Compare and Contrast in “The Complete Persepolis”

“The Complete Persepolis” contains a graphical novel that illustrates the life of its author, Marjane Satrapi during the period in which Iranian Revolution erupted. The author illustrates the contradictions between private and public life in a country that was plagued by a major political upheaval.  Before the revolution occurred, both men and women were free to conduct their own businesses. However, many drastic changes were brought about by the revolution. The law made by the Shar had many effects many of which were imposed on women. The people that lived in Iran during this time were not allowed to read or listen to music that had not been approved by the ruling regime. Schools were now separated based on gender. On the other women had now to wear veils to avoid by molested and raped by men while before the revolution, this was not the case.

In this book, a comparison between the Shah and his son is made. The author narrates how one day she was visited by her grandmother. The grandmother told her how the father of Shah had taken everything that Marjene’s family owned. The grandmother then compares this behavior of the Shar and that of his father and concludes that she was worse than his father, who would not take away people’s belongings even though he imposed laws on women and forced men to do what was against them. The author develops contrast and comparison of two cultures: the Western and eastern cultures. The author covers her years as a child and then a teenager while growing up in her hometown, Tehran. The author also narrates her experiences while studying abroad in Austria at French Lyceum. The author finally narrates her return to her home country which is already devastated by war and negatively affected from mistreatments by the regime. The identity of the protagonist is thus established at the crossroads of two different cultures. Satrapi clearly identifies herself as a foreigner in Iran. Though she was born in this country, she feels alienated from it. However, she does not really belong to any of the cultures. The author presents two opposite stances: while the situation in her country is complicated, her personal life is also equally complicated…

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