Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi Essay

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Growing Up Satrapi

It is hard to tell the story of a “typical” youth and it is hard to write a story that relates to experiences in everyone’s lives, but this is exactly what Marjane Satrapi accomplished in her memoir. Persepolis is the story of a child’s growth from preteen to adult. The specific challenges that Satrapi faces are unique to her situation, but we can ask whether they accurately portray the psychological development that children go through. Do her reactions to situations resemble the reactions that most children have to similar problems? While reading Satrapi’s story, it is necessary to understand that the circumstances she encounters and her reaction to these circumstances parallel how youths around the world
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In this way, teachers become role models for the students as well as rule enforcers. They teach children both how to read and write, and the overall beliefs and customs of society. In Persepolis, Marjane paints a picture of her grammar school in Iran during the revolution. In a very short excerpt, she shows a teacher wearing a veil, watching a group of all girls and telling them that they need to wear veils also. In a very casual form, Satrapi has described how her experience in grammar school has socialized her. The fact that she is separated by gender at school told Marjane that her society believes that men and women are different, and unequal, beings. The fact that Marjane sees her teacher in a veil, and is explicitly told by her teacher that she also must wear a veil shows how she

2 was taught to model her teacher’s behavior and also that her society believes that women should be covered up as much as possible. These were the aspects of grammar school that Marjane took from her schooling; this is how she was socialized by her education.
Like a child’s school environment, the surrounding community in which a child grows up also “instills its norms and values in its members, through tradition, modeling, and/or formal education” (Berns 392). There are two
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