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Tyler Neal

Ms. Brown
IB English 11
Word Count: 386
Reflective Statement:
How Revolutionist were Controlled by The Use of Torture in Persepolis

Throughout Tyler Dunn and Jake Tophams Individual Oral Presentation on the impact of
the Savak in the Islamic Revolution, the importance of torture as a persistent occurrence in the
graphic memoir became evident through its purpose of controlling the revolutionists in
Persepolis. Although torture has over and over again been practiced throughout history on those
who oppose figures with power, the reason in doing so became apparent through the discussions
and perspectives given through the presenters. Marjane Satrapi incorporated moments of horrid
and explicit torture into her memoir and with this inclusion western readers were able to analyze
the impression this had on the quality of Marjis life as fear began to take control of it.
To begin with, in order to prove this fear that was taking control of Marjis life, this
group used the third panel on page 51. This panel depicts the torment and suffering of a member
of the Guerillas to make evident how fear was enforced through acts of brutality. Through this
panel, fear is demonstrated contextually through Marjis terrified expressions in the panel above,
supported through wide eyes and a curvy mouth, therefore symbolizing a frightened expression.
Furthermore, as the class discussed the impulses behind these unreasonably cruel actions, it
became clear through Marjis reaction that doing so created fear which was later shown to
control the Revolutionists. Through Satrapis retelling of several torture scenes in the novel, it

was apparent that the stimulation of fear restrained the public opposition of Marjis family, and
of the revolutionists as well. Traditionally, the differences are staggering between that of the
western world, where torture from organizations is not broadcasted to enforce fear among the
The moments of torture in the memoir, along with discussing their purpose among the
class, allowed me to realize why fear was an important control factor in the Islamic Revolution,
and why torture was used so deliberately to enforce authority. Along with the authenticity of
these stories due to Persepolis being a memoir, western readers acknowledge the cultural
differences of the novel, and realize to what extent Marji lived in fear as opposed to people in
western societies. Though torture has always been known to manipulate people, the use of these
actions so openly implies how an abundance of fear will result in an easily manipulated society.

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