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Persepolis Analysis

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Persepolis Analysis

In Persepolis, the author Marjane Satrapi deals the feeling alienated by her own country, but also by any other country she tries to reside. She is to westernized for Iran, but to Iranian for the West, so she is constantly fighting with herself about who she really is and how she can deal with it. The whole point of this section is about Maji finally accepting who she is, after having struggling with it for the entire book. Her overall choice to finally get divorced was the first step in letting go of her futile attempts to conform to what society sees as “right” or “proper”. By not caring about what people were going to say to her or about her because she was a divorced women ( the way that they had done to her friend’s sister on page 332).

She instead listened to her modern and logical grandma who said “the first marriage is a dry run for the second one” and in this way Marji seems to be reminded of just who she is; a girl who doesn’t care if she was thrown out of school, or ostracized by society as long as she could make her views known.

This section starts out with Marji coming home and seeing her pregnant sister-in-law, and as she is leaving she says , “Don’t forget that my son needs a cousin. what are you waiting for?” and this is where you see Marji and Reza cuddling closer together and flashing their fake uncomfortable smiles. Although earlier Marji mentions that everyone sees them as a happily married couple, and that there is really trouble in paradise, this is the first time we the readers really see it. This image is also used to foreshadow what happens next. The second the sister-in-law leaves both of their faces drop into a frown, and Reza says, “We need to talk.” they sit down, and as Marji explains that they’re marriage has been a complete failure, neither of them is able to make eye contact.

Reza finally makes eye contact when he tries to tell her that he is still in love with her, but she still doesn’t look him in the eye, until he shocks her by purposing that they should go to France together. This is the point where Marji truly realized who she was and felt empowered by her decision. She comes to grips that going to France would be the same reason as why they got married, so they could get around the that social pressures, that their love had been dead for a long time, and there is not point in trying to make it work.

A couple days later she tells her parents she want to go to France, and they are super excited because they see her going to Europe as her finally being safe not only from the physical harm of violence in their country but also from the social pressure to conform (which they know Marji is never going to be able to adhere to). But the facial expression change when the father admits that he knew the whole time that the marriage wasn’t going to work. The Mom’s face is very inquisitive as to what he is telling her. In the next frame her face turns angry because she believes that she has been manipulated by the father. But the reason that the father had to let the marriage go through was because he knew that if he forbid Marji from marrying Reza it would just end badly; since Marji is such a strong willed individual if she was forbid to do something it would just make he want to do it more.

This blows up in his face because his wife seems to go inside herself, turns her back, and refuses to talk to him. However what he says next opened her mother up to what he had to say. He tells her she wasn’t made to live in Iran because they are crushed not only by their government, but also by the weight of their tradition. Which perfectly sums up what Satrapi has been trying to portray this whole time.

Marjane’s mother joins in by talking about how their revolutions have set them back fifty years, and as a result it is gonna take generations for them to get them back on track, but Marji isn’t fit for that society in which they live and now that she is twenty-four, she doesn’t need her parent anymore. Her parents have known who Marji was all along; although she has a proud Iranian background, she is much to “western-minded” to prosper in Iran. This is a point that she is just beginning to realize; as a result she took a test to enter the school of decorative arts in Strasbourg.

All of page 340 is about Marjan preparing to leave her home land once again. She spent every morning wandering in the mountains of Tehran as an attempted to hold on to something that she feels is a part of her, embedded deep down in her DNA. This is an attempt to hold on to this new inner peace that she has found. During this period she goes on a trip with her grandma, visits her grandfather’s tomb as well as the unmarked grave where her uncle Anoosh’s body was buried, and spent a lot of quality time with her parents. These things were placed here as a contrast to her preparation for the first trip on pages 149-151 where Marji knows that she is going to be returning, this time she understands that fact that she needs to leave in order to live a full and happy life.

This trip, she is accompanied by both of her parents as well as her grandmother. Marji says “ I had chosen this departure but despite everything, I felt very sad.” This choice is much like the one to go to college. Although you love your heritage, and being surrounded by your family. there comes a point where you have to choose to continue to live your life at that stage, and face the fact that you will most likely only be able to receive a mediocre job, and in most cases continue to live in your parents basement.

Or you could realize that by leaving for college you have a brilliant opportunity to experience fantastic new adventures and cultures. And ultimately college opens many doors so you can reach greater heights in life. Marji loves Iran, her family, and her heritage. But in order to be truly satisfied in her life, she needed to leave. The last thing her mom says on page 341 is a simple and perfect way to sum it up, “You are a free woman. the Iran of today is not for you.”

In the final frame Marji says that this goodbye is much easier than the first one that she took to Austria. This is because this time she finally knows that Iran is part of her, but she knows she doesn’t belong. She then talks about how she is no longer a child, there is no longer war, and her mother doesn’t faint; but what isn’t seen is that while the parents are facing Marji and waving happily (because they are relieved to know that their daughter is finally in a safe place, where she will fit in and live a happy life), her grandmother is turned the other direction crying. This foreshadows that her grandmother knows she isn’t going to get much more time with her granddaughter in this life.

The last and final quote was the most powerful of the whole book. “… freedom had a price…” this point was demonstrated all throughout the story. Every character had some type of struggle with freedom; wether it be the martyrs who were executed in the attempt to gain it, her friends in Austria who had too much of it and as a result had to literally make things up to complain about, or even Marji who felt burdened by her freedom because she knew that the people she loved were dealing with such oppression.

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