24 April 2014

Persepolis Summary

Persepolis (1-2 ) by Marjane Satrapi

       Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi’s, the main character and narrator, memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution and the second Iran and Iraq war. In 1979, Islamic Revolution took place. The concepts of  bilingualism and co-education were abolished. Moreover, women were forced to wear veil by those that called for cultural revolution in Iran. People started to protest, there were both, people who supported this “cultural revolution” and people who were against. Marjane’s parents and relatives, including grandma and Uncle Anoosh, were used to attend these political protests to raise voice for their rights. Because of her parents, grandma and uncle Anoosh, Marjane’s passion lied in social activism and to enlighten her on revolution her parents brought her books related to social and political issues. Moreover, to clear Marjane’s misconception that the King , Reza Shah, was chosen by God, her father told her the truth that Reza shah was a soldier who organized a putsch to overthrow the emperor and install a republic. An influential british man leaned about his putsch, and because he wanted to make money out of the country's oil he supported him. However, many people were beginning to die during revolution , so Shah’s rule became impossible and he had to step down. After the revolution, she got to meet Uncle Anoosh and learnt how he survived and was imprisoned, which created a “heroic” image of him in Marjane’s mind. Soon, they learnt that Anoosh has been executed on the false charges of being a Russian spy. She felt empty and alone. At that moment, Iran Iraq war began. The war intensified, food and rations were low in the country and tensions ran high amongst the people, Iran’s borders were closed, women weren’t allowed to step out without veil and with makeup on, having parties and celebrations was forbidden. The war became very bad with millions of people dying. However, Marjane grew up to become a "rebel" and, after a confrontation with one of her teachers, she got kicked out of school. Fearing that the country was no longer safe for their daughter, Mr and Mrs. Satrapi decided to send Marjane to Austria to attend a French school there, at the age of fourteen.

       Marjane,s problem began as soon as she arrived in Vienna. Zozo, the family friend ended up sending her to a boarding house among nuns. She met Lucia there who filled the space of a friend in Marjane’s life. Language was a huge issue for her which kept her isolated. However, as Marjane is outspoken and rebellious by nature, so a conflict with nun got her expelled but she managed to stay at her friend’s place. That’s how she began to assimilate herself, finding a personal identity and coming to terms with the reflecting state of West. Her journey was clashes. she had self image problems, hurtful love affairs (she fell in love with Markus and also got addicted to drugs but Markus betrayed her) , loneliness ( after Markus she had nobody with her). Which led her to depression but it wasn’t enough she also had to leave the place where she was living in because she was accused of stealing.Living on the streets made her so sick she coughed up blood. She survived, and moved back home to Iran.Giving up her freedoms was hard, but living with her family was what she needed. Her mom and dad treated her as an equal which helped her to get out of depression. she met her old friends and relative. While in Iran, she continued to  work what social activism she could like designing a new uniform with a shorter veil). she partied with friends. She met Reza, they fell in love and decided to get married. But after sometimes Marjane felt imprisoned and started to have conflicts with Reza. They tried but ended up getting divorced. All these things were to help her find her identity. After a few years, she realized that Iran wasn’t for her. She moved back to Europe.With the final quote of the book, "Freedom had a price."

1 comment:

  1. Great summary, syeda! But where's your response?!