Liberal Views in the Ruins of War in Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis
To know one’s identity is to find the core aspects that make them who they are. This includes the positive and negative experiences that shapes one’s identity and strengthens those aspects. This idea leads to ponder, how one identifies themselves in such a structured society. In the novel Persepolis the author Marjane Satrapi express her life in an autobiographical graphic novel. She describes her experience of being brought up in war-torn Iran. Though it is her struggle to grow an identity as a liberal self during the revolution, will be concentrated.
Living in the heat of a revolution Marji (name of main character) and her ...view middle of the document...
In the chapter “The Veil” Marji’s describes her first encounter of the fundamentalist regime depriving women of their rights to express their individuality and to construct their identities. Raymond Williams defines an individual in a paradox in which the meaning is indivisible, for one shows distinction the other shows connection. In the beginning of the novel Marjane depicts a picture of her class in primary school, but she is removed from the photo. The scene signifies her passage in to finding her liberal self. She is yet to know her true identity, since she is surround in world that directly undertake people’s identities. Marji cuts herself from the photo because she can’t identify her true identity as long as her country is controlled by the Islamic fundamentalists.
With a repressive regime, Marji parents became active members in the fight to stop the increasing diminishment of their rights. Her liberal parents provoked the revolution with their continually demonstrations. They were among few to voice their opinion on unwanted changes. Though, the consequences of their protests were to be quite feared. The government sought to violence for those with opposing views. Satrapi proves this with her graphic illustrations showing the beatings, stabbing, and brutal killings from protesting. These “liberal opinions” (Williams, 180) were thought to be Western ideologies, leading Iran to feel threaten by them. The regime was afraid that they wouldn’t be able to keep control of its people. Marji family educated her in the belief of Marxism. Her very own uncle Anoosh was an extreme Marxist, he explained the reason for the takeover from the Islamic regime. Anoosh believed that the rise of new religious leaders influenced Iranians especially the uneducated, who look to religion as their only guide. The use of religion was the strategic plan to advance the regimes power. Causing citizens to blindly lose their true identity. For they relied on this religious figures only because they couldn’t decide other directions. This whole scene occurs in the chapter titled “Sheep”, ironically for sheep are ignorant animals who aimlessly follows the heard. This notion is similar to that of the Iranian population.
“I was lost without any bearings” (Satrapi, 71). The following quote is symbolizes Marji’s tear in her faith. She is sadly informed of the arrest of her uncle and then later to find that he was killed. He was very important person in sense of finding her inner self, but ends up losing more of her identity by also losing her faith. There was a point where Marji was comfortable confiding into God, but the fact that God represented justice left Marji lost. Reason being, the many casualties of friends, family, and citizens whom God was to protect, brought Marji to further detach herself from him.
With the maturing of Marji, she finds herself once again struggling to understand many concepts during this transformation. She begins to question her family...