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A Response to Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Basically a presentation of her early childhood as she lived in her country Iran, Persepolis comes out as one of the most captivating narrations of the tragedies as well as the activities that beheld the lives of Iranians in Marjane’s years six to fourteen. It is in this period that the Shah’s regime in Iran is overthrown and the Islamic Revolution occurs. Again, Satrapi narrates the daunting effects of the Iranian Iraqi War of this time.
Narrated from a child’s perspective, Persepolis not only brings out the ingenious in Marjane to relay events in their true form of reality but also the reality of the impact of each event in her life and the lives of others. A quick cross from 1979 and 1980 indicates the occurrence of The Islamic Revolution and the subsequent compulsory wearing of the veil. She reveals the transformation from French schools and their closure as signs of capitalism; an overall process named Cultural Revolution. While this takes place, there is internal protest against the veils, yet the revelation of a controversially oppressed society cannot be skipped as her mother hides in dyed hair and glasses because of being on the papers for demonstrating.
In an intertwined narration, Marjane reveals in Persepolis; a considerable memoir. It begins with an outline of Iranian history that sets the stage for the book. While she clearly presents the search for identity and the oppressed position of the woman in her society, she paradoxically juxtaposes the loyalty and dependability of her people to their culture and state. Yet she emerges as an individual whose faith ceases to base itself on religion but rather on political ideology making her a recognizable protagonist.
In essence, Marjane intriguingly outlines the revolution and other events and their effects in a unique and outstanding way. This makes her text a ‘must read’ for students and scholars studying The Islamic Revolution, its effects and the history of Iran in her time.
Satrapi, Marjane. Persepolis. London: J. Cape, 2006. Print.