The historical background of Iran is the most important idea that influences Marjane 's novel. Mohammad Reza Shah was the leader of Iran from 1941 to 1979. During his reign, Iran was living a westernized life. He initiated a revolution called the White Revolution, which included permitting women to vote, the abolition of illiteracy, land rehabilitation and distribution of oil. Basically, everyone in Iran, including Marjane’s family, was living a westernized live during Shah’s regime. As Satrapi’s mentioned, she used to go to a non-religious French school, in which boys and girls were mixed. On the other side, there was a
Although Marji begins as an outspoken and confident young girl, she quickly has to adjust to the harsh rules of society. Marji’s first conflict arises when she is forced to wear a veil in school. One frame shows her and all of her classmates playing different kinds of childish games with the veils they were forced to wear. In one corner, a girl is jump roping with a veil, and in another corner, two girls are faking an execution (Satrapi, 3, fr. 5). This is because Marji and her classmates do not understand why they have veils and undermine the authoritative power by playing with them. Although a small event in the novel, this mini-revolt sets a precedent for Marji’s actions in response to the regime's rules as she grows older. Later in the story, she is inspired to join the revolution and make a change after seeing her parents protesting. On one night, an audacious Marji storms into her parents’ room and exclaims, “I want to come with you tomorrow! To demonstrate on the street. I am sick and tired of doing it in the garden. For a revolution to succeed, the entire population must support it” (Satrapi, 16-17). Marji’s eloquent words are that of someone who is willing to sacrifice his/herself to make change in a corrupt system. In return for dealing with such heavy political issues, Marji is passionate about protesting and expressing her disdain for the Iranian government.
Marji's role in life changes drastically throughout the novel. In the beginning, as a young child, Marji believes that she is a prophet. As the story progresses and they the revolution continues, Marji begins to feel dismay towards the revolution and towards God. Later in the novel, Marji’s mother also feels sadness. Her former revolutionary spirit is gone and replaced with fear. When Marji’s principal calls the house to complain that Marji disrespected of the teachers, her mother in the past would have been proud, but this time around she fears for her daughter and goes on to explain the things that happen to girls in Iranian prison. Her mother had given up optimism and established that war
Marji’s hatred towards the new Islamic government due to the oppression her loved ones have had to endure, causes her to act out and rebel against the law. There are many instances of Marji’s defiance against the government and religion. One example of her rebellious nature is exemplified when she and her maid, Mehri, decide that “tomorrow [they] are going to demonstrate” (Satrapi, 38). She makes this decision after discovering the truth on social hierarchy and the government in Iran. She wants to support the Iranian citizens in fighting against the rules and religion to make Iran a free country again. Another example
It is through the interactions with these minor characters that the cultural clashes she experiences as well as the different, and sometimes conflicting, influences on her views and values are highlighted. Though the course of her journey of self-discovery her ideas on sexuality, gender, as well as what it means to be an Iranian are developed and with each character she meets her growth can be seen. As is characteristic of coming-of-age stories, by the end of the novel Marjane has matured having effectively found her identity and decided upon her own beliefs and
Over the following four years, Marji learned of how her grandparents were left poor because of the Shah, the leader of the Iranian government. Shah was well known for robing men and women of everything they had worked for and leaving them with nothing. Nevertheless, Marji was schooled on the different levels of society in Iran, which left her to consider her family as rich because her Dad drove a Cadillac. Despite being a child, Marji accused her dad of being anti-social towards a class that could not read and write. To clarify Marji helped out a friend with the writing of some love letters. Mehi was the family maid that could not read or write. Mehi fell in love with the boy
(7). Her grandmother also buys her books to help educate her on what is going on in their country (28). Both of these actions display that her grandmother wants her to be educated and also wants Marji to do whatever she desires and teaches her that she truly can be whatever she wishes. Before Marji leaves to go to Austria, her grandmother tells her “always keep your dignity and be true to yourself” (150). This is something that continually goes through Marji’s mind as she begins to make mistakes, being true to herself is something Marji is constantly struggling for and becomes a major theme throughout the novel. In the end of the novel Marji learns how to be true to herself and her ambitions as she divorces Reza and moves to Paris, which was an action heavily based on the ethics and teachings of her grandmother.
