Blankets – Harkness Discussion

How is the Christian influence related to the name of the book?

Why does the author mention his relationship with his brother?

Why is the snow important?

A panel on page 69 presents the idea about physical materials which we sometimes abandon its value because of the situation. Christianity, however, the author believes, which brings good lives to people, is eternal.

Blankets – The Brother

Blankets, by Craig Thompson, presents the author’s depiction of guilt about letting his younger brother, Phil, be treated badly by others in his childhood. As a child, the author is not courageous enough to protect his younger brother when their father locks him in the cubby hole. In the forgotten room, the author draws an exaggerated image showing ugliness of the surroundings. Realizing how spooky the room is, the author expresses his sense of guilt by employing a fictitious style to show that despite not suffering from this room, he understands his horrified brother. Even if the innocence of the younger brother which causes the problem with their father creates a chance for the author to play a role of a protective brother, the author again miss this chance to protect him from child abuse. Craig does not tell his brother the truth behind about their babysitter sexually abusing him. The author’s feeling of guilt about the relationship with his brother in his childhood, however, makes overcome his conflict later in his young adult life.

Persepolis – The Change

Written from Marjane Satrapi’s real experience, she expects Persepolis to erase the bad image about her country and emphasize the importance of her aspect about religious tradition. As a rebel, the author heavily criticizes traditionalists for doing something nonsense to persuade the readers with her a supposedly strong standpoint. As a result, some readers find her argument too one-sided and are not convinced by her point of view toward Iran. Losing the readers such way cripples her opportunity to make the right image of her country to the world. Despite failing to achieve her purpose, the author makes many readers enjoy the book with the well-presented story of her struggling life which creates a powerful metaphor to the country. A lot of radical changes happening in her country as well as in her life pull the readers to her discouraging journey which can be compared to Iran passing through several political and religious reigns. As both happy and sad periods fill a country and life, the author presents this moral as a graphic novel. The author draws in a minimalist style containing only black and white with no gradient. The simplification of this emerging genre broadens the serious moral applying to a life of anyone who has his own standpoint about his country to have a second thought on what he already believes.

Persepolis – Discussion Questions

Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi, presents conflicts over various issues which she encounters in her childhood. Even though being a seemingly precocious 6-year-old child in the beginning scene when she introduces herself as activist, she later learns that she is an inexperienced girl when she is fourteen after living by herself in West. As she spends her own life in Austria for four years, she finds the change in her identity which leads her to struggle alone. The struggling life from her growth in a western culture might raise a question why the change in her identity important. The answer from theme of the story would be the author wants to make a parallel metaphor to the change in regime during the Islamic Revolution. The battle between two sides hurts the country for years. The readers see the difference between her life at home and in public the way they see in her identity. As a precocious girl, she finds conflict of being an adult too fast while becoming involved drug. Because the readers see her use of cigarettes as a sign proving that she becomes an adult, they might come up with a question what the role of a cigarette is. The author intends to use a cigarette as a symbol showing that growing up contains both joys and tears and again making a metaphor to her country. Iran suffers from the situation that develops during each reign and has people waiting for their bright future as well as Marjane being hurt by her immature decision to try cigarettes. Becoming mature, her strong view becomes clearer on a side opposing the government and believing in religion. There might be a question why she draws a picture of Jesus on Mary’s lap based on “La Pietà”. The picture supports her belief in both politics and religion. By strongly holding her standpoint, she finally defeats her conflict in both herself and the country as she is admitted by the College of Art after being honest during her interview. As a story of growing up, Persepolis brings the readers to appreciate the mixture of feelings in the author’s childhood which highlights the importance of finding identity and holding a belief.

Persepolis – Separate to Connect

An appalling image of Iranians spreading over the world caused the unsettled author to create Persepolis in order to erase the bad image created by unreasonable practices of only few people. With an intention to fight the religious tradition, the author presents her authentic idea according to her own experience. Written as a memoir, the book, retelling the story of the author’s life, contains several issues from each section. Wanting to lead the readers to big pictures of each story, she separates the book into chapters, which is easy for the readers to focus. Also, the readers feel that the story is well organized and not created by many piles of author’s memory put together. As a collection of the author’s memory in her childhood, the story is told in black-white tone. Consequently, the images are simplified because there is no shadow or elaborate patterns of shade. This artistic style sometime does not attract the readers because of its poor graphics. However, it universalizes theme to cover other issues based on the same idea about judging other people too soon according to only their nationalities. Therefore, the author employs both artistic possibilities to highlight her belief about Iranians which not only revives her nation in the others’ views but also teaches the readers a serious moral about judging others from only a terrible part of the whole image.

Persepolis – The Judged Image

The first purpose of Persepolis written by Marjane Satrapi is to convince the readers of the covered truth in the history of Iran. Reminding the readers the serious restriction in people’s religious beliefs, the author names the first chapter with a subtle meaning. The chapter one, “The Veil”, which is the system in Islamic countries that women must cover their hair in public, also conveys the hidden truth about the belligerent attitude of Iranians that the world knows. To erase this negatively presented image of the entire nation, the author expresses all her actual thoughts as a child in an authentic language. Her consistent beautiful attempt to change the country is conveyed by her ambition to be a next prophet. The strange ambition sarcastically highlights how people views religion. Also, the God in the author’s imagination which depicts the God as her friend reflects her inward thinking which can be generalized to the religious views of the most Iranians that their images should be destroyed by a few people with a wrong belief in religion.