The Veil and Persepolis

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In Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi the main character, Marjane, lives in Iran and is required, by fear of punishment, to wear a veil that only leaves her face uncovered. Having to wear a veil is portrayed as an insult to women’s rights. However in the article “Why We Wear the Haijab,” by Sumayyah Hussein, Sumayya Syed says the veil “‘liberates you from the media’” (p118) It is also seen as a form of protection from judgment and western influences. The women interviewed in the article tell of the benefits of wearing the veil and see it as an honor instead of an insult, like in Persepolis. The veil is part of Iran’s culture. To de-emphasize a women’s body and to gain respect as a person, the veil is worn to protect from the judgments forced upon us by the media. Marjane was influenced by the trends in the media and lost her self respect and identity when separated from the veil and her culture. In Persepolis, Marjane has many experiences that are both good and bad. The veil plays an important part in her life and protects her from the bad decisions that peer pressure influences her to make. In “Why We Were the Hijab” it points out that covering up is necessary for women because their bodies are viewed differently than a man’s. “One Study at the University of California, found that…in the average picture of a women is less then half the photo was devoted to the woman’s face”(p 120) therefore over half the picture is focused on the woman’s body. The veil gives women more self respect by taking the focus off of her body. This respect helps women exceed without being brought down by the media’s influences. Marjane sought to fight against the veil. The different ways women around Marjane represented how much they protested wearing it. “You showed your opposition to the Regime by letting a few strands of hair show.”(p75) The women fighting against the veil don’t feel it’s necessary to cover up to gain respect. “Respect must be earned regardless of one’s appearance and it...
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