When writing any sort of narrative, be it novel or poem, fiction or non-fiction, scholarly or frivolous, an author must take into account the most effective manner in which to effectively convey the message to their audience. Choosing the wrong form, or method of speaking to the reader, could lead to a drastic misunderstanding of the meaning within an author’s content, or what precisely the author wants to say (Baldick 69). Even though there are quite a bit fewer words in a graphic novel than in the average novel, an author can convey just as much content and meaning through their images as they could through 60,000 words. In order to do that though, their usage of form must be thoughtfully considered and controlled. Marjane Satrapi, author of the graphic memoir The Complete Persepolis, took great pains in the creation of her panels in order to reinforce and emphasize her narrative, much like a novelist utilizes punctuation and paragraph breaks.Order now
Through her portrayal of darkness and lightness, Satrapi demonstrates that literary content influences, and is primary to, the form. Lightness and darkness have very different meanings in the human psyche in that lightness is synonymous with innocence and naivety while darkness coincides with all things daunting and evil. Throughout the memoir, many situations are repeated but to different degrees of severity. For example, on pages 113 and 145, Marjane is arguing with her mother. However, the first instance is simply a minor act of preteen rebellion while the second alludes to the possibility of state-sanctioned rape and execution. At first glance, these pages are very similar; Marjane’s mother is obviously angry and invades upon her daughter’s personal space as she lectures and .
.e panels that depict her actions, and the results of said actions, magnifies the reassurance imparted with Satrapi’s words. She was in no true danger and yet her hasty decision to cast the Guardians attention onto another could very well have proved deadly to her chosen scapegoat. In fact, the Guardian she calls out to for protection from the supposedly “indecent” man immediately responds to the situation with, “Where’s the bastard, I’ll shut him up once and for all!” This blunt, aggressive statement is written on of the very few panels in this chapter that have a black background. It brings a temporary sense of fear and anxiety as to whether or not the poor confused man will fight the Guardians to try and keep his freedom from completely false accusations. The white backgrounds return as the reader learns the man thankfully did not fight the armed group of men.