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About this sample
2 pages /
2 pages /
What is religion? What does it mean to be religious? These are questions that have been asked by both believers and nonbelievers for ages. Each individual has their own way of interpreting religion as well as their faith. The standard definition of religion is a person’s belief or worship of a supernatural being such as a deity or deities. Religion can be used to unite people of all races and backgrounds yet, it can be the one thing that can divide people completely. The book Persepolis takes place during the Islamic Revolution in the late 1970s displaying Marjane’s childhood and coming of age experience. Unlike most books in which religion is either represented as good or bad, Persepolis represents it as both. In the graphic novel written by Marjane Satrapi Persepolis, the theme of religion is constantly brought up and we are shown how religion is used as a method of justification for political movements and a metaphorical wall between reality and what we want.
Throughout the book we are shown various scenes in which religion helps Marji deal with grief, sadness and joy. For example the chapters The Veil, The Heroes and The Sheep demonstrate the progression of Marjane’s unshakable faith to no faith. Marji as stated on page 6 was “born with religion” and wished to become a prophet, “…Because our maid did not eat with us. Because my father had a cadillac. And above all, because my grandmother’s knees always ached.” In The Veil it is shown that every night Marjane had a conversation with “god” and wished to be the justice, love and wrath of him. However, as we move along the book in the chapter The Heroes we discover that God is Marji’s safe place. A place of comfort and security that no one else had. In the chapter The Sheep we are shown the last scene of god as he disappears from her life after the death of her uncle Anoosh. A place that once was a place of comfort and security turned into nothing. This a major turning point that reveals to Marji that the world is unfair.
Furthermore, Schools that were once coed separated, bilingual schools were a sign of capitalism, and women were obligated to wear the veil. Parties were no longer allowed, smoking and drinking were banned as well as the purging of western culture. The country was going through a cultural revolution meaning they were getting rid of western and non-islamic ideas and substituting it with Islamic ideals and politics. The teaching that the shah was chosen by god was implemented within schools as well as the idea that kid soldiers if given a key would go to heaven. Of course as a child Marji believed this as this was the only teaching of the shah, she was baffled by this and this moment seemed to be the tipping point for her. “The educational system and what is written in school books, at all levels, are decadent. Everything needs to be revised to ensure that our children are not led astray from the true path of Islam”. As stated before, religion was implemented within schools which jus led to children believing the shah was chosen by the god.
Many violent protests erupted, some for the veil others against. Much of the laws formed were very oppressing towards women specifically. Any culture that wasn’t their own was banned and women began to conform to what society wanted to see and lost their personal identity. Not only that but we are shown how western-culture is despised such as Iron Maiden and Michael Jackson. We are shown this through a scene in which Marji is wearing western clothes such as nikes, jean jackets, and much more.
A big chunk of Persepolis discusses the topic of religion and just how it affects society as well as young Marji’s life. We learn that as a child she never had that true childhood experience but rather had to deal with a cultural revolution, bombings, and a corrupt childhood. Also, we are shown how religion is not always good, it can be bad and definitely has its flaws. Persepolis a graphic novel written by Marjane Satrapi demonstrates the recurring theme of religion within Iran’s government, schools and effects on the people.
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