Comparative Analysis of "To Kill A Mockingbird" & "Persepolis"

Novels are a convenient way for an author to express his or her viewpoint on contentious situations, or to provide an underlying message through the clever use of storytelling. Society has been shaped to what it is now through decades of stereotyping and racism.

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Two novels that highlight these concerns include; To Kill A Mockingbird written by American novelist Harper Lee and Persepolis written and illustrated by French-Iranian novelist Marjane Satrapi. Though they recount the events of two completely different stories in two completely different styles, they both cover the same topics.

The distinct forms of To Kill a Mockingbird and Persepolis enhance our understanding of conflict between personal and public worlds in their own ways, by using the first-person perspective of a child as the main storyline for both novels, as well as the use of symbolism within characters and common objects to convey either personal or public viewpoints. The distinct forms of To Kill a Mockingbird and Persepolis enhance our understanding of conflict between personal and public worlds using the first-person perspective of a child to tell the story.

In To Kill a Mockingbird, the main character Scout recounts the story so that we can experience the same innocence and discovery that she goes through chronologically. In one instance from the book, she is questioning her father Atticus when he is asked who he is defending and why the public shuns him for it. In the quote ““Well if you don’t want me to grow up talkin‘ that way, why do you send me to school?” Scout’s innocence to the situation is highlighted, and she also implies that her crude language comes from communal environments such as school, which concludes that public values can clash with personal values.

In Persepolis, the character Marjane constantly challenges her superiors and tells her own story of how she faces religious intolerance in her society. The use of childlike illustrations reflects the childlike demeanour of Marjane and her innocence, which contrasts to the black and white colour pallet of the entire novel, highlighting the sombre essence of the setting of the novel. In one scene on page 37, the 6th panel shows Marjane arguing with her father on social class. She is saying “But is it her fault that she was born where she was born?”.

The use of different shapes of bubbles showcases the escalation of Marjane’s emotions as she talks, with her speaking softly in one, transitioning to yelling in the next, highlighting her confusion and innocence to the world around her, and challenging the ideas her parents put forth. What sets apart Marjane and Scout are their reactions to unjust situations. Marjane strives to make a difference in her parent’s ideals, while Scout tends to conform to what Atticus advises her to do as the novel progresses. Both Lee and Satrapi have used first person perspectives of a child to convey the intended message in both of their novels. Symbolism

03 December 2019

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