Critical Analysis of PERSEPOLIS
Book: Satrapi, Marjane. The Complete Persepolis. New York: Pantheon, 2007. Print.
You will analyze the text through the lens of borders and groups. Ask yourself about the various interpretations of border crossers – who lives with or behind borders? Who is surrounded by borders, inspired or impeded by them? What does border crossing entail – going to a new place, moving outside of one’s comfort zone, or one’s geographically or socially defined borders? You will analyze how the text addresses/illustrates/defines groups and what constitutes the borders between the group or groups represented; How (and why) those borders are erected/maintained, violated/crossed; How these elements are related to the context in which they are presented/they exist within and outside of the text. You will include a Critical Analysis of the text (ex. identify and analyze the author’s line of reasoning, etc.), a Genre analysis (ex. type of text organization, structure) and a Rhetorical Analysis (ex. How the text is written, strategies and devices used by the author to convey meaning, how the author connects to the audience). It may help you to locate a specific or element to focus on in your text: for example, In Persepolis there are any number of groups and borders represented: social, political, ethnic, geographic. You may choose to analyze who the members of those particular groups are: name, age, role, motivation, consequences of membership, how all of these elements related to the broader context in which they take place. Use your reading response for the text you have chosen to analyze as a starting point for your brainstorming.
Essentially, you are proposing an argument about what is important in the text as far as content, structure and style, why it is significant, and how it contributes to an understanding of an aspect of borders and border crossing. As with any other scholarly paper, you will need a clear thesis and evidence from the text – in the form of summary, paraphrase or quotation, which must be properly cited – to back up your claim. You may analyze such aspects of the text as thesis, major claims, evidence presented, point of view, audience, what the text says and what it doesn’t say.
You may want to make use of the following framework for a critical analysis (adapted from Kennedy & Kennedy (2012) Writing in the Disciplines, p. 87).
ORGANIZATION OF CRITICAL ANALYSIS
1. Bring your reader into the conversation, explain issue, text, author, and thesis (although you may assume a certain level of familiarity with the text on the part of your audience)
2. Summarize the text
3. Discuss major/selected claims
4. Acknowledge points of agreement, discuss weaknesses of the text, provide evidence. Give counterarguments, if appropriate
You many use the table below as both a starting point and an in-progress checklist to be sure you touch on the defining characteristics of a critical analysis. ( This table was also adapted from Kennedy & Kennedy (2012) Writing in the Disciplines, p. 87).
• Writer’s purpose: share your interpretation of a text with readers to convince them that your analysis and interpretation should be taken seriously.
• Elements of the text:
Writer’s thesis/appraisal of text
What is important in the text and why
Summary of major points/arguments
Use of paraphrase, summary and quotation to bolster your assertions
Refer also to questions to ask for a critical analysis of Content, Genre, Organization and Stylistic features, and Rhetorical
Use the following checklist for guidelines:
• 3-4 pages in length
• 1-inch margins on all sides, double-spaced, with a 12-point font (Times New Roman is standard)
• Interesting title
• Clear central idea & thesis
• Formal, academic tone
• Proper citation of sources, using APA or MLA citation format