Reading Lolita In Tehran Analysis

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Azar Nafisi’s Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books (2003), as the title suggests, is a memoir, which portrays the individual experiences and personal lives of the authoress and her students in Tehran during the Iranian Revolution 1979. In addition, as the subtitle suggests, Nafisi’s work constructs this personal memoir using various fictional texts such as Lolita, The Great Gatsby, Pride and Prejudice, and Daisy Miller. Through the act of reading the above mentioned fictional texts, the individuals in the memoir draw parallel between their lives and the female characters in the novel, and thereby attempt to redefine their lives in the Totalitarian Regime in Iran. The memoir is a mixed construction of fictional world and historical reality,…show more content…
Ayatollah Khomeini was considered to be the father of the revolution as he had led the rebellion. The followers of Khomeini strongly believed that he would lead them on the Islamic path, and he was seen as the guardian of Islamic morality. Azar Nafisi’s Reading Lolita in Tehran rewrites a new history of Iranian revolution through her memoir by documenting the suffering and victimization of the common innocent people under this historical and political catastrophe. She records various inhuman activities of the revolutionary guards which are not ‘Islamic’ and not even moralistic, and absolutely not humanistic. Her narration of personal events, which includes tragic incidents and grieving episodes, distorts the existing picture of Iranian revolution as a boon to Islamic way of life. Azar Nafisi argues that revolutionary leaders, like Ayatollah Khomeini, in the name of God and religion crushed individual lives and dreams in the process of fulfilling their own dreams. The author emphasizes that the so-called father of the revolution dreams on everyone’s behalf, and states that under the totalitarian regime even the dreams of an individual becomes an illegal phenomenon. The authoress brilliantly expresses this idea in her memoir through the following scene: a little boy raised an alarm waking up his parents in horror telling them that he had an “illegal dream”

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