An Old Start to a New End

Throughout the world, through the many centuries and eons of time that humans have roamed the earth, we have relished in all the world has to offer. However, along with these privileges, we have also been exposed to many trials. Over time we have come up with many solutions to these problems that we faced. But for those that we couldn’t solve, we came up with a less pleasing way to solve our tribulations, and that was through sacrifice. Bear in mind that with every sacrifice, comes a new beginning. The constant cycle of change is depicted many times throughout the story, Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi. The main character Marji is enveloped in a country tainted by war and is no stranger to sacrifice. She becomes more acquainted with the idea of sacrifice throughout the book especially when she is sent off to Austria to protect her from the countries restrictions.

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Marji’s parents had to sacrifice being with their only daughter, so she could have her new beginning. Although it might not strike the heart looking at it from an outward viewpoint, it left a huge mark on Marji’s family. For her parents to have to see her go, it struck up such emotion that her mom fainted. A part of Marji’s heart was left in Tehran along with her family. It was the piece of her she had to leave behind in order to excel in other areas. She made a sacrifice, half of her soul for half of her brain, isolation in trade for safety, heart ache for a future. Throughout the book she encounters many sacrifices but this by far is the end game. Leaving her home country would also mean leaving the world of pain she was forced to endure, subduing all of her feelings to protect her parents from distressing over what they could never give to their daughter, such as something as simple as a war-free childhood. Her parents know that Marji is capable of so much, and she would never be able to accomplish anything living in a country with so many restrictions and preposterous rules.

Watch it or else.

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In this video, the children are tempted to eat the marshmallow, they sacrifice their time, not eating the marshmallow right there when they get it, in turn for two marshmallows. This is much like Marjis circumstance, on a much broader expanse. She is leaving her homeland, where her heart is (her 1 marshmallow). This in turn for a full education, and a bright future- hopefully war free ( the 2 marshmallows).

Would you sacrifice your one marshmallow, for two?

Where do you draw the line when it comes to sacrificing, maybe everything you hold dear? 

 

Posted by: Alexis & Karinna

 

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Identity of Teenagers

In the book Marji is growing up in a time of war. Soon enough she became a teenager and wanted to just be a teenager without having to be trapped and told what to do. Also, in the book all the things Marji wants such as posters, shoes and clothes that she can’t find where she lives. In order to get them her parents have to find them out of the country. How would you feel if you didn’t have access to items in your everyday life, like the clothes you like or the shoes on your feet?

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In this picture it shows how you can get in so much trouble by just wearing a jacket or a pair of sneakers in Iran at this time. Although the rules on clothing are strict and people are not allowed to wear what Marji is wearing, that does not stop the desire of wanting to wear them. Teens just want to be teens and when you take away something as little as wearing a jacket it makes is hard to define who they are.

Here are some questions to explore:

How would you you feel is your new shoes got you in trouble?

Would you take the risk of expressing yourself is public or maybe even getting caught?

If a privilege  was taken away from you would you desire it even more?

 

After reading about Marji’s experience during the war, do you still take your everyday opportunities for granted?

Respond to the video.  How does is relate to Marji and what she is going through?

 

By: Isabella Viggiano and Susan Arredondo

Fight for Justice

How would you feel if you were separated from your family and wouldn’t be able to see them any time soon? How would it feel if you or a loved one were sick and they still would not let you cross the border to another country to see them?

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Here Marji’s uncle and her father are having a discussion over how Iran is not letting anyone cross the boarders. Marji’s uncle was distressed by the fact that he can not go to see his son anymore. This is an example of injustice because families should be able to stick together through times of war. Closing the borders is not just having an effect on her family, but it is also causing pain for her uncle and many other people out there. Imagine you were in this position of being desperate to see a loved one; how would you deal with this? Do you think this is fair? 

Read the following article: 

http://www.hrw.org/news/2011/10/07/us-immigrant-injustice

This article relates to the fact that the country isn’t letting anyone go in or out of the borders and sending them back to their original country without a choice. This keeps families apart and causes distress all over. It is not right for a human to be “illegal” just because they weren’t born in that country. This should not be used against someone.This relates to Marji’s uncle and how he is not allowed to cross the borders to Hollandto see his son. The same thing goes for the son and how he can’t come into the Iran because of the war. A couple of days after, Marji’s uncle got sick and was in desperate need for a passport.

 

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In these panels Marji’s uncle was very ill and he has to cross the borders to get the medication and surgery he needed to get better. When his wife went to ask if they could have permission to get a passport to cross the border, they said  that he could have a passport if “God willed it”. Marji’s family had an idea: make a fake passport. It took a  while for the real passport to come, but by the time it did, Marji’s Uncle had died the day before. What would you have done if you were in the place of Marji’s Uncle Taher? If you were able to change the ways of the government, what would you do?

Posted by: Ana, Kenya, Leslie and Nicole

Faith Not Valid

Freedom of religion is a great thing. However,  Iran, during the Islamic Revolution,  wasn’t too big on the whole freedom thing. The regime wanted everyone to follow Islam to the letter. Marji is actually devoutly religious- she believes in God, and she has strong faith. So why does she have a problem with this? She believes that her faith in God doesn’t depend on how much hair shows through a veil.

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A few questions to think about are:

  1. Does Marji really talk to God, or are her conversation a literary device?
  2. How does Marji show her faith in God?
  3. Does Marji lose her faith when she moves to Vienna?

Marji believes in God, but she doesn’t necessarily believe in religion and the customs that surround it.

Play our puzzle to learn vocab! copy and paste link below!!!!!!

