Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Different or the Same?

On the night of Friday September 10th there was a free screening of the Movie Persepolis on the quad. The entire week prior to this I had seen signs up for it all over. I recalled that I had read the book last year and was intrigued to how the movie version of it was as I had never seen it. I had also found out that this book was the required reading for all incoming freshmen this year. I told my roommate this because I was jealous because the book for our required reading before freshmen year I did not enjoy, but I enjoyed this graphic novel rather so. She in turn expressed her feelings of dislike for the book. Surprised I tried to convince her to come see the movie version with me and give the story a second chance, thinking that maybe this version would bring the book to life and put the plot into a new light for her. Reluctantly she finally agreed to come with me after I told her we didn’t have to stay the whole time. There are two books to the Persepolis series of which I had only read the first and the movie covered both, so I didn’t want to see the second half till I read the second book anyways. After all even though it was a Friday I reassured her that we’d still be able to hang out with our friends afterwards and still have fun.

Even though we didn’t stay for the whole movie I really ended up enjoying what I saw. I already thoroughly enjoyed the book and the movie seemed to actually bring the still pictures of the cartoon to life. Being as it was last year that I read the book I had forgotten some of the themes that the story deals with, but seeing the movie brought it all back into my memory. As I watched the movie I felt that it connected to a lot of topics about which we have been discussing in class recently. One thing in particular that seemed to stick out was the idea of being different. One really great discussion the class had was on how Loyola students seem to be really different than Baltimore residents, and how the Baltimore locals see this as being a bad thing. As one person mentioned in class they see us as these outsiders who just come to their city to run amuck for four years and cause trouble then leave. In accordance with what we’ve read thus far Kahu was certainly also very different. For one she was the only person who seemed to still have the magical powers to communicate with the whales and other sea life. Also she was next in line to be chief of the Maori people, but she was not a boy but rather a girl. In Persepolis the main character reminded me a lot of Kahu, as she was very different from her peers. Unlike most girls she grew up as a tomboy, always running around with sneakers and getting into fights with the boys. Although at the age of ten she starts going to a certain school and in turn see’s how different a life she has been living than the people she now goes to school with. Now at the school she goes to she is no longer allowed to wear her tomboyish clothing and instead has to cover up and wear a veil and a long dark robe. The girls and the boys even enter the school through different doors. Having a different childhood of being able to be more of a free spirit than most her strong will ends up getting her into trouble a few times with teachers at school and later the county police.

Marjane certainly differed from her peers in the book, and in real life her culture and religion are different than mine. Growing up in Iran she was Muslim. In accordance with having a Jesuit education her values as a Muslim didn’t seem to be so much different than the Jesuit values. Here at Loyola one of the big things we are known for is the incredible service we do for others. Early on in the movie Marjane comments that she thinks everyone should do at least one good deed. Even though she is Muslim she is still in accordance with what our school finds to be very important, doing good and service for others.

Overall my experiences in class discussions and watching this movie have put people who are different than I into a new light. Sometimes you might find that they’re not that different at all. In the case of Marjane even though she does follow a different religion than us here at this school from the gecko she states her opinions that doing service is a good thing. Also sometimes a difference in someone doesn’t really matter all that much anyways. The fact that Kahu was a girl didn’t make her any less of a human being and even though my roommate and I disagreed on a tiny little subject that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop being her friend. Also I know in my case I don’t want to be stereotyped by Baltimore locals into being just another Loyola student, and I’m sure everyone feels this way about something. We should all try to be accepting and open to differences and give different things a chance.

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