Persepolis Analysis

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In The Complete Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi, she provides a detailed account of what it was like to live amidst the Islamic revolution. She does so by depicting her life through a series of comic strips, which allows the reader to gain a better understanding of expressions and emotions of the characters throughout the story. In this unique coming of age story, Marji constantly struggles with the pressure to conform to cultural norms, most notably in the three different schools she attends: her elementary school in Tehran, her high school in Vienna, and at the university in Tehran.
Marji first experiences pressure to conform to cultural norms at her elementary school in Tehran. Growing up in one of the most turbulent times in Iran’s
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This is an extremely dangerous attitude to have, as following others is not always the best thing to do. This learning of blind obedience foreshadowed a potential to backfire as she gets older, because having such an outlook can make it difficult to develop individuality and self-identity. Leaving Tehran appeared to have the potential to be a nice break from this pressure to conform, but unfortunately this followed her in a different form to Vienna.
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,
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