“I think you are old enough to know certain things… (26)”
In Persepolis, Marji deals with a very confusing time that is a period of change and uprising in her country. In the beginning, she is at such a young age that she really doesn’t understand it all and only goes along with what she thinks she knows and what she is taught in the classroom. It’s interesting to think about how important and influential teachers are in the lives of their pupils, as Marji clearly demonstrates it when she surprises her dad with what she thinks the truth it. The government played a role in her education, and thus she’s taught in a way to favor the economy, even if that means bending the truth a little.
When her father sits her down to tell her the truth of the situation and how her grandfather was the one overthrown and sent in jail, this marks an important change in Marji with her views on the overthrow and education. There’s a graphic on page 29 where she sits in the tub because she wants to experience what her grandfather did when he was stuck in the cell of water. The very last image is striking as it’s her naked after the tub, simply looking down at her wrinkled hands, attempting to understand even a fraction of what he could have suffered.
The graphic itself is pretty small, but visually shows a very important message. Overall, the style of animation in the entire novel is simplistic and uses a lot of lines to convey meaning and visual appeal. The darkness and majority black background in this small square brings a lot of attention to it and the very simplistic image of Marji naked and looking down, very small compared to other images leaves an impact on how small she is in comparison to the idea of what’s going on in her country.
I think it’s interesting to think about whether this was good or not for the dad to tell this all to Marji? On one hand, it was good for her to realize she needs to form her own opinions and not just listen to the teachers because while they are important, they can just be spreading propaganda and influencing the thought of the children. On the other hand, it could be too early in her life and could just seem too confusing for her to handle.