Persepolis Book Analysis

Submitted By nyklyfe
Words: 1772
Pages: 8

Since the mid-1900’s, The United States has always had ongoing tensions with not only Iran, but the Middle East as a whole. Ranging from nuclear weapons, terrorism and communism, the U.S has always had disputes over tensions surrounding Middle Eastern politics and ideals. Whether it be the Islamic rule over Iran, the Iranian Hostage situation or the 9/11 attacks, the misconceptions of the aftermath of these events have left the people of the Middle East given a malevolent perception in the U.S and the rest of the western world. In the Persepolis Books, Marjane Satrapi is a young girl growing up in a corrupt Iran. Exposed to the horrors of the Islamic Revolutions in Iran, along with the Iran-Iraq war, Marjane struggled to avoid the ruthless tyrant of the Iranian Government. The book gave a completely different side of the popular perception of the Middle East. Satrapi showed readers the life of a Iranian family, living through the Islamic uprisings. Although the book was written in 2000, the American translation was released in 2002, just a year after the September 11th attacks. With the tensions between the Middle East and U.S at an all time high, Satrapi sought to show her Western readers that the Islamic Fundamentamentalist leaders were not representative of the ideals that the Middle Eastern people embodied, through the means of her Memoir which depicted the lives and ideals of an ordinary Iranian family that actively sought to resist the Islamic tyrant in Iran. Through the events depicted in the story and in real life, Satrapi shows how although those in the Middle East lived very different lives, they still related to us in the West in numerous ways. Starting from the 1970’s, opposition against the Shah grew to an all time high, evoking mass protests, as depicted in Persepolis. These protests often lead to numerous casualties induced by the Shah regime seeking to impede these movements. Just like in the novels, many of the civilians killed during the protests were hailed as martyrs and heros. Soon however, the Shah was overthrown and replaced by Ayatollah Khomeini, who soon claimed himself as the “divine ruler”. Under a new regime, supporters of the Shah were soon arrested and even executed. Islamic Law became the sole law of the land, forcing all to follow radical versions of Islamic beliefs. Schools began to instill strict Islamic laws, especially regarding women’s dress codes. As in the book, children were forced to wear hijabs at an early age, and were often punished severely if not worn properly. On page 74 of Persepolis 1, the Islamic fundamentalists told Marjane’s mother “Women like you should be pushed up against a wall and fucked and then thrown in the garbage.”. Another instance of the Fundamentalist brutality was on Page 108, when a police officer threatened to kill Marjane’s father because he had suspicions that he had been drinking. People in Iran were given no choice but to follow Islamic rules at an extreme extent, or face an inevitable death. As the conflicts between Islamic rule and proponents of democracy in Iran heightened, the hostility was brought over to the western hemisphere, when Iranian Islamic Students raided the U.S embassy and captured 52 Americans. In response to this tragedy , President Carter said the U.S “Would not yield to blackmail”. After several failed attempts to negotiate, the U.S devised a rescue mission, which too, ultimately failed. However, in July of 1980, just minutes after Ronald Reagan swore into office, the U.S and Iran came to an agreement to release the hostages. It was one of the first acts of terror inflicted on the U.S by Islamic Radicals, which caused a nationwide uproar, plaguing the perception of the Middle East as a whole. In an attempt to promote the Iranian Revolution, a small group of radicalists managed to sabotage the common perception of a whole religion.
Perhaps the most infamous acts of terrorism on the U.S were the September 11 attacks on