and I think that analysing them using both the memoir and the Smith and Watson book could help stregthen your other posts.

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