The Role of Women in Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis

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Throughout Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi displays the vital role that the women around her have in developing her character and becoming the woman she is today. Women such as her mother, her grandmother, her school teachers, the maid, the neighbors, and even the guardians of the revolution influenced Marjane and caused her to develop into an independent, educated, and ambitious woman. Throughout the novel, Marjane never completely conforms or lets go of her roots, this is primarily due to the women who have influenced her.

Marjane’s mother was one of the most influential people in her life, her mother taught her to be strong and independent. By introducing her mother through the story of her mother getting photographed at a demonstration, Marjane presents her mother as being independent and rebellious (Satrapi 5). Later in the novel Marjane’s mother argues with her father to allow Marji to come to a demonstration with them, she claims it is Marji’s time to “defend her rights as a woman” (76). Because her mother taught Marji that it is okay for a woman to rebel and speak her mind, Marji never hesitates to speak up and will not conform and allow herself to become just another veiled, female traditionalist. Marjane’s mother shows her acceptance of Marjane as an independent woman when she visits her in Austria and asks her for a cigarette (204). Marjane’s mother is not ignorant, nor does she hold her daughter back to the rules of society. She knows Marji is grown up and treats her as an adult, allowing Marji not only to view their relationship in a different way but also to view herself in a different way: an independent adult who can make her own choices.

Another major role model in Marjane’s life was her grandm...

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...Marji to realize that the culture’s idolization of martyrs is completely warped. Throughout the rest of the novel Marji never truly escapes the pain that witnessing so much death has caused her, in Austria she tires drugs and love to comfort her, but nothing works the gruesome picture is never able to escape her mind.

Marji is impacted be the courageous women came before her, the women that die unjustly, and even the women who attempt to take away her individuality. Throughout the novel Marji is constantly trying to figure out who she is and who she is going to become. But by the end of the novel Marji evolves into an independent woman who does what she wants with her life to make her happy, something that would never have happened without the influence of women throughout her life.

Works Cited

Satrapi, Marjane. Persepolis. Pantheon; First Edition, 2004
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