Monday, March 23, 2009
I was skeptical when I first saw the book Persepolis because it looked hard to read, but I am really liking the style of the graphic novel. I especially like how she interjects so much humor and life into her writing and pictures. The way she is raised within the tumultous environment of Iran allows her the opportunity to understand the revolution and war from a different perspective even as a child. Even though Marjane obviously comes from a wealthy family since she has a servant and a cadillac, she still faces the same gender limitations under the fundamentalist regime. Not only must she wear a veil in public because of her gender, she also faces the threat of the punishment that Niloufar had. Marjane's parents see that her life as a woman will lead her to be in trouble with the authorities, and proactively send her to be educated in Vienna. The perception that we as Western/Christian women often have of Iranian and other middle eastern women is obviously very different from how they actually live. For example, the posters, sneakers and jeans that Marjane loves would be in conflict with the stereotypical submissive veil wearing Muslim women that we often see in the media. But, it is true that the gender role that Marjane is able to portray in private is very different from the one that is acceptable in public which shows the limited scope for gender expression that women have in Iran.