How Does Satrapi Use Symbols In Persepolis

Words: 1478
Pages: 6

An Analysis of Tangles and Persepolis

Sarah Leavitt and Marjane Satrapi use symbols, visual structure, and tone to explore the effects of hardships on family. In tangles, Leavitt is dealing with her mother’s illness, Alzheimer’s. The illness not only takes a toll of her mother but on the rest of the family as well. In Persepolis, Satrapi is growing up during the Iranian Revolution, surrounded by death, isolation and confinement. Both authors manage to describe feelings that are hard to put into words.

In both graphics, Leavitt and Satrapi use symbols repeatedly to emphasize the feelings caused by their hardships. In tangles, Leavitt uses human shadows and aspects of nature such as, plants and flowers as symbols throughout the graphic. These symbols capture the essence of
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Flowers are seen again on the last page of the memoir, page 127. The last page contains one enlarged panel of Leavitt with paper flowers growing out of her shoulders. This graphic is drawn after the mother has passed away. The use of growing paper flowers indicates that although Leavitt’s mother’s life has withered, the mark she leaves behind on Leavitt and the rest of the family will never disappear and will only grow stronger with time. The panel says, “Mom had planted seeds on ours shoulders, and they were growing into paper flowers.” (127) The use of paper flowers rather than regular flowers indicates that paper cannot wither and will therefore survive forever. The use of human shadows and elements of nature as symbols is extremely impactful in showing the effects of hardships on family. Leavitt properly expresses her emotions through these symbols during times words cannot explain. Satrapi uses symbols as well in Persepolis to emphasize on the feelings felt during the revolution. The veil is a prominent feature in the memoir to emphasize the theme of confinement. The veil is seen on the first page (3) with Satrapi saying