Note: Click here for more information on Quick Writes, the works I respond to, and disclaimers. Mistakes were kept unchanged. Also, spoilers ahead.
Date QW Written: February 27, 2015
Living in the United States that resolves around patriotism, our views are tainted by the perceptions created by the media. Our country can even be seen as Islamophobic ever since the attack of 911. Satrapi is aware of this view and attempts to tell her story of what would be an American-perceived story of extremity by choosing to use the point-of-view of a child instead to balance this out.
A child is essentially viewed as innocent, untainted by the grays of what he/she believes to be a black and white world. Ultimately, we have a child telling a somewhat heavy story without us truly feeling the sense of seriousness of what she went through. Satrapi does this marvelously by asserting our beliefs of what “fundamentalism, fanaticism, and terrorism” are but suddenly juxtaposes them with unexpected musings of a child to change our perspective. For example, after learning about the act of terror committed at the Rex Cinema under the Shah, Satrapi hits us with what her child-self believed to be people’s souls burning in flames, making us understand her misunderstanding coming from innosence. Suddenly, we begin to think like Satrapi, becoming aware of these acts in a different sense.
Once in awhile, when Satrapi surprises us with a particularly gruesome yet real image, we are thrust into our initial views again and are reminded of the narrowness of our perceptions. Satrapi successfully uses the point-of-view of a child to not only illustrate an interesting and frequently tongue-in-cheek story of a serious experience but also thrusts us back and forth between our old views and new ones to remind us that any issue that is bold and black is actually blurred and gray.