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Jun—Persepolis (2016) > Confidence and Wealth

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message 1: by Ashleigh (new)

Ashleigh Hyatt (achyatt) | 18 comments When I was reading the book, there were some parts that made me feel like Marjane was spoiled and expected certain things to go her way (her parents bailing her out of jail for example). Growing up in low-income household, I was more cautious with my actions and desires so that my parents wouldn't have to pay "extra" for me due to the already tight money situation.

I am wondering that since Marjane's family did have money she felt like she had more freedom to "rock the boat" as in expressing her feminist ideology and demanding equal rights in her country. I am guessing that women who felt as Marjane did who didn't come from a wealthy family were not as outspoken in their views due to their financial situation.

I think this "confidence" difference occurs in all countries and communities. What do you all think?


message 2: by Apoorva (new)

Apoorva Bhatnagar | 22 comments Ashlee, you made a very good point.
Financial independence to some extent affects confidence.
But sometime it also depends if you are satisfied with your financial position or insecure!!
Moreover, someone has said
"Less is More".
A happy person is a confident one. Happiness and confidence, both are an internal phenomena.


message 3: by Bunny (last edited Jun 13, 2016 11:07AM) (new)

Bunny On the one side, having wealth and access to education and all kinds of other support can help a person to be more confident in challenging the status quo and have more freedom to rock the boat. On the other side having wealth and access can also help a person to be more blind to the problems with the status quo. It often hurts the poorer person more, so there's a different kind of pressure to speak out and resist because its harder to just get around the problems. Like Marjane Satrapi could have just left Iran and never looked back because she had a family that could get out. Different situations bring different challenges I think.

Being relatively privileged can make you a bit spoiled. Hopefully though you use your greater freedom to push against the status quo and actually do some pushing rather than just being satisfied with the way things are because its not so bad for you. If you see what I mean.


message 4: by Ashleigh (new)

Ashleigh Hyatt (achyatt) | 18 comments Bunny wrote: "On the one side, having wealth and access to education and all kinds of other support can help a person to be more confident in challenging the status quo and have more freedom to rock the boat. On..."

Yes, I think that is very true. I am just wondering what life was like for the women who couldn't leave for Austria during their high school years? Where they fighting in the streets or where they wearing their veils, afraid of what would happen?


message 5: by Minoo (new)

Minoo Jan | 2 comments As an Iranian woman raising in Iran and as same age as Marjane, I felt all those things and the book seems so familiar as if it was written by me. However I was not from a privileged family and like many other girls in my age we attended school with veils and felt pretty much we were in a military school. They did change our books and its content. They thought they are changing everything but we still listened to underground music and read books. Books were the only getaway to world for me and still are. It's a funny story that I borrowed a book from our high school library about Karl Marx and I was so fascinated by Communism at that time. Teachers were so poorly educated that they didn't know what they had in that library. And so we found our way out of that system somehow and learned to battle in our way.


message 6: by Iulia Catalina (new)

Iulia Catalina Plesca I think the most important financial aspect in the heroine's upbringing is not the fact that she has money but the fact that she does not have to worry about her survival. At home she has food etc so she is free to think and formulate ideologies. When she is ill in Austria, she struggles to survive and does not focus on much else.
Another important aspect that I think some of you tried to mention is the fact that the financial situation of her parents allows her a safety net for her mistakes or for her change of mind.
The think I connected with the most is her fear of disappointing her parents and of her wasting all their efforts.


message 7: by Amy (new)

Amy Lauren | 22 comments The author's financial privilege was certainly a part of the book that stood out for me, especially when she casually, even lightheartedly, mentioned how her family was able to pay the amount of a government official's annual salary to bail her out of jail, while she was laughing and joking with her friends on the inside.

The only time Satrapi seems conscious of her wealth is when she is a young girl riding around the streets of Iran in her father's Cadillac.

I do wonder how this story would be different if the author did not come from such a financially secure family. She certainly would not have had the opportunity to travel away from Iran during the height of the revolution, which is when she tuned into most of her rebellious ideals, in a safely removed environment, where she could express them without fear.

