Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood

How does war and revolution change Marjane throughout the story?

How does war and revolution change Marjane throughout the story?

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The bildungsroman (coming of age) is a genre of literature in which the protagonist undergoes a process of intense moral growth and self-actualization. For a work to be considered a bildungsroman, the protagonist must progress from childhood to adulthood, leave home to undergo a journey, and develop a more mature understanding of his or her self.

Satrapi's novel, especially if considered in the larger context of the second volume of the series, falls into all of these categories. Marjane begins Persepolis as a child and by the end of the novel declares her independence from her mother and father through the ritual of smoking a cigarette. Marjane's parents force her to leave her war torn home for her safety and this begins her journey. Throughout the novel Marjane must reconcile her own beliefs and understanding of the world with the strict cultural rules of the Islamic regime. As Marjane begins to confront the political and social realities of her world, the reader sees her slowly detaching from her faith. As she hears stories of political imprisonment and torture, she finds that God no longer gives her comfort. As the Islamic regime comes into power, she feels that she cannot defend a faith represented by such fundamentalism. The imprisonment and execution of her Uncle Anoosh causes a break in her faith and she describes herself as lost and alone in the universe.