The Veil: Marjane's Journey to Individuality Essay

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A veil is an article of clothing that is intended to cover some part of the head, face, or physical feature that may hold some significance. It is especially associated with women and sacred objects. Not only does it conceal a person’s physical appearance, but it contributes to stifling one’s individuality. In Marjane Satrapi’s graphic novel Persepolis, Marjane, the main character, lives in Iran and is required, by fear of punishment, to wear a veil that only leaves her face uncovered. The veil becomes an important symbol and throughout the novel, the reader can see the lasting impact the veil has on Satrapi. It begins as something foreign and detestable to young Marjane; a simple piece of clothing that deprived her of her free will,…show more content…
It is interesting to note that Satrapi made the veiled women all have similar complacent expressions and as such was indistinguishable from one another. However, she gave each unveiled woman features, such as their hair and eye or nose shape; showing that all Iranian women are unique. (Add more) Ultimately, Satrapi’s images of the indistinguishable characters accentuate the perception of a western reader to see the Veil as quite oppressive. In America, young teenagers live in a society where clothing and hair is meant to define and express themselves. It is normal for a 17 year old girl to curl her hair and go on a date with her boyfriend. However, in Iran, this is not the case, and as evident in Persepolis, woman are restricted to show her hair or publically show affection to any man who is not her husband. This restriction is something that not many people, especially in predominantly Christian societies are accustomed to. On page 74, Taji, Marjane's mother warns her daughter by explaining one of her experiences, "They insulted me. They said that women like me should be pushed up against a wall and fucked. And then thrown in the garbage. ...And that if I didn't want that to happen, I should wear the veil...” Indeed, Marjane had always been deprived of her individuality, not only as a woman, but as a person. Being a woman in Iran meant Marjane was never able to fully express herself, not only by not

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