Tracing Persepolis Submission

Now that I have finished my first draft of the Tracing Persepolis project, I want to take a moment to reflect on my work.  First off, I underestimated the time it would take me to complete the project.  This was not necessarily a bad thing; in fact, it forced me to think critically about the text.  I never realized how much I could learn from two pages of Persepolis until I took a few hours to trace them.

My main goal for the project was to explore Satrapi’s purpose in writing her memoir.  This specifically meant diving into the themes and style of each page I traced.  I feel as though I grasped the most important ideas from each page as I was writing my project pages.  Please feel free to leave a comment with your opinion.

You can check out the original assignment here.

Tracing Persepolis

The project of tracing Persepolis proved to be much more difficult than I had expected. At the beginning of the project I wanted to do a feminist reading of the novel focusing on two main themes Satrapi’s Iranian identity and the restraints that she had as a woman in Iran. However, when I began to write the pages I found that these topics were too narrow.

I decided then to contrast the personality of the protagonist when she was an adolescent and when she was a full grown adult. In order to incorporate the themes that I wanted to explore originally, I created two subpages, one focusing on the theme of the East vs. the West and another discussing the social restraints of women in Iran.

Another difficult part of these project was the tracing of the pages. It was impossible to do a clean trace. I also found myself repeating the same themes on multiple pages, it was hard to treat the different topics individually.  To try to overcome this, I wrote the analysis and stopped working for an hour or two; after which I would do further revisions. This technique was somewhat successful. In the end, I was very satisfied with the first draft of my project.

Tracing Persepolis: Reflection

The Tracing Persepolis project helped me better understand how graphic novels can affect a reader’s experience and better their understand of the story. My main goals for this assignment were to analyze the sizing and placement of panels, facial expression of characters, and shading techniques used on two pages of the novel. I analyzed how these features created visual tension between the two. I found it challenging to pick two uniquely different pages that contained these three features of a graphic novel. After I choose my two pages, I found it challenging to choose which characteristics of the images to include in my tracings in order to emphasize my analysis. I tried to include parts of the image that stood out to me in a way that affected my interpretation of the page. What makes Marjane Satrapi’s, Persepolis, so unique is her decision to tell her story through a graphic novel format. I explored how three features of a graphic novel allow the reader to create new associations in and among the panels that would not have been possible through a traditional prose.

Reflecting on Tracing Persepolis

Before starting my project, my goals were broad–I wanted to make a collection of pages and subpages that could be fairly easily and logically navigated through, and I wanted to accurately capture the emotions behind the sketches I chose to analyze for my assignment. Since Persepolis is a graphic novel, it seems to me the graphics are a major component of understanding and even experiencing the story. Thus, I wanted to focus on what the images were telling the reader that the reader could not necessarily get from the actual dialogue and text.

The challenges I faced when tackling this assignment were mainly while tracing and preparing for my analysis. I traced the pages with pencil and it was hard for me to maneuver the paper while avoiding smudging the lead and thus making the tracings fuzzy. However, to solve this, I tried to go erase all the smudge marks on the tracing paper before I scanned them. Another problem I faced was when adding the gutter text, I realized it was easier for me to write on the tracings electronically. However, I had already drawn the sketches to include dialogue and caption bubbles so when I added my gutter text, I couldn’t get the text to overlap with those drawn bubbles well. To solve this, I decided the gutter text was more important than the sketches looking more precise, because the analysis is my own work, whereas the sketches were traced from someone else. Also, after adding all my gutter text, I didn’t realize if I clicked save, I could never edit any of the gutter text, because it was no longer recognized as a text box. So the gaping “mistake” in my sketches is on one of the pages, there is a white chunk of scanned paper missing and then a next text box over this. That is because the only may I could figure out how to edit the text (after many, many missed attempts), was by cropping that text out of the image and writing over it. However, overall I think the project went well.

Click here to read about the overview of the assignment.

Click here to view my completed assignment.

Citations, Pages, Post…

A photograph of a book with post it flags stuck in its pages.


Where applicable, use MLA Formatting and Style principles in your writing for this class. Obviously, you should not worry about such issues as headers and margins and the other stylistic requirements that apply to the printed page, but when you quote sources, use the MLA in-text citation guidelines just as you would if you were writing a traditional paper.

If the only source you are quoting from in your tracing project is Persepolis, you do not need a Works Cited page for this project, but you should have an MLA citation for the text on your splash page. ((If you want to include that citation as a footnote, you might install a plug-in called Civil Footnotes.))

If you have relied on other sources in your project and they are not online, then you should include an MLA citation for those sources as well. If you have relied on online resources in your project, link internally to that work as you do so and include an MLA citation for those sources.


Once again, all of the Tracing Persepolis project should exist on your site as pages, with a splash page and then a series of subpages underneath that page. The splash page and subpages should be included as menu items on your site for the class.


After you are entirely finished with your project, by midnight tonight, write a blog post that includes a link to the splash page for your project. This blog post will syndicate to the course feed and will serve as mechanism by which you “turn in” this project. Besides the link to the splash page, you should also link to the assignment page. Tag your post “tracing persepolis” and with any other tags you want.

I also want you to write a paragraph or two of reflection in that post–explain what your main goals for the project were, what you found challenging about meeting those goals, and how you attempted to solve those challenges.


(image credit: “231 by Flickr user Jay Peg)

Live Blogging Persepolis

Tonight I am going to watch the movie Persepolis. I will periodically pause the movie to post brief comments below of any observations and responses I have. I will be looking for any similarities and differences to the book as well as important scenes. I will also include time cues in my comments so you can follow along.

Persepolis pg. 149

“I never realized how much they loved me.”

“And I understood how important they were to me.”

The last frame on page 149 conveys a major turning point in Persepolis. Marjane’s family is sending her to live on her own in Vienna, which is something she has never experienced before. She must say goodbye to her family and friends to start a safer and better life. This image demonstrates how important family is to Marjane in the large scheme of things. Because her parents love her, they need to send her off for Marjane’s protection. It’s only out of love. I’m also excited to see how the rest of the book will unravel, based on Marjane being in a completely new atmosphere.

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