Tuesday, June 03, 2008

"Post No. 504"


REVIEWING: The Complete Persepolis, written & illustrated by: Marjane Satrapi (2007, Pantheon Books, 341 pages, B&W, softbound TPB, $24.95).

Recently I sat down over a few nights of reading and finished The Total Persepolis.(Click Here to get a historic reference to the name Persepolis.)

This is a true account of the life of Marjane Satrapi, an Iranian woman, from the age of 10 to 24 years of age. It's the tale of her growing up in Iran in the 1980-90's, her friends, the Iranian government, her travels abroad, her education, her family, and her growth as an individual.

It is a book that should be read by everyone that lives in a free country and enjoys (and mostly takes advantage) of their many liberties.

In this country we seldom consider these precious liberties. Get awake every morning to dress as we please, eat what we wish, worship as we like, and say what we will. If these liberties we suddenly taken from us, most would go mad. What must it feel like to grow up within a society where such rules are dictated by their government?

We think we have it "bad" here in the U.S. what with high gasoline prices and groceries more costly every week. How would it feel to go to the grocery and have the store empty of food?

And, if you're a woman, what would it feel like to have to cover every square inch of your body with a heavy frock? To be considered a woman of very loose morals if you got divorced? And if you got divorced, the husband having all the power he wishes to take your children and property?

How would it feel if you were told what you could study in school? There are so very many freedoms that those who live in a democratic society take for granted all the time.

This book tells you how to appreciate the freedoms you have, and not in a preachy sort of way. It shows you how much they can mean to a person that has lived in a society where freedom is very limited.

We here in the states tend to group everyone together. We think that if we have a war going on somewhere in the world (and usually, that's the case), that everyone in that country hates our guts, loves their "Godless leaders" and the live-styles which they have with that country. They never consider how the common person, the one who goes out everyday just to work and make a living for their families, to eat and have a roof over their heads, may feel. They don't consider that people everywhere, are actually very much alike.

And no, not everyone feels that way. There are fanatics everywhere in this world. We have very many of them right here within our own political system. We all basically believe the same way: that whichever god we worship has our backs.

Many have put this material alongside of Art Spiegleman's Maus. They are similiar in some ways. Both Maus and Persepolis involve the common person trapped within war situations and both regard the fate of their families and friends. The difference between the two is that the tale of Maus is one that was lived and then retold to another. The tale of Persepolis is one that was lived by the author.

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