Persepolis Essay

833 Words May 4th, 2014 4 Pages
Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi’s autobiography. It covers her childhood and teenage years in her hometown, Tehran; her experiences abroad while she studies at the French Lyceum in Austria; and her return to a country devastated by war and mistreated by the Regime.
Therefore it is hardly surprising that the protagonist’s identity is formed at the crossroads of two cultures, the Western and the Eastern ones, without really belonging to either of them.
Satrapi herself has stated that “[she is] a foreigner in Iran. . . Nowhere is [her] home any more” (Tully, 2004) and this feeling of alienation is materialised throughout the work. Thus, Persepolisrevels in the middle-grounds between opposite stances, with images which are able to show the
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Simultaneously, she is stressing or commenting that the tendency to glorify martyrdom and suffering in propaganda is not a strategy exclusively used by Muslims or Iranians and that also Christians and Westerners have glorified it throughout History.
Additionally, Satrapi subverts the tendency of westerners to dehumanize veiled women as if they were massive undistinguished figures, mere statues, like this model: Satrapi, Marjane (2006) Persepolis (London: Jonathan Cape, 301, 3-7)
In these panels, Satrapi draws herself with her friends around the veiled model – the archetype of the silenced Muslim woman that the Regime provides to be copied not only on their canvases, but also in their lives as women. However, this model is also the stereotype of the Muslim woman which has spread in the West.
In contrast, we see Marjane and her mates looking at the woman in the chador with discontent; and in the next page, we learn the subversion tactics that many Iranian women from her generation employed after the revolution (“showing your wrist, a loud laugh, having a walkman”…). Satrapi, Marjane (2006) Persepolis (London: Jonathan Cape, 304,3-4,6-7)
The contrast between the woman in a chador and the women like Marjane and her mates highlights the difference between the image projected of the Eastern woman both by the Regime and by the West. In Persepolis, pictures of veiled women reject the stereotype of the Muslim voiceless woman. Instead, Satrapi’s female

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