Persepolis: perceptions of the veil

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Persepolis; Perceptions of the veil

[Satrapi, (b) p52]

“And say to the believing woman that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty...that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty...” Sūrah 24:31
The autobiographical novel “Persepolis” depicts the early stages of its author, Marjane Satrapi’s life. It shows her growing up in Iran, to her studies in Vienna, and her return. In an interview in 2008, she stated that she composed it in the style of a graphic novel instead of a regular autobiography because “ needed to be understandable to everybody” [(c) 2008]. This is also the case in terms of its film adaptation in 2007. The idea of the veil is extremely
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Through her parents, it is seen as something demoralising; through her faith it is part of Sharia Law6 and must be upheld. Being quite a rebellious child, she still attempted to express her individuality while still maintaining her beliefs. In one of these cases she wears her Nike trainers and a denim jacket with a Michael Jackson button “ bien sûr, mon foulard...”[p62] The fact that Satrapi indicated this last statement shows that the veil was very much now part of her life, even with her attempts to stand out. By rebelling within the confines of the Law, it does not completely repress her. Marji can still rebel without rejecting her faith. In the book, and shown more humorously in the film, she is caught wearing these items by two women, fully draped in the chador7. They snake up to her and wrap themselves around her personal space. They comment on her jacket, and the position of her veil, “baisse ton fichu, petite pute!” [p64] She is released, partly due to her fabricated story, and possibly because she is still wearing the veil [mpottash, 2008]. The majority of young Marji’s life shows little respect for the veil, it is merely an everyday hindrance in itself.
The first months of Marjane’s introduction are shown when she is living in Vienna. She is not forced to wear the veil there, unlike Iran. She is living a very Western lifestyle; she can drink alcohol, dress provocatively
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