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Persepolis Essay

By | May 2012
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An Analysis of Satrapi’s Persepolis
Persepolis presents the Islamic Revolution in Iran through the point of view of a child who questions the most fundamental practices and assumptions of Islam. Growing in a household that frowns upon the dictates of Islamic fundamentalism at a time when there is a growing presence of Islamic fundamentalists, the point of view in the graphic book offers a different look into the local Islamic movement in Iran. Through that perspective, my understanding is that the movement placed the people within the limits of a religious fence that does not give room for questions. Challenging the dictates of the Islamic institution is also seen as a challenge to the religion itself, which in turn explains why those who openly opposed the movement were physically harmed by the advocates of the Islamic Revolution.

My understanding of the impact of the Islamic Revolution in Iran is that it caused people like Marjane Satrapi’s child character in Persepolis to develop an attitude that tries to resist the forces of the movement. At least in terms of forming a household behavior deviating from the principles put forward by the movement, the child is able to question her surroundings and find the answers to satisfy her desire to be fully aware of what is happening around her. In general, I see the Islamic Revolution as a double-edged sword—while it rebuilds and strengthens the piety of the Muslims to their religion and its edicts, it also threatens to lose the devotion of those who are against some of the principles advocated by the movement. Unfortunately, the movement creates a wide gap between those who are for the movement and those who are against it, dividing the believers into two extreme opposites which defeat the essence of religion.

Some of the cultural and political issues raised by Satrapi’s narrative include the negative response of Islam towards the Western societies, the conflict between fundamentalism and the changing trends in...

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