Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood

by Marjane Satrapi

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Why did the author of "The Veil" choose a visual narrative and what advantages did this form provide over a text-only approach?

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The visuals that accompany the text of "The Veil" allow the reader to see the changes that the law mandating that girls and women wear veils made in the author's life. Simply describing these changes with words does not have the same immediate impact as the author's drawings. For example, in the second panel in this section (on page 3), the author draws herself as one of five girls, all of whom are wearing the veil. The reader immediately sees the sameness and conformity that the veil imposes on the girls, and the author writes that she is mostly cut off in the picture. By drawing only one sliver of herself, the author suggests, though the use of visuals, that part, if not most, of her was removed by having to wear the veil (and everything it represents). On the next page, page 4, the author shows the boys entering one door of the school, while the girls, all wearing veils, enter the other door. By showing all the girls as uniform, the author illustrates how they were made to look the same, erasing their individuality. You can find the last example of the way in which the graphic format enhances the messages of the text.

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