Satrapi's Persepolis: Growing Up During The Iranian Revolution

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A reader’s background has tremendous impact on how they perceive a text, as information including the main message and certain details are read and interpreted differently. Marjane Satrapi created the graphic novel Persepolis to illustrate her experience growing up during the Iranian Revolution. Possible reactions of an outsider and a leader of the revolution to this text’s contents are juxtaposed. The respective interpretations irrefutably differ as the two relevant readers live in different worlds, and possess varying viewpoints, ideologies and priorities. The outsider strives for personal freedom, while the leader aims to rule over society. The Iranian Revolution, more specifically the newly implemented policies, had tremendous impact…show more content…
A panel on page 3 shows the students playing with their veils indicating their opposition to the revolution (Satrapi, 2003). An outsider focuses more on the new restriction of personal choice and freedom, whereas a leader outrages when reading about this disrespectful act. Furthermore, the leaders announced a new policy of segregation within schools (Satrapi, 2003, page 4). Marjane’s classmates’ negative and oppressed feelings are shown by their facial expressions (Satrapi, 2003, page 4). The students no longer seem to enjoy their education but rather they miss their friends of the opposite gender (Satrapi, 2003, page 4). For an outsider, this is symbolic of the degradation of the situation in Iran, as education is typically seen as an empowering tool. Thus its restriction is a means of limiting the power of individuals. Alternatively, the leaders of the revolution perceive the system as too westernized. Therefore they ban it and decide to focus on Islam. Yet, the leaders neglect to understand why the students feel despondent with the new situation, as they solely see the benefits of the veil and single sex schools. An outsider would be against these plot developments, while any leader reading this text is likely to be…show more content…
In the book, Marjane shows her opposition to the movement by wearing Nike shoes, which were regarded as punk (Satrapi, 2003, page 133). She explains that the revolutionaries associate punk with the Western world, and therefore, frown upon her decision. In order to keep the situation under control, the leaders of the revolution add “the women’s branch, guardians of the revolution, (…) to arrest women (…) like me (- Marjane).” (Satrapi, 2003, page 132). Additionally, she writes that the guards comment negatively on her Michael Jackson badge and tight pants. This situation makes an outsider feel uncomfortable, as they are not used to such restricting limits on their freedom of choice and expression, especially in regards to apparel. They regard it as positive to stay updated and aim to benefit from the improvements of developed regions. On the contrary, the leaders of the revolution fear Westernisation and claim that it contradicts Islamic traditions, hence, they do not enjoy reading about it and prefer to avoid this issue. The political leaders then worked on re-enforcing these, as they opposed the Shah’s previous extensive interactions with Westernized parties. Marjane aims to resist the newly implemented changes. These are actions, which an outsider of the revolution favours. On the other hand, the leaders try everything in their control to

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