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Music in Marjane Satrapi's 'Persepolis'

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 1169 words Published: 21st Sep 2021

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Persepolis a well acknowledged work by Marjane Satrapi represents the protagonist’s life.Persepolis represents music as a way to show one’s feeling and character. It depictsthe alteration of taste of music of the central character throughout Persepolis. It shows how music helps in blending the personality of the writer. This essay will discover how music as a motif developed the central character throughout the work.

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To begin with, music is much more than a source of entertainment for Marji. In the oppressing atmosphere of with all the restrictions in place it was a source of relief. It helped the writer to connect with the western world and express herself. It helped the writer in expressing her thoughts in every situation which came up to her. The author’s joy, sorrow, enjoyment were all expressed through music. The journey of music began right from her childhood. The first exposure to music was in the form of Pink Floyd. This is proven by the writer when she quotes ‘‘I knew Pink Floyd my parents listened to them whenever we went on a trip’’ (186 Satrapi). Pink Floyd has an American origin and they sing rock music. Rock music a symbol of aggression and Pink Floyd connotes that. The impact of Rock music on the writer was seen as the level of aggression in her started to rise. It made her react to situations aggressively. It also shows her penchant for the music and the impact of the music on her life and behaviour. This also leads to the development of the writer’s character over time.

The music in her life kept on budding. Musicians like BEE GEES did not had a great impact in her life as she was more influenced by other musicians which were present during that time. The presence of BEE GEES is proved through instance where her maid’s boyfriend is seen to be wearing BEE GEES shirt (37 Satrapi). BEE GEES were an American pop music group. It symbolized the pop culture. Pop culture stands for all the unconventional practises and it motive is to go against the rules. This shows that at that time other teens were attracted to pop music whereas the writer had a liking for rock music. This makes us realize the state of mind of the writer at a young age. The musicians in writer’s life kept on approaching writer’s life as she grew up. KIM WILDE and MICHAEL JACKSON (131 Satrapi) were the ones who next came into the author’s music life. Kim Wilde was a pop singer. She gave the world a series of pop music. Marji considered her as an inspiring figure. It is shown through when the writer looks at KIM WILDE’S poster and trying to replicate her (131 Satrapi). The writer wanted to sing like her, dance like her, look like her in short she was an idol to her. Kim Wilde influenced the writer to the most extent more than any other singers. Michael Jackson also known as the king of pop also has given a great number of pop hits. Michael Jackson himself promotes the idea of breaking the rules which the writer followed to a great extent.

Writer’s liking towards Michael Jackson is shown through the instance where she wears the Michael Jackson badge (131 Satrapi).Life with restrictions was not writer’s cup of tea and she always wanted to live her life to the fullest. There was one more musician who influenced Marjane was IRON MAIDEN. Iron Maiden the group has an American origin too. It brought heavy metal songs to the people which were well recognized throughout the world. Heavy metal songs were a symbol of high level of aggression. It led to an increase of aggression in her. The one and only thing which is similar in all the singers that they all belonged to the western world. There is no mention of Iranian music throughout the book which signifies the attraction of the writer towards the western world. The writer always dreamt of living in a western country and through the western music she tried to gain a temporary sense of satisfaction. It made her express her emotions. These instances led to a change in the character of the writer.

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The singers and the musician’s nature influence the writer in each and every decision of her life. In order to begin with, each singer’s style of singing and there personality had a different impact on writer. Iron Maiden’s heavy metal songs increased the level of aggression in the writer. It made Marjane deal with situations more aggressively. Whereas Michael Jackson’s motive of breaking the rules and achieving freedom is seen through her behaviour and the actions which writer takes. This is proved through the instance where writer wears a denim jacket and a Michael Jackson badge in spite of it being prohibited (131 Satrapi).Kim Wilde influenced Marji the most as compared to other singers. In the difficult atmosphere of Iran the music of Kim Wilde was a source of relief, through which Marjane could express her sentiments and her emotions which were subdued by the Islamic rule. The liking for Kim Wilde is proved when she sings “we’re the kids in America” (132 Satrapi) when she is walking on the streets. This shows her fondness towards the Kim Wilde. The character of these singers evinces the inner personality of the writer and shows the complete development of the writer, as she moves from heavy metal to pop music which implies a change from violence to unconventional practices.

The writer’s choice of music has always changed as she moved from her adolescence to adulthood. In her young age she likes to listen to Iron Maiden, Kim Wilde and Michael Jackson. These various artists bring a separate set of emotions to author’s life. On one hand where Iron Maiden brings aggression, on the other hand Michael Jackson and Kim Wilde motivate her to live life without restrictions. They are a source of expressing her emotions for the writer. Kim Wilde especially inspire her and becomes an idol to the author. But these emotions were limited to her young age. When writer returns from Austria she has liking only for pop music left in her. This is proved through the instance when the author desires to hear the songs of Kim Wilde (250 Satrapi).Her stay in abroad had made her forget all the rock and heavy metal songs. This shows that the tough moments which came up to her in Austria made her realize what music really meant to her. The writer tends to forget the singers which influenced the writer most in her adolescence. This is proved through the instance where she states that ‘‘ In any case I no longer liked the idols of my adolescence”(251 Satrapi).The author wishes to listen pop music which clearly states that she still wants the freedom but the aggression in her has disappeared over time. The change in her taste of music also has led to her growth. The young age aggression had been downcast and there was a development of maturity in her. This shows how music led to the development of the writer. It stimulated the change from adolescence to adulthood which signifies the importance of music in her life.


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