Persepolis as a Coming of Age Story

Updated September 28, 2021

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Persepolis as a Coming of Age Story essay

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Every kid goes through a period where they want to be treated as an adult. No matter how their parents raised them or what the kid is going through they have this urge for independence. This phase in life is called “coming of age” and is a major component for Satrapi in Persepolis. Although some might say that Satrapi matured due to the simple fact that she was getting older, in reality, her coming of age was through her own experiences and the interpretation of adulthood through her family. Persepolis takes you on a journey of the coming of age of Marjane from youth to adulthood.

Marjane went through a lot at a young age and had to mature a lot faster than any kid should. At the start of the novel Marjane was a happy child you thought she was “the last prophet”(6,3), had “a big discussion with god”(8,1) everynight and got scared from “stories about the jackal”(34,6). Unfortunately that changed very quickly when he uncle Anoosh died because his life was very important to her and after he was accused for being a “Russian spy” she questioned the government. And based on this death she got rid of god and told him to, “get out” of her life. In this form of maturation anyone can see her growing up. Where most kids would be sad and nervous about the frightening time she goes at it like any adult would and take responsibility upon herself. Also, after the death of her uncle she started to get more informed on what was actually happening in her country, but still in a childish way. She would listen to the radio and would scream, “we bombed Baghdad” without any real background to the real reason why her country was doing that in the first place and because of the bombings friends and families had to move in with each other.

Another moment where you can see Marjane growing up is when Mali shows up with her kids. The kids don’t really talk that much or at all to Marjane before asking if she has any toys they can play with, this just shows how innocent the young children still are from the real world, and to which she responds with, “No I’m all grown up. I have books”(91,3), which also tells us that she is growing out of that fantasy of kids toys and into one of books and real facts or knowledge. But, even though you might say that your all grown up doesn’t it mean that it’s actually true because later on in the graphic novel she’s at school acting like a kid, talking back to her teachers, going to parties, listening to rock and roll, and overall just doing what kids do when there her age.

What really made her believe that she was coming of age was when she smoke that cigarette and “kissed childhood goodbye.(117,9)” After all the war that she saw as well as the death it takes a toll on you and you have to accept or overcome that to grow and mature as a person. But, I don’t believe that she was fully “grown up” until she had to “say goodbye”(149,5) to her friends and family and fly away. Becoming an adult is different for everyone. For young kids, it means living on your own or even going off to college, while for others it might be starting your first real job and becoming financially independent. In any situation to be an adult is to take care of yourself and your responsibilities.

To Satrapi, she got the impression to be an adult is to rebel against everything, fight for your country and to be whatever you want. For example, by smoking the cigarette and rebelling against her “”mother’s dictatorship””(117,6) she believes that she was truly grown up and it was clear that she was trying to prove to her mother that just to stay safe she won’t go against what she believes in. Also, she strived to prove that she is not going to obey a counties government that has unfair laws towards women or anyone for that matter. What she doesn’t’ understand about it is that she know you have to be smart in what you do and be respectful, but an example of confusion is when her mom tells that you can’t take to much food from the store because you have to share, but then later on after they leave the store her mom was like, “we’ll go to the store across the street” and to Marjane this doesn’t’t make sense because her mom just told her the complete opposite a few minutes before.

This makes me think that what makes Satrapi’s interpretation significant is because her parents might say that she isn’t’t and adult, but when she watches them and mimics what they say and do she thinks that it’s the right way to be an adult and how to act, but then her parents just frown upon her. This is what makes her interpretation of it so important and significant to the novel because based on her parents and what she experienced/went through determined her coming of age and all this happens with an unusual journey from childhood to maturity. Because of her environment, Marji had to grow up early and a lot faster than any child I know in my whole life. Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis expresses Marji’s coming of age as she loses her innocence and rebels against the regime around her. This graphic novel reflects on just how much the world around you can influence how you mature, who you become, and how you change in your lifetime.

In conclusion, Marjane Went through a lot at a very young age as well as in her early teens as in she matured and went from a child to an adult, loss of her innocent mind and her wanting to move away from what is comfortable, all because of the war such as the war between Iran and Iraq and the Islamic Revolution. The graphic novel of Persepolis is Marjan’s coming of age story and you can see this happening. The person who is reading the novel has seen the way Marjane is changing into a whole new person altogether due to the events that are going around her and we have seen the immense transition from a child to an adult in the book. Even though she has had these events go on around her she truly matured not due to the simple fact that she was getting older, but in reality, her coming of age was through her own experiences and the interpretation of adulthood through her family. But even though she went through this at a young age she has became, overall, a stronger person from a the difficult times she has been through from her getting yelled at by her parents and teachers, watching her family get murdered and die, her close friends moving away and her having to leave her family.

Persepolis as a Coming of Age Story essay

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Persepolis as a Coming of Age Story. (2021, Sep 28). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/persepolis-as-a-coming-of-age-story/


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