Power

There are many different types of power. Some kinds of power come from within and some come from outside forces beyond our control. Gilgamesh and Marjane both experienced the influence of powers that helped them become stronger and wiser by the end of their journeys. In The Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh started out as a selfish king. Then he experienced the power of friendship, courage, and grief. The Gods' powers also came into play. Sometimes Gilgamesh battled against the Gods' powers and sometimes the Gods offered their support. By the end of the story Gilgamesh came to terms with his own immortality and became a kinder ruler. In The Complete Persepolis, Marjane experienced the positive powers of freedom, love, and family. She also experienced the negative powers of oppression, the military, and government control. It wasn’t until she was all grown up and the war was over that Marjane finally found peace with herself and her country.

Power of Authority - Gilgamesh, the king of Uruk, was a tyrant. "By day and by night his tyranny grows harsher, Gilgamesh, the guide of the teeming people!" (I 69)
Power of Friendship - Gilgamesh, a king who is part god, and Enkidu, a man raised by beasts, start out as enemies and then become friends. "They kissed each other and formed a friendship." (Y 18)
Power of Courage - Before Gilgamesh and Enkidu journey to the forest to slay the evil Humbaba, Enkidu tries to warn Gilgamesh. "Humbaba, his voice is the Deluge, his speech is fire, his breath is death! Why do you desire to do this thing? An unwinnable battle is Humbaba's ambush!" (Y110) But, Gilgamesh does not back down.
Power of Anger - When Gilgamesh refused Ishtar's proposal, she was furious. She brought down the Bull of Heaven to kill Gilgamesh. "Father, give me, please, the Bull of Heaven, so in his dwelling I may slay Gilgamesh!" (VI 94)
Power of Grief - Gilgamesh mourned the loss of his friend, Enkidu, by planning an elaborate funeral. "Oh Enkidu, may the paths of the Forest of Cedar mourn you without pause, by day and by night!" (VIII 7)
Power of the Gods - Enlil created the Deluge to wipe out humans. Uta-Napishti and his wife were the only human survivors. To make up for what he had done, Enlil made Uta-Napishti and his wife immortal. "In the past Uta-Napishti was a mortal man, but now he and his wife shall become like us gods!" (XI 202)
Power of Freedom - When the Shah left Iran the people celebrated. "The day he left, the country had the biggest celebration of its entire history." (Pg 42)
Power of Oppression - Marjane was just 10 years old when all women in Iran were forced to wear veils. Marjane said, "We didn't really like to wear the veil, especially since we didn't understand why we had to." (Pg 3)
Power of the Military - Marjane and her father spotted fighter jets, "Iranian or Iraqi, the jets hugged the ground before suddenly zooming up into the sky right before the mountains on the horizon." (Pg 80)
Power of the Government - Marjane got in trouble with the Guardians of the Revolution for dressing in Western clothing. "Their job was to put us back on the straight and narrow by explaining the duties of Muslim women" (Pg 133)
Power of Love - When Marjane left for Austria she realized for the first time how much her friends meant to her. "I never realized how much they loved me. And I understood how important they were to me." (Pg 149)
Power of Family - Marjane's family was very close and they supported each other through difficult times. At the end of the story, when Marjane left for a new life in France, she said, "The goodbyes were much less painful than ten years before ... There was no longer a war, and I was no longer a child..." (Pg 341)
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