Noise

In movies, TV shows, and musicals, sound plays a big role. However, sound cannot be conveyed in books. This creates a need for alternative methods of communication. One way in which a graphic novel can communicate is with the noise of the page. A loud page will consist of many elements and a quiet one will have very few. These elements can consist of, for example, the extent of background images as well as the number of characters.

Pages 140 and 200 have very different levels of noise. Page 140 only has one panel that contains background images, and each panel has at most two characters. In contrast, most panels on page 200 have background images, and three panels have many characters. The lack of noise in page 140 creates a feeling of sobriety. It conveys the seriousness of the situation and focuses the audience’s attention on the main characters and their emotions. The abundance of noise on page 200 allows for the audience to vicariously experience the flood of emotions that Marjane is feeling. The two panels bellow are of similar events, but the background of the panel for page 200 allows for many thoughts to cross the reader’s mind. In comparison, the panel for page 140 focuses the reader’s attention solely on the interaction of mother and daughter.

Page 140 Panel 4

Page 140 Panel 4

Page 200 Panel 8

Page 200 Panel 8

 

 

 

 

 

To continue reading about Persepolis, visit the introduction or the pages devoted to narrative and shading.

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