Handmaids Tale vs Persepolis

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David Miller

Oppression on Women in Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale and Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis Marjane Satrapi, in Persepolis writes about a memoir of a little girl growing in Iran. She refers to a secular pre-revolutionary time through contrast, the oppressive characteristics of the fundamentalist government upon women in specifics. In comparison, her work is very similar to Margaret Atwood’s, A Handmaid’s Tale, in which the central character, Offred, reflects upon her former life’s freedom, cherishing her former name and in doing so, emphasizes the isolated and enslaved live that she must now endure. Although Both Margaret Atwood and Marjane Satrapi show how a totalitarian state oppresses women in different ways by taking away the freedom to think and make decisions for oneself, also, how both accentuate on the ways a women should dress, which stratify society in Handmaid’s tale, and enforced religion in Persepolis. Because we as readers grew up in the western society, we often think of clothing as a means of expressing our individuality, our style, and as defining whom we are. Offred grew in a similar environment, and that way of thinking was taken away once she became a Handmaid. That was the precise reason why she felt “ fascinated but also repelled” (28) at the same time when she saw the Japanese tourist. She says she “used to dress like that. That was freedom. Westernized they used to call it”(28). She says this because she no longer gets to dress like the tourists any more. In a very little amount of time, the society has forced every individual to change his or her mind about such clothes. Whereas Satrapi depicts in her graphic novel a picture of a ten year old forced to wear a veil because of the Islamic Revolution, “ We didn’t really like the veil, especially since we didn’t understand why we had to”(3) explaining further the complexities surrounding the veil. She says some religious fundamentalist feels that hiding hair could keep...
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