Persepolis Essay

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In the book, Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi, the main character is the author as a young girl growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution of 1979. She starts off as an incredibly positive child with enormous faith in herself and her relationship with G-d. Through her experiences, especially when she was in her crucial, early teenage years, she completely loses her faith in G-d and also rebels against her environment. The author wants to show the Western world that there are many people in Iran, like Marjane, that are no different than Westerners. She does this by describing her childhood teenage conflicts with her parents, with oppression and with her faith in G-d, all of which most Western teenagers could easily relate to. Marjane’s conflicts prove that she is not just a spoiled teenager, rebelling for no other reason than just being a teenager, but that the environment she was in would make most teenagers rebel.

Two of Marjane’s conflicts with her parents come from her strong desire to participate in the public protests against the Shah. Marjane has a close relationship with her parents, whose activism against oppression influences her greatly. She sees her parents go to protests against the Shah and she desperately wants to join in and be a part of it. On panels 16.9-17.6, Marjane is begging her parents to allow her to join them in the next day’s protests. She says to them, “For a revolution to succeed, the entire population must support it.” They tell her she can’t go yet because it is too dangerous. She is very upset with them for not letting her go. Later, on panels 38.1-39.5, Marjane defies her parents’ authority by attending a demonstration with her maid, Mehri. The author narrates, “When I finally understood the reasons for the Revolution I made my decision.” Marjane is referring to her decision to go to a protest against the Shah. This is after her maid’s heart is broken because the boy she is in love with dumps her when he finds...
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