Greater still, I don't think Satrapi would have had the powerful education that she did have if not for her family's wealth. Yes, the adults in her life would have still encouraged her to read and be a freethinker and develop her ideals, but would Satrapi have been so blatantly rebellious and outspoken in public without the safety net of her family's security? Would they have felt comfortable encouraging her in this way if they had to worry about financial ramifications?

Money can be freeing and education is a major part of the gender equality movement. So, I am forced to wonder now about the activists, and potential activists, who are forced to keep silent due to repressive financial situations and fear of not being able to bail themselves out, in a manner of speaking.


message 8: by Katie (new)

Katie (katieh1993) | 18 comments I agree with most of the comments made on this thread. Marjane does have a significant amount of privilege compared to her peers of the same age who may not have been able to attend university and her parents were clearly educated too. I do not think they would have held liberal views for the time and place if they did not have such an education. This education gave her the confidence to answer back and stand up for what she believed to be right. However, what she did say made me cringe at some points as she was so blunt that she may have been taking unnecessary risks with her own and others lives.


message 9: by Carrielynn (last edited Jun 22, 2016 05:23AM) (new)

Carrielynn (ccbaran) | 7 comments Interesting point regarding the freedom that wealth would allow. II think the same could be said in any society and country? - though obviously to greater and lesser degrees.


message 10: by MeerderWörter (new)

MeerderWörter | 2388 comments Minoo wrote: "As an Iranian woman raising in Iran and as same age as Marjane, I felt all those things and the book seems so familiar as if it was written by me. However I was not from a privileged family and lik..."

Am I right with my assumption that the quote: "Anything's possible if you've got enough nerve" describes you. Because from what you write I come to this conclusion. Please, tell me if I'm wrong, but I think if one's desperate enough, they will take great risks.

I'm glad to read that also people like you were like this. Rebellious.

Ashlee wrote: "Bunny wrote: "On the one side, having wealth and access to education and all kinds of other support can help a person to be more confident in challenging the status quo and have more freedom to roc..."
I really had a "this world is so small" moment when I read that she left for Austria, since I live here. It was also very interesting to read about how she lived in Austria, what she thought about it.

I think confidence and wealth often go together, since money frees you in many, many ways. And one could see that she was confident when she had money around her(except for the cadillac scene) and was insecure when she was confronted with the unfamiliar in Austria and having her family thousands of miles abroad. I read the books in two days, that's proof for how interesting I found them. I also think that she gains her confidence from somewhere else, since a lot of tragedies happened to her when she was young, and money wasn't involved.


message 11: by Aglaea (new)

Aglaea | 987 comments I think thoughts can be a commodity when you're poor enough not to have time for anything but worrying about putting food on the table, keeping a roof over your head and paying bills. Life shouldn't be like that, though, and nobody should have to involuntarily work several jobs to make ends meet. Personally, I think it is humbling to recall that lofty ideas, dreams and general 'idleness' actually is impossible for many on the planet, so much so that sometimes kids can't even have a childhood.


message 12: by MeerderWörter (last edited Sep 04, 2016 10:30AM) (new)

MeerderWörter | 2388 comments Aglaea, well spoken.
Yes, I'm glad the majority of us only have "first-world-problems" here in Europe, since it shows us that a lot is going in the right direction. There aren't serious problems that affect many. Like you said, we are lucky to not have to worry what to eat the next few days and how to pay bills. Or even be homeless.


message 13: by Ashley (new)

Ashley | 82 comments I definitely wondered about her parents' financial stability and her ability to "rock the boat". I felt her access to education and financial stability allowed for that. When she was on her own and struggling, she had a harder time holding on to that part of her. She was worried about survival. I know that I personally have had times where I have struggled to survive. It affects me, even now that I don't struggle. I think it can change your perspective not only during and after.

I think another part of her ability/willingness to "rock the boat" has a lot to do with her parents. They were willing to see her make mistakes and to help her grow. For instance, her first marriage, they knew it wouldn't work out, but they let her see for herself.


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