Persepolis Essay

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s): 316
  • Published: December 17, 2011
Read full document
Text Preview
The Reality of Growing Up
While growing up I was influenced by everything around me. The media, my peers, my family etc. surrounded me and constantly guided the decisions I made. Although influenced by many outside forces, I still held on to my morals and values that my parents had always taught me while growing up. The book, The Complete Persepolis, written by Marjane Satrapi, is about Satrapi’s difficulties of her childhood in Iran during the Islamic Revolution, the teenage years in Vienna, and her return back to Iran. The book shows the difficulties and joys of growing up in a completely different environment in where she doesn’t fit in. As a child Satrapi grew up around a corrupt regime and was always taught to stand of for what she believed in. As a child she would rebel against the regime and even try to join demonstrations with her parents. Satrapi tries her best to stay true to herself while in Vienna but is being exposed to Western culture. She has a hard time assimilating into Western culture but stays true to her old rebellious side. Her grandmother, the sassy and clever woman, told Satrapi to stay true to herself before she left for Vienna. When Satrapi returns back home she finds it difficult to assimilate back into Iranian life but soon adapts to the culture again. Although Satrapi has difficulty assimilating into Western culture and then back into Iranian life, she stays true to herself even through the most difficult experiences of her adolescence and adulthood.

Satrapi moved to Vienna during her adolescence and faced the hardships of assimilating into Western culture. She faces small and big changes during her time in Vienna. The first sign of assimilating is when she changes her appearance by using make-up. Satrapi says, “She did my hair and drew on a thick line of black eyeliner that, from then on, became my usual makeup. I thought I looked very beautiful” (184). Satrapi assimilates to fit in with her first new group of friends. Due to the pressures of fitting in she even fake smokes a joint with them to show that she’s a part of the group and to feel a sense of belonging. “So I pretended to participate, but never inhaled the smoke”, says Satrapi (192). Although Satrapi assimilates well into the culture, she still feels a sense of guilt: “The harder I tried to assimilate, the more I had a feeling that I was distancing myself form my cultures, betraying my parents, and my origins, that I was playing a game by somebody else’s rules” (193). At one point in the story Satrapi goes as far as to deny her own nationality when talking to boy at a party. Satrapi describes, “I even managed to deny my nationality” (195). She wants to feel like she belongs to be happy in Vienna. Satrapi hits a huge bump in her life in Vienna when she gives in to the pressures of drugs. Satrapi says, “The communal life went hand in hand with the use of all kinds of mood enhancers: weed, hash, . . . I tripped every weekend, and you could see it on my face” (215). She would use substances just to get away from her daily troubles and because she had nothing else to do. Satrapi describes, “I didn’t always like it, but I by far preferred boring myself with her to having to confront my solitude and my disappointments” (218). In Vienna she assimilates to be liked by others so that she would be happy in a foreign country where she doesn’t belong. When Satrapi starts dating, she assimilates even more just to impress the guys she encounters through her years in Vienna. She has her first real boyfriend named Markus who at times would make her go down to buy hash for them and this causes her to become the school’s drug dealer: “This is how, for love, I began my career as a drug dealer. Hadn’t I followed my mother’s advice? To give the best of myself?” (222). She also becomes accustomed to smoking so much just to impress Markus, a selfish, self-centered jerk. Satrapi says, “Admittedly, I wasn’t selling drugs anymore, but I had started taking...
tracking img