Persepolis is a graphic novel written by Marjane Satrapi. The book is written in a first person point of view, portraying Marjane’s interpretations of key aspects of her child hood and what she had to go through growing up in Iran. Unfortunately for Marjane she grew up in a very troublesome time, the Islamic revolution of 1979 and the continuous revolts that occurred after the revolution. And we see over the course of the book how this greatly affects her life and the decisions her parents have to make for her to ensure she is safe and properly educated. To get a better look at this, we must first look at the historical content of the revolution to get a more in depth knowledge of what her experiences were like. The Pahlavi dynasty lasted for almost 16 years (1925-1979). In which Reza Shah began a quest to modernize Iran to secure his political leadership. Under his reign, the government asserted its authority over various tribes and provinces. During world war2 Iran had a great contribution in supplies to both Great Britain and the Soviet Union, who at the time were at war against Germany. As a result of this, the shah granted Britain permission to own various oil companies residing in Iran. This ruling earned the Shah great unpopularity amongst his country. To counteract this, the shah sought assistance from Germany to help Iran on its quest for modernization. However, both the British and Soviet governments saw this as a threat, and the British forced the Shah to step down in favor of his son Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, who ruled until 1979 ( The ruling shah in the book). At the Tehran conference of 1943, it was ruled that Iran was to receive its independence and security of territory which was once owned by Great Britain. Once Iran was through with its territorial and war affairs, it was time for the new Shah, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, to focus on his reign. The Shah was still quite new to the job and his opponents saw this as a means of re-establishing themselves. As the Shah became more caught up with his position he began to arrest his political opponents, this also meant arresting and executing everyday people who opposed and argued against his regime, thus, limiting the rights and free will of the people. The Shah had a great hatred towards democracy and despite his hard work to obstruct it; the people were able to vote for a prime minister who sought to bring about democracy. The prime minister had little effect on Iran, and was quickly over thrown. Both US and British forces had a lot to do with helping the Shah over throw the prime minister because he wanted to overrun international oil companies, companies primarily owned by the US and the British. As a result the Shah had a great debt to the Countries and so he granted permission for them to have more oil companies and Iranian land, resulting in the countries people to demonstrate even more hostility towards him. Over the next couple of years, the Shah greatly increased Iran’s income by improving its oil industries. He also put a lot of money into Iranian defense. These advances, however, still did not earn him the respect of his country. Daily demonstrations by the people who opposed his regime rapidly increased, and though his military did a good job arresting and killing people who they caught protesting against him, he saw that there was no way he could win over the respect of the people and after many years of blood and fighting the shah finally stepped down and fled Iran. Mehdi Bazargan became the first prime minister of the revolutionary regime in February 1979. However, his regime had little to no authority over Iran and Hundreds of semi-independent revolutionary committees, not following the central authority, were performing a variety of functions in major cities and towns across the country. Factory workers, civil servants, employees, and students were often in control, demanding a say in running their organizations and...
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