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    The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

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    When Marjane Satrapi wrote her novel, The Complete Persepolis, about her childhood in Iran and her experiences in Europe, she gave her readers a glimpse of the life she lived throughout her young adulthood. Little did she know, 7,500 miles away, a teen in Irvine, California saw himself in her story. Marjane’s story is connected to mine through how our relationships with our grandparents and parents influence our lives.

    Describing Marjane Satrapi’s life as hectic would be an understatement. Fleeing oppression and death in her home country, struggling to make friends in a new place, and trying to find herself through all of it, Satrapi experienced things most could only imagine. Among all this confusion, Satrapi’s grandmother helped illuminate the details of her country’s history and educate her about the oppression they faced.

    Although my house was never bombed, I identify with Satrapi in the fact that I learn about my heritage through my grandparents. My grandparents were refugees from North Korea, and escaped just before the Korean War. They often regale me with tales of how they crossed frozen rivers and rode on top of trains in order to travel out of North Korea. My grandmother has family trapped in North Korea to this day. Despite never experiencing it firsthand, I see how oppression and revolution go hand in hand and are the primary reasons for conflict throughout history because of the relationship I have with my grandparents.

    Marjane’s parents were an integral part of her life, no matter how old she grew or how far away from home she was. Similar to her parents, mine valued education and being exposed to life outside of where I live. From the time I was born, my parents have strived to make sure I had the best education possible. My parents used to live in Los Angeles, and they loved being there. However, they knew the school districts in Los Angeles were nothing compared to those in Orange County, so they moved to Irvine by the time I started preschool. They continually searched for better opportunities for me, and eventually learned about Sage Hill School.

    Despite attending public school freshman year, my parents gave me the option of enrolling in private school. My experience with changing high schools allows me to connect with Marjane’s experience of going to school in Vienna. Though it was hard at first, I met new people and made new friends. Above all else, however, my parents value my happiness. They want me to be able to experience everything I can in life, so that I can start discovering who I am and what I want to do in the future. My parents want me to be able to pursue my interests, and provide me with the resources necessary to accomplish my goals, similar to how Satrapi’s parents were willing to pay for her out-of-country art schooling.

    Marjane’s parents wanted her to experience life outside of Iran. Similarly, my parents insist that I look into studying out of state and even abroad, so that I may learn about the many cultures and ways of living throughout the world. They take me on trips to colleges so I can get a feel of what life is like away from Irvine. Satrapi’s parents understood that life in Iran was especially limited because of the oppressive regime, and wanted her to experience what life outside of Tehran was like. Like Satrapi’s, my parents do not want my life to be limited to what is available in California.

    In conclusion, although Satrapi’s life story may differ greatly in some aspects, it connects with mine through how our lives are influenced.

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    The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. (2022, Dec 13). Retrieved from https://artscolumbia.org/the-complete-persepolis-by-marjane-satrapi/

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