Lujain Alsulaimani

Professor Rippy

EN 424

8 October 2019

Reflection on Persepolis

           Persepolis by Marjane Satarbi is one of the most successful biographies that I have read in my life. I have never read a book that combines joy, culture, religion, and politics. Marjane in her comic book has described her life from the very beginning, starting from her point of view as a child, how she reacted on the revolutions, how her parents played a significant role in her early life, and how she overcame the obstacles she faced when she was a little girl.

Marjane was an exceptional child when she was between 10 and 12 years old, she used to be a leader among her friends at the same age. Even though she was not allowed to participate in demonstrations with her parents who were keen to go to demonstrations very often, and her father went out daily to photograph events that were related to the Islamic revolutions, so he was there with camera in hand capturing history as it happens. She did not give up on her dream of going to demonstrations, so she demonstrated with her friends in the house garden. This shows the readers how much Marjane was blunt and stubborn.

Marjane depicted life in Iran in the revolution period as an obstacle that changed the whole country and shaken its safety. The revolution, or what the Iranian named it the Islamic revolution, has imposed various rules and systems that prevented people in Iran from living normally. There were various kinds of oppression that were applied under the pretense of Islam, which does not accept any of the rules they have applied under the name of Islam.

Moreover, oppression was not only applied to females back then in Iran. However, It was applied to every person in Iran including females, males, children, old people, and even leaders. An image for the oppression we can see in Persepolis is the various kinds of torture that were provided in prisons in Iran is pulling nails out, whipping with thick electrical cables on foot, and burning them in their backs and cutting them into pieces. Mohsin, Marjane’s parents’ friend, has told them that during his visit to Marjane’s parents in their house.

Other image we can see of oppression is the social classes oppression. When their maid was dating the neighbor boy and Marjane’s father knew about it, he went and talked with the boy and told him that the girl he was writing her love letters was actually the maid, not his real daughter, and the boy simply left her because of the social classes. In addition to that, poor kids only would be trained to be soldiers. The guardian of the revolution would give them gold plastic keys for paradise. They told them there would be better food, women, and life in the afterlife during the war between Iran and Iraq. And all of that oppression was under the pretense the Islamic rules and revolution which is totally wrong because Islam is against what they have done and the rules they were applying and following. As a result, many people left Iran and immigrated to other countries, escaping from the Islamic republic as people were describing Muslims leaders as stupid.

Another theme we can see in the story is Fear as we can see that in various images. One of them is when a German journalist took a photo of Marjane’s mother without the veil because she was against it. Marjane was very proud of her mother as her mother’s photo was published in many utopian newspapers and only one magazine in Iran. Even though Marjane’s mother’s photo was only published in one magazine in Iran, the mother was scared so she dyed her hair and wore dark glasses.

The thing that grabbed my attention is in Marjane Satarpi’s interview. She said that her novel was not totally true, and writers have to add things to make a story, even documentaries did that. I started wondering where in the book she was not saying the whole truth? Where in the book she was lying to make a story?

Indeed, Marjane has described a whole country in very specific details in a very smooth and interesting way. The obstacles in her life did not prevent her from her dreams, but strengthen her to fight and pursue her freedom.

Works Cited

            Satrapi, Marjane. The Complete Persepolis. Pantheon, 2004.



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