Persepolis and Not Without My Daughter

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Persepolis & Not Without My Daughter
The Iranian revolution of 1979 refers to the overthrowing of the last king of Iran. It was an Islamic revolution which attempted to replace Mohammed Reza Shah, with an Islamic republic under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the revolution. Strong opposition against the Shah showed that the people wanted a religious ruler rather than someone they saw as an American puppet. Many Iranian people would think that the Shah was a ‘capitalist pig’ who ran a corrupt and repressive regime but tried to embrace western style democracy. In saying this, Iran was a very developed and modern nation during the Shah’s reign where students were educated together and westernization took over. The Shah, who was supported by many western powers, ruled Iran like a dictatorship. He oppressed his people, many of which were illiterate, and kept most of them in poverty which made him very unpopular. The people of Iran were living in an oil rich country, and yet poverty was not uncommon. They enjoyed freedoms unheard of in Saudi Arabia, yet were kept under the brutal force of the secret police, the Savak. On the other hand when Khomeini took over the government was a theocracy and ended all progression in Iran and forced his Islamic rules on the people. Iran became a completely different nation after Khomeini took power losing all its foreign industry and development. Khomeini believed that Iran was losing its origins and history to Americanization. He ruled using the Quran, the Islamic holy book. This meant new Islamic laws were imposed on people, a new dress code was coerced on woman while men had more freedoms displaying patriarchy in society. Freedom of speech and freedom of the press were ostensibly protected, at least as long as it did not contradict Islamic law. He expelled all other influences whereas the shah agreed with capitalism and modernization on the culture and economy. This caused Khomeini to cut off western influence and made Iran an Islamic republic. The Shah had previously outlawed the wearing of the chador in public whereas Khomeini made it law to wear the chador. The people believed that when Khomeini seized power in 1979 he would bring freedom and inequality in their nation however this was not the case. There were many systematic human rights violations, including mass executions and conscriptions. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi is an autobiography about her childhood growing up in Iran during the Islamic revolution. The medium of storytelling is through a graphic novel which gives a different kind of textual interpretation. The books style is meant to represent a childlike understanding of the world since the novel follows Satrapis own childhood in Tehran, Iran. Marjane recounts the political situation in Iran during the year 1979 throughout the book. In the first part of the book, the women are required to wear a veil, to which Marji's mother protests. Nevertheless her family is religious and of Iranian decent but they live a liberal and westernized lifestyle, reflective of the Shah’s regime. The book was written in 2003 yet it’s in black and white to show the past and how Khomeini’s laws left Iran vacant of colour and modern culture. In contrast to the film Not Without My Daughter is based on a true story of Betty Mahmoody's escape from Iran with her daughter after her Iranian husband attempted to turn a two-week vacation into a permanent relocation against her will. Betty and her family live in the Michigan and lead a very westernized life similar to the Satrapis; in the two families there is respect and equality in marriage. But within time, Moody becomes more belligerent and abusive towards his wife, taking advantage of the patriarchal Iranian laws. Betty and Marji’s mom are both oppressed under gender specific Islamic law however Marji’s father treats his wife with equality throughout the entire novel. Due to their liberal and westernized ideals, both the Satrapis...
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