Another historical event that we see is the rise and effects of the Islamic regime in Marjane’s life. This event is arguably the central issue that affects Marjane during her upbringing in Iran. Marjane shows how the regime begins to control schools, and how this affects her life by separating her from her friends (4, 3-4). We also see how the regime decides to close universities as they “educate future imperialists.” (73, 1-3) This demonstrates the negative effects that the regime has on society, as they prioritize Islamic values over education. The Islamic leaders portrayal shows them as upset and bored, and are given much different facial expressions than those that Marjane sees as intellectual (such as Uncle Anoosh (54/3) or Marjane’s grandfather (23/8)). This imagery communicates the backwards-thinking of these leaders, and as such, also effectively communicate Marjane’s opinion of the leaders without needing to discuss it with text. Additionally, we see both of Marjane’s views: Marjane not understanding the veiling and separation (3/5) as well as Marjane’s depression over the closing of the universities (73/7). The text here illustrates her opinions on the situations that she experiences, and the imagery allows us to see a visual representation of her basic thoughts and emotions, which are well communicated. A final example of the regime’s changes is the difference between the fundamentalist and modern women
Marji began rebelling against what her parents said very early in her life. Even though her parents had unintentionally raised her to be rebellious by being that way themselves, they were surprised when she rebelled. Marji didn’t seem to realize that they were rebelling with good cause, so she rebelled. An instance of rebellion was when she and her friends decided to “nail” one of her classmates. She said “My idea was to put nails between our fingers like American brass knuckles and to attack Ramin.” (45). After being spoken to about her actions, she told herself “You have to forgive! You have to forgive! I had the feeling of being someone really, really good.” (46). After Marji went to Vienna, she was staying with nuns. She was being yelled at for eating out of a pot while watching tv. The nun said “ It’s true what they say about Iranians. They have no education.” (177). Marji replied, “It’s true what they say about you, too. You were all prostitutes before becoming
Marjane’s escape to Vienna is not an escape at all, as the pressure to conform follows her, only this time not involving the increasingly radical Islamic government. Upon meeting both her roommates and the group that she later calls her friends, there was an instant indication of a future struggle for Marji. With these two groups, not only was there a language barrier between them, but also stark cultural differences between the West and traditionalist Iran. Amid her struggle with the Western culture she says, “The harder I tried to assimilate, the more I had the feeling that I was distancing myself from my culture, betraying my parents and my origins, that I was playing a game by somebody else’s rules” (193). Marji began to develop a sense of identity before she left Tehran, becoming more politically active and holding opinions on current issues other than the ones her teachers and classmates have; however,
Marjane was sent to Vienna to get liberal education and their parents want to avoid Marjane from faced with the regime and keep her away from country’s laws and restrictions. This is because her parents know that Marjane is a rebellious even from kids. She ever makes problem in school where she act aggressively towards teacher and even the principle. Her parents decided to send her abroad with hope she will not receive continuously face with this full of laws and restrictions country. Her parents just want her to away from problems without thinking that getting away from family at the very young age as teenager, might cause Marjane to have a higher tendencies to rebell. Culture shock and adjustment that Marjane need to face with is she start to know and be friend with group of people who take freedom for granted where it is punk or anarchist. Marjane is well known as
Iran. This novel is a graphic novel so you get to see what her reactions were to different things, which really helped create a sense of her personality. In this book there are many themes that are expressed throughout the whole storyline. Throughout the whole book she becomes older and older and watch how her life developed. One main theme that is clearly prevailed is memory and development. Marji's whole book is about her memories as a young girl and how she matures into the person she is today, so right away that theme can be pulled from the text. Another theme that is presented is equality. In the country of Iran, many people are treated different. As a women in Iran, you don’t have a lot of freedom or rights compared to men. As you read the novel it is shown on how women get treated compared to men. Comparing this graphic novel to the novel called “I am Malala”, many similarities are presented in their themes.
The book’s thesis was a young girl’s journey from place to place while a war is outraging in her country. She is forced to leave her country without her parents when she is still young. She grows up in many different places, meeting many different people, and becoming a very different girl. She learns to take care of herself and runs into many problems that she has to solve alone. The topic of the Islamic revolution during and after is discussed, along with the differences in the private and public lives in the middle of a political war. There were some conflicts and differences in families across the community. It also shows how people grow and change, how a war nearby can change a person. When the war started, Marjane was a young innocent girl. When the war developed and she grew, she changed and lied to her parents and started hiding stuff from them. The war forced her to change her personality a bit because of the changes going on in her life.
As Marjane experiences new ideas and culture once she moves to Austria as a teenager, she finds that there are many things she doesn’t agree with or understand. Fitting in as a teenager is hard enough without having to deal with being stranded all alone, which is exactly what Satrapi had to endure for years on end. During those years of growth, Marjane ran into many obstacles including her relationship with boys and smoking. One of Marjane’s first friends that she made while living in Austria was the influence for much of her confusion when it came to social activities. Marjane was surprised when she attended a party and it was the opposite of what parties were like in Iran where there was dancing and food, instead “people preferred to lie around and smoke” (Satrapi 185). Almost everything Marjane experienced in Austria was against how she was raised in Iran. Marjane thought to herself, "And then,
The year is 1980 and Marjane, “Marji”, is just ten years old living in Iran. The Iran and Iraq war is beginning to unfold and life for her and her family is changing. Being a woman is hard enough during this time period, and Marji’s hard headedness did not make it easier for herself. She eventually was moved to Austria for her own safety, she was sent alone, none of her family came with her. During this time, she really struggled with finding out who she really was supposed to be. Here in Austria, she met new people, changed her look, and lost touch with her Iranian identity. Eventually she moved back to Iran, she met a man and married him not too long after that. She tried to be the perfect woman, perfect wife that society wanted her to be. She was still not happy with this life and felt empty, so months later she took a risk and divorced her husband. She decided she would leave Iran for good this time and moved back to Europe, never looking back at the country that was