Feminism And The Iranian Cultural Revolution

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According to Julia Alvarez in a magazine article Writing Matters, “... it’s by what people have written … that we understand who we are.” Through literature, people understand themselves and the world around them, and they can better prepare to face the world. Specifically through memoirs, or an author’s written life story, one can have a first hand look at the world around them and as a result can better understand the people discussed and their struggles. An American can benefit by reading literature from and about different cultures as it can lead to an understanding of others and an acceptance of different groups of people. Azar Nafisi’s memoir Reading Lolita in Tehran describes how she lived through the Iranian Cultural Revolution…show more content…
Throughout the novel, Humbert accuses Lolita of encouraging their sexual relationship thus ”implicating his victim,” and causing the reader to blame Humbert less for his perverted actions. Similarly, the Iranian government blames other countries, religions, and women for the violence in Iran and the strict, discriminatory laws which allows the Iranian people to divert the blame to others and away from government actions. Nafisi’s reader understands this aspect of Iranian life due to the connection Nafisi makes between Humbert’s narration and the Iranian government’s public communications. Later in the book, during one of Nafisi’s lectures at the University of Tehran, she discusses the overarching theme of The Great Gatsby, which she describes as the loss of a dream. As a poor child, Gatsby loved Daisy, a wealthy girl, and they could not be together. To fulfill his dream of being with Daisy, Gatsby illegally earns money to impress the married Daisy which leads to their sexual affair. In the end, he is murdered for taking the blame for a crime Daisy had committed. Nafisi asks the reader, “[w]as this not similar to [Iran’s] revolution, which had come in the name of [Iran’s] collective past and had wrecked [Iranian] lives in the name of a dream?” (144) Nafisi parallels Gatsby’s longing for his past lover and the resulting death to the

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