Essay on The Complete Persepolis By Marjane Satrapi

Essay on The Complete Persepolis By Marjane Satrapi

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People have tried to attain freedom for at least as long as there is a historical record. It is and always has been something everyone wants, throughout history and today. There are many parts to freedom, although generally it means being able to do whatever one wants, whenever one wants, within reason. In her graphic memoir, The Complete Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi explores her own personal freedom and that of her family through the enforced veil covering women’s hair in Iran, opposed to dressing however she wanted in Europe. Satrapi’s telling of the history of Iran is somewhat skewed. As explained by Esmaeil Zeiny in his essay, before it became compulsory to wear the veil in public, it was illegal to wear the veil; in the middle was some time where women had a choice of the two options. These were dramatic changes, and it caused young Marji to question whether she wanted to wear the veil, with her family being avant-garde despite her strong religious beliefs at the time. As she got older, she became more rebellious and dressed like a punk despite her veil. At fourteen, her parents sent her to Vienna to escape the oppressive system and get a real education. In Vienna, she didn’t wear the veil and denied her Iranian past for a while. However, there were many parts to her personality, which, as Afsoun Sichiani explains, is why she was never completely happy wearing the veil. Her past was one of those parts. Later, she realized she had to be true to herself, and even later returned to Iran. Back in Iran, she had to wear the veil again. At college, she spoke out against an even more oppressive veil her school wanted to force upon its female students. She ended up designing one that would work for everyone. Even while wearing the veil...


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...he presents herself is a big part of who she is as a person. After her suicide attempt, she started her life over by westernizing her appearance and attending art school. At art school, she called out the men in charge for further restricting women’s choice of dress, pointing out their opposition to fashion instead of concern for women’s integrity. Still, Marjane was given the chance to design her own dress code that would be suitable for everyone. Even with a strictly enforced dress code, Marjane, like other women in Iran, found ways to let her true self come through. Zalipour adds to this, saying that different women wear the veil differently. An example of this is when Marji was younger and wore Nikes and a denim jacket with her headscarf. Through her choice of punk fashion, she was able to show her individuality even with the restrictive nature of forced veiling.

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