Study Guide

Persepolis: Writing Style

By Marjane Satrapi

Writing Style

Clean, Bold

Different writers have different writing styles. Jane Austen gets right to the point, while Faulkner could go on and on and on and on…

Oops. Where were we? That's right: writing styles. We'll have to lump in "drawing style" when discussing Persepolis because of its graphic novel nature. Satrapi's illustrations are black-and-white, giving us the image of Iran as a black-and-white country, and it kind of is in many ways. They have strict dress codes (black, obviously), and strict rules about what is right and what is wrong.

Satrapi doesn't go crazy with the details, either. Her lines are bold, and she doesn't mess around with fancy techniques like cross hatching or bloom lighting. Her illustrations are bold and clear enough to distinguish characters at a glance, even when they're wearing veils and head-to-toe religious robes. That's quite the accomplishment.

Satrapi's writing is as clean and bold as her drawings. She chooses her words carefully, neglecting flowery language and unnecessary adjectives and adverbs. She doesn't need descriptors, because she has her pictures to illustrate her language. She only uses words when absolutely necessary, like with dialogue, or to describe something that can't be described in pictures. Could you illustrate thoughts like "It had been so long since I'd been able to talk to someone without having to explain my culture (25.62)"? Didn't think so.