Faith Not Valid

Posted by: Andrew, Marina, Rudy and Arieanna

Freedom is Taken for Granted

We are lucky enough to live in a country without war. In the book Persepolis, Marji has to live in the battlefront. She lives in Iran during war and protest. Examine these images and think about the purpose of war.

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What is your opinion on war, and do you think it is right or moral?  If it such a negative event, why have there always been wars? In the book, the people of Iran are forced to support their leader, even if they don’t want to. Men and women have to change their lifestyles and become fundamentalist Muslims. They are forced to pray and wear traditional, sometimes uncomfortable garb.  During wars and periods of unrest in a country, the lives of the citizens can be completely transformed.

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Looking at these panels on page 83, you can tell that Marji and her family are overwhelmed with hearing their old national anthem. This anthem was played when they had freedom. It was replaced with the Islamic Hymn. After reading the book, do you still take your freedom for granted?

Posted by: Ethan, Scott and Danny

You Can’t Handle the Truth!

Have you ever looked at the big picture and realized something that you wouldn’t have realized otherwise? In this modern era it is hard to look deeper into the meaning of truth because it is much more complex than we realize. When Marji was ten years old, she began to notice the differences between her childhood and those of the children she read about in her books. These children had spent their entire lives working, while she was getting an elementary education and playing with her friends. It was then that she realized that she was in the higher social class and was more privileged than others. This had been the source of her shame while riding in her father’s Cadillac.

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Constantly hearing about the high poverty rates in Africa doesn’t have the same affect as seeing this devastation first hand. It is hard to realize how difficult other people’s lives are when you are so used to your own. People often use the phrase ‘I’ll believe it when I see it’ to descried how they feel when they hear something that doesn’t seem realistic. Seeing other people’s struggle tends to be more powerful than hearing about it. Take a look at the following clip, then read the link. Which one effects you more?

“Life in Kenya Slums” Article 

Sometimes just looking at the big picture isn’t enough. Often the truth of the matter is hidden in the details like puzzle. However there might be more than one truth in each situation. What do you see when you look at this picture?

faces

At first the image appears to be a forest scene, but if you look closer, you might notice several faces hidden in the foliage. Once you see the faces it is impossible to unsee them

This concept can be seen in Persepolis, when Marji realizes that there are different social classes, once she realized this truth, she saw it where ever she looked, especially in the case when Mehri couldn’t see her lover anymore because they were from different social classes.

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This realization affected her the most because it was personal and struck a sensitive chord in her heart the way the video of the African slum did. What truths and realizations have you come to discover in your lifetime? How have they effected the way you see the world around you?

Posted by: Cara & Emily

Warning: Influences Ahead!

Our world today is full of many powerful influences. Just think about your daily activities. When you wake up, do you check your phone or watch TV? Do you listen to the radio on the way to school? Do you follow all the new trends? Do you listen to your friend’s and parent’s advice? If you have answered yes to any of these questions you’ve been influenced by the world around you at some point in your life. Click on the link below to take a survey: This is obligatory 🙂 

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NZHC572

The world’s biggest influence, whether it directly affects you or not, is the government’s influence. Think about it. You are lucky; you live in a democratic country where people can vote and speak their mind without living in fear of persecution. The possibilities of what you can do here are endless, to an extent. 🙂  But if you were to live in Iran during the Iranian Revolution, like Marji and her family, the government would limit you in more ways than one. If you have ever watched TV during the months before elections you know that much of the commercials are either for or against a certain candidate. Even though we aren’t of voting age yet, imagine that you are. The video below is an ad against Governor Malloy. Watch it and reflect on how it changes your opinion about him.

Another video explains how political ads actually work by making the candidates seem relatable. It appeals to human senses and draws you into watching the commercial.

Now reflect back to the book. If we were living in Iran like Marji we would never have the option to vote or have a say in the way the country is run. How does this change the way that people feel towards their country and government? How does this lack of a voice lead to rebellion?

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Through the Eyes of a Child

Think back to when you were a little kid.  How have you changed?  Did you see the world differently than you do now as a teenager? Why do some of your beliefs and interests change as you grown up?

Remember Warriors Don’t Cry?  Watch this clip to refresh your memory:

Melba and the Little Rock Nine fought to create equality, but as a child volunteering to integrate into the white schools, she was not completely aware of what was happening in the world around her.  When she is prevented from riding the merry-go-round, she knows it is wrong, but she does not understand that racism was the cause.   You can use this understanding to connect to Persepolis and Marji’s experience of growing up.

At the beginning of Persepolis, Marji is a just 10 years old.  Her view on the world is shaped by her age, and it is clear that she does not fully grasp the reality of what is happening in Iran during this time.  What is the effect of Satrapi’s use first person point of view to tell the story?

Examine the two panels below.  They show how a child sees events and experiences.  In the first panel on page 3, the children are misinterpreting the veil and what it truly represents.  They are unaware that the Islamic Revolution is causing this change in their school.  The veil is like a “toy” without meaning.  In the panel on page 22, Satrapi uses graphic elements to convey Marji’s child-like thoughts.  She uses swirling lines and fantasy-like figures to show how Marji interpreted learning that her grandfather was a prince.  How does her perspective influence the story in these panels?

2014-04-29_0004Persepolis page 22

The Power of Visuals

Think about your day.  How much time do you spend interacting with written text or words?  How much of your time is spent interacting with visuals?  We are constantly bombarded with images on daily basis and at times they can say so much more than words.  Why are some images more powerful than words?

Review the image below.  What is one word to describe what you see here?

View the opening to the film Argo before tomorrow’s class.  Think about how the director uses audio and images to craft the beginning of the film.  Why are both elements necessary here?  What do you learn about Iran from this clip?

Read the following review of Persepolis from Amazon.com to get a little background before we begin the text tomorrow:  Amazon Review of Persepolis