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How Valid Is the Assertion That Literature Is a Voice for the Oppressed?

In: English and Literature

Submitted By sofiavalentini
Words 1091
Pages 5
How Valid is the Assertion that literature is a voice for the oppressed? Marjane Satrapi proves the assertion that literature is a voice for the oppressed by raising the awareness of the oppression on different Iranian social groups in Persepolis. These Iranian groups such as; children, democratic liberals, Persian nationalists and the lower class, are marginalized and silenced by the oppressive regime. Through the form of memoir, the author who belonged to an oppressed group (youth, woman, Iranian), conveys her personal experiences through a subversive and transgressive manner. One of the themes in Persepolis is ‘childhood’ as Satrapi explores the misfortune of growing up under oppression. Since the first page and panel of the book the reader is introduced to the protagonist, Marjane, and to the Islamic revolution through the symbol of the veil; “this is me when I was 10 years old”. On the next panel there’s a class photo on which we can see the oppressed youth in Iran and their innocence, as they are all aligned in the same posture wearing a veil which only lets their sadly expressive faces uncovered. Their depressed faces manifests that they are victims to the Islamic revolution. Through sequential art Satrapi, by combining pictures and words, allows a greater identification with the characters and their experiences and readers to go deeper into the meaning of the story. Pictures allow images to be subtler so readers infer on the meaning, mood and tone of the panels and moreover the author is able to simplify complicated matters through her simplistic drawing style. The non-realistic figures are more emotionally expressive than realistic figures; therefore contribute readers to sympathize with the characters. On the same page Satrapi puts a paused panel (lengthened panel to represent more time) in which girls are simultaneously playing with the veil and…...

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