Purity and Social Distinction in Persepolis and Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

Purity and Social Distinction in Persepolis and Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

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The two novels - Persepolis, and Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, both raise issues of social distinction, and separation, along with Identity and Purity issues in social classes. Social distinction in both novels involved birth status and the balancing of understanding the place of inferiority in their related cultures.

In the novel, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, social class plays a role in the significance of your stature in society. Linda Brent, the protagonist of the novel, deals with separation from her parents, her siblings, and later her children- due to being born a slave. In Persepolis, Mehri, the maid of the Satrapi's was separated from her family as well at the age of five and was raised along with Marji. Both characters, (Mehri and Marji) came to be like sisters, but social distinction was always in the minds of Marji's parents.

In order to compare and contrast the two narratives of Linda and Marji, identification of the protagonist's intentions must first be recognized. Linda Brent re-tells her life narrative by playing on the reader's emotions and sensibilities. She affects the readers emotions by using the combination of her becoming a mother (motherhood), family loyalty (grandmother), Religion (Christianity), and feminine guile and wit (how she tricks Dr. Flint time and time again). Linda's purpose in her narrative is to restore virtue to the African-American slave women. Marji, much younger in age, and also of another nationality identifies with her audience by retelling her narrative through the eyes of a young child growing into a young woman.

Both novels can be categorized as coming of age novels, developing along with the protagonists to show the importance of developing into...


... middle of paper ...


... having to face the tragedies in life. Marji begins to understand towards the conclusion of the novel why social distinction hindered her family from ever feeling safe in their community again.

The two novels Persepolis, and Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, both raise issues of social distinction, and separation, along with identity, and purity issues in social classes. Social distinction in both novels involved birth status and the balancing of understanding the place of inferiority in their related cultures. Examining the experiences of Brent in Incidents of the Life of a Slave Girl, and Marji in Persepolis, shows the inferior role two different characters- one an Iranian, and one African slave, had to overcome in order to truly become a distinct character with their own credibility. Both characters obtained this feat through growing wiser and older.

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