Graphic Novel Review: Ruby Hopkins

The graphic novel I chose to read and write about is Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, the story tells of the young author Satrapi growing up in Iran during the revolution and the struggles she and her family had to endure during that time. The whole graphic novel is in black and white which I think immediately sets a tone for the book. When there is color to a graphic it brings warmth and life to the images, where Satrapi’s monochrome style leads to a more serious tone. The story starts off as Satrapi being a young girl, facial expression and word use is very important throughout this story to ensure the reader can understand and feel the emotions each character is having at that time. For young Satrapi, there are many moments where she is imagining scenarios and even talking to God. The figure Satrapi drew in her book that is “God” to her lets her speak to him about her emotions freely, as she self-narrates her life story and everything she feels from a young girl to a young woman at the end of the book. From Scott McCloud’s chapter “Living in Line” I took to the book again to look back and try and find moments where emotions were evoked from the drawings on each page. There are many moments of chaos, whether it be during bombings are frantic moments where she had to flee from the conflict. And at other moments there was more warmth to the images whether it be families hugging, children playing outside, or a celebration, from facial expression to the drawing styles, it was clear those moments were moments to rejoice in. I believe Satrapi’s choice to draw the story how she did was very wise, since the story was of past events, the choice to do black and white felt like we were looking back on the past, just from the color choice. The way she displayed her life on the pages was an excellent and compelling way to tell her story and bring it to life to those reading. 

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

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