Ceremony And Persepolis Analysis

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An Examination of the Identities of Tayo and Marji in Response to Their Environments
Two timeless books, Ceremony and Persepolis, each feature completely separate characters and situations--yet manage to masterfully work together to develop the same themes. This is through the use of a person’s surroundings impacting the psychological being of him or her. However, it is important to note that both characters started the novels as pure and healthy, and only began to change as a result of the stressors they were confronted with. One stressor in Marji’s childhood is when her school begins forcing girls to wear veils. As a result, her mom starts protesting in disagreement with the veil. In fact, Marji’s mom was even photographed while she was
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Because Tayo was never able to kill the Japanese soldiers, he clearly demonstrates the effects Native American culture has had on him. It is in the reservation that Tayo learned the ways of peace, and that is why he was never able to kill the men. Furthermore, this belief is the foundation of many of his problems. If Tayo had never learned these ideals, then he would have never felt as guilty as he did for Rocky’s death. This mindset is once again shown later in Ceremony, where the author makes it clear that since Tayo hated violence so much, the only way for him to enlist in the war was for something profound to happen, “It was the first time in all the years that Tayo had lived with him that Rocky ever called him ‘brother.’ Auntie had always been careful that Rocky didn’t call Tayo ‘brother’ (60). Because Tayo basically grew up feeling like an outsider because of his heritage, being called a “brother” is a huge deal for him. In fact, it makes him feel like he’s finally a part of the family so much that he even goes against what he believes in and signs up for the military. Most likely, this event is the reason why Tayo feels so awful when Rocky dies, since this when Tayo finally feels like he’s a part of the family. Tayo’s sad upbringing, followed by this quick bout of happiness before Rocky died is what set him up for the rest of the unfortunate events in the novel. Comparatively, in Persepolis, after finding out that Ramine’s Dad killed communists, Marji and her friends decide that they want revenge “My idea was to put nails between our fingers like American brass knuckles and to attack Ramin” (Satrapi 49). This is a perfect example of how a person’s surroundings influences one’s actions for multiple reasons. Obviously, Marji is wearing American Brass Knuckles which shows how she wants to be cool like the Americans, but also, the violence around her has caused her to make violent decisions. No ordinary girl would attack their classmate, not even

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