Reading Lolita in Tehran as a Critic to the Changes in the Education System During the Revolution

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Reading Lolita in Tehran as a critic to the changes in the education system during the revolution

“Education is the most powerful weapon

which you can use to change the world.”

Nelson Mandela

Introduction

Although “Reading Lolita in Tehran” is classified as a memoir which by definition is “a special kind

of autobiography, usually involving a public portion of the author’s life as it relates to a person,

historic event, or thing. The text is about the personal knowledge and/or experiences of the

author” (Daye, n.d.), it is also a critic to the changes performed during the revolution in many

aspects of the Iranian society, it shows as
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Private and foreign schools were obliged to follow the department’s program too.

Secularization: Historically, Iranian society had strong religious sentiments. So, in Iranian

society, any attempt to change the traditional life style or removal of religious aspects

from public life was opposed by religious establishments. Similar to the nationalization

attempt, Reza Shah tried to incorporate new ideologies and notions over old customs and

traditions. While doing so he also introduced his personality cult.

Another measure to promote secularization, and also depower the clergy was the abolishment of

veiling. By this attempt shah was aiming to enlist woman into the education and labor market.

Westernization: The westernization of the education system was targeted for the higher levels of

education. It had two interrelated aspects. First expanding the modern education system

nationwide and the opening of modern schools. Second was the veneration of ‘west’ in those new

schools. The westernization of the education system included exporting scientific and technologic

developments of west which consequently brought western cultural values and social structures.

An example of this was the emancipation of women in academia and economic life. They had

been subjected to westernization similar to secularization. Shah managed to incorporate them

into the educational environment.

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