Persepolis Stereotypes

Words: 819
Pages: 4

The graphic novel, Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi, challenges the American perspective through an intimate, cultural narrative of a country’s people devastated by the Islamic Revolution. This course delves into how a particular gaze such as the popular male gaze or Anglo-centric “white” gaze can have a heavy influence on how women are depicted in the media. For example, Laura Mulvey’s research suggests that the male gaze is eroticized through seeking pleasure for the male (Byerly and Ross 20). A narrow perspective can be uneducated in other cultures and has the ability to create a stereotype that is unfitting for women. Middle Eastern countries are not as understood in the general American population and Satrapi’s biography debunks the previous assumptions of gaze. Through a refreshing female-controlled lens, Satrapi overcomes the American …show more content…
American stereotypes of Middle Eastern women include dark hair or fully covered clothing, narrow mindset, and quiet lives centering on religion. Right out of the gate, Satrapi seeks to defy stereotypes by initiating a clear understanding that she will be taking control of the story. Throughout the beginning of the novel, the audience learns of her interest in demonstrations against the government and big dreams of becoming the “last prophet” through her discussions with God (Satrapi 1-7). Although there is evidence of the patriarchal figure in Iranian families, the female characters are still highly valued and exhibit core qualities that shape the novel. Satrapi, her mother, and grandmother are all described as outspoken, forward-thinking women that stand apart from the crowd. Satrapi’s mother was recognized in European magazines for protesting and later on her grandmother inspires her with a tale of liberation from