Sunday, August 2, 2015

A Clear and Honest Voice

Through her narration and illustrations, Satrapi’s clear and straightforward voice throughout Perspolis convey a tone of honestly and sincerity. Satrapi’s writing is articulate, and even her illustrations somehow convey a sense of honesty in their simplicity. This simplicity also gives the reader a sense of freedom, while Satrapi’s informative writing allows them to fill in the gaps in their imagination.

Satrapi’s writing carries no feeling of discretion. One reviewer from the website Pure Geekery, described Persepolis as an “all-around honest […] read.” Although it is clear through her method of storytelling that she is not painstakingly recording every detail, it is also clear that the information she is choosing to convey is the information that matters, and the details that she chooses to include provide the reader with that sense of honesty. She clearly describes her feelings towards people, taking the reader through her emotional ups and downs with her first boyfriend Enrique, and describing her Iranian childhood friends as “inane” upon reuniting with them, to name a few instances. She tells the reader about private moments that wouldn’t usually be shared, like the time she tried to pee standing up. She so clearly conveys thoughts and feelings that the reader is left with no doubt that she is being honest. Her writing and her drawings contain no sense of frivolity or excess. They convey exactly what they mean to, no more and no less.

The other element of her writing that gives a sense of comfort and honesty, is the self awareness that she infuses in her writing. Even when describing her childhood, her writing makes it clear that the author Satrapi is aware of the child Marjane’s absurdity. In a couple panels she depicts herself telling her friends absurd stories while they think “Too much!” (Satrapi, 54, 64). Later, when she develops an unhealthy drug habit, she acknowledges its affect on her, and calls herself a vegetable, all at once making light of the situation and condemning it. This self awareness, this acknowledgement by the author that what she is depicting is absurd, somehow gives it more credibility. Even while being absurd, Satrapi’s tone of honesty comes through.
-ai

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