Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood (Persepolis, #1) Persepolis discussion

Marjane the Feminist

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message 1: by Christy (new)

Christy LeRoy The graphic novel Persepolis written by Marjane Satrapi is an autobiographical tale based on her life during the Islamic Revolution in the late 1970's and 1980's. During this time in her country of Iran, not only were they at war with Iraq but there was a civil war going on dividing her country between traditionalists and the future adults of the nation.
Marjane starts the novel as a young girl whose life changes drastically when the country instills a law for all women and girls to be required to wear the veil. Many women thought this should be a personal choice, Marjane's mother was one of them. She recalls her mother protesting the law and having her mother's face in magazines seen all over the world. This made Marjane proud, but scared her mother. She knew what could happen to her if she was recognized. It was not a good time.
Also in place was a very strict social class system separating the well off from the poor. Marjane had never understood why their maid must eat in a different room she was so young and just wanted to be around her maid, the girl who took care of her. It was then that she realized how different her life could be. Her maid could not love who she chooses and had to work just to survive. Something foreign to Marjane at that age.
Marjane wanted to protest. She knew little of the revolution but enough to know that it didn't seem right to force people to do things they didn't want to do and then imprison them for living their life free. As the daughter of former royalty she knew that her rights meant nothing if they were not fought for and recognized by her ruling government.
The horror stories follow as she is removed from school for questioning the books and rules, then the schools close. Families disappear and friends move away. Iran is bombed and under attack. People demonstrating in the streets die everyday. Men and women are imprisoned and executed as well as raped and tortured for trying to live their lives free.
Marjane's father and mother make a trip to get away for a few days and risk their lives to bring back music, posters and western clothes to their daughter who they are trying to give the most normal life possible. Marjane wants to experience the freedoms other kids can. Her mother, father and grandmother want to give her that. Fear is so high that the family has to work together to destroy booze from a forbidden party. She is scared to wear jewelry from her mother as it will be taken away.
No woman or man or child should have to live life in constant fear of rape and death, this fear is what the Shah was using to control the people. He failed, miserably, but not before thousands were dead and the country would forever be viewed differently in the eyes of westerners and those all over the globe.
Marjane gets to live and tell about it, how many were not as lucky? Reading Persepolis will not only open your eyes about the oppression of women around the globe, but will also in my opinion, teach the young people here in the U.S.A. just how good they have it. Hopefully showing them that fighting for what you believe in and working hard can be the best lesson of all.

message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

I love your description here Christy,people like Marjane should be an inspiration to us all,i love all of her work so far.It is especially poignant to me at this time of year when the capitalist trappings of life are so much to the fore regarding Christmas hearing people spending vast amounts of money only then to complaining about doing so (maybe this is just an English trait).Books like this as you say should open peoples eyes and be more humble and less selfish.

message 3: by Christy (new)

Christy LeRoy Thanks Jason! I read the book for a class but it ended up changing my life and views on so many things. Marjane is a true inspiration to me. This read had me researching and learning about so many women's rights issues in the Middle East. I learned so much and it started with her. Thanks for reading my review!

message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

I think our views are some what brainwashed about certain countries,it seems our media paint countries as black and white,this country is bad ,these are our allies etc.I too have learned many things about the Middle East,i also have a love of politics but not the politicians themselves,my wish is that more women are elected into positions of power and the world would be a much better and safer place :)

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