The Outcome of Satrapi’s Speech There are about 96,803-105,553 civilians as of June 2010 that have died from violence during the Iraq war. Marjane Satrapi sympathizes with these people and their families. She is against the war and tries to spread the word to her readers. In 2005 Satrapi was invited to speak at West Point, a military base that was required to read her novel Persepolis. She describes what she thought the trip would be like before and after it occurred in a comic strip called My Speech at West Point.
Satrapi perceptibly addresses the issues of war, death, and insularity in her essay with humor, and is affected greatly by the outcome of her trip. Although Satrapi is there to talk about Persepolis, she takes this opportunity to share her views on the war in Iraq. In the beginning of the essay she shows that she is intimidated by the military, mostly because they are helping the cause that she is fighting against, which is the war. At one point in the essay she states “democracy is not a present you give to people by bombing them. (p. 231, Satrapi). This shows that she is against the way the United States deals with other countries using their military tactics. She uses humor to show that the major and cadets will hang her, but this also demonstrates us her view on how they are violent and will kill people who disagree with them. Like Iraqis that may be fighting for the safety of their families and homes. In the end of the comic she despondently reads a newspaper that says “seven American soldiers and ten Iraqis died today in Baghdad. ”(p. 232, Satrapi).Order now
Despite the fact that she says she does not know much about anything, she knows that the deaths in Iraq are wrong and should be stopped. The way she structures the comic is by showing what she expected the speech to go like and the way it actually went. She anticipates it to be very uncomfortable and intimidating. The military obviously has a different view of the war than she does, thus she believes that they will not be accepting of her view and that they will be rude and mean to her. In reality, the opposite happens and she is left astonished.
The cadets were very open-minded and admired her perspective on the war. In the comic there are tears on her cheek. They are an exaggeration on how astounded she truly was. Their reaction left her confused about life and what she thought she knew about everything. As she is going home she states “I know that I don’t know anything; that makes life even more complicated…”(p. 232, Satrapi). She believed that she knew everything and the way everyone was. The trip to West Point made her realize that she was ignorant about many things, which completely changed her beliefs.
Now she knows that she cannot assume that she knows how everything will be and the way people will act. Since she assumed that the people at West Point will be vicious ignorant buffoons who did not care to see other’s views, and she was proven wrong by the cadets who were “lovely and intelligent and much more open-minded…” than her. (pg. 232, Satrapi) To demonstrate what she learned at West Point she uses humor in the comic. She exaggerates on how the cadets and major will treat her to the point that she says that they will hang her and she will die, drawing her tongue stuck out of her mouth.
She also mentions that they will not let her smoke and they will scream at her. When she describes what really happened she draws happier faces on all of the people and mentions that the pizza was worse than she imagined it would be. The added remark on the pizza shows us that she is purposefully being humorous. The fact that her essay was graphical made it very easy to realize that it is a humorous essay since she draws expressions on all of the characters.
I personally found it very funny that she drew the cadets screaming at her and she had her hands on her face to show how scarred she was of them. Satrapi talks about her speech at West Point in a humorous graphic essay. She is shocked to have met such nice people, since she expected them to be narrow-minded war preachers. They openly welcomed her views on the war in Iraq and were inspired by them, although she deeply opposes the war. From that experience she learned that she does not know anything about anything and that she should not judge people before meeting them.