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Temple University Film Persepolis and Theme of Resistance Essay

Critical Engagement Final Essay Exam 

Marjane Satrapi’s  graphic novel Persepolis focuses on the author’s experience of growing up and coming to terms with the history, politics, and culture of her particular society, modern Iran.  Yet it can be argued that several of the themes it explores in the context of modern Iran are relevant and universal to all human societies across the world and throughout history. 

One theme, for instance, is the ways in which regimes establish themselves and assert their power by seeking to control people’s bodies, ideas, and expression.  Another theme is resistance:  the ways in which individuals, even in harsh circumstances, find ways to resist the oppression of the regimes in which they live and carve out spaces of autonomy for themselves.  Yet another theme is that far from being a monolith, Iran is a diverse, complex society.  In our study of Persepolis ,   we examined five such themes in depth .Choose and describe one theme from Persepolis—you may choose one of our five themes (or, if you wish, you may combine two of our five themes into a single pertinent, coherent, and well-articulated theme).  Either way, you should clearly identify your theme in your introductory paragraph.

Why is this theme significant?

Discuss the significance of this theme as it plays out in Marjane’s life experience, using specific examples from the text.  [Your thesis should clearly respond to this question, and your entire essay should be devoted to using concrete examples from the text to support your thesis.] 

In the course of your analysis, make sure to address the effectiveness of the genre of the graphic novel as a dual visual-textual medium as well as the point of view from which Satrapi’s story is narrated.

And how doesPersepolis’ exploration of this themeaffect its readers’ approach to their ethics? 

[The second part (or second sentence) of your thesis should clearly address this follow-up question, and you can elaborate on it in your conclusion, after clearly restating your thesis.] Ethics refers to a person’s approach to their values, their society, and/or their view of the world.


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