Persepolis, By Marjane Satrapi Essay

Persepolis, By Marjane Satrapi Essay

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During childhood, children rely on the opinions and viewpoints around them to make decisions. Adults influence children whether they mean to or not. When surrounded by these influences, children trouble themselves with right or wrong. In the documentary Persepolis, directed by Marjane Satrapi (2007), young Marji overhears several conversations between her parents and family friends. Therefore, her beliefs depend on the emotions and words spoken between the adults. In Persepolis, women play the primary role in influencing Marji’s life. From beginning to end, women teach Marji the differences between right and wrong. Two female figures remain a constant influence in Marji’s life. Her mother, Mrs. Satrapi, and grandmother both leave lasting influences on Marji’s life. While their influences create positive ideas and creativity, other female influences, such as schoolteachers and religious followers, persuade Marji in negative ways.
The female influences surround Marji in different forms. Her family’s influences represent following their heart and ideals. The schoolteachers, however, influence a different matter as they try conforming all the children to behave and follow the rules set by their government. Marji’s schoolteacher, two years after the reform occurred, stood with the fundamentalists and told Marji’s class the benefits created by their new society. Marji created a strong line between right and wrong when she says “We have gone from 3,000 prisoners under the Shah to 300,000 with you” (Satrapi 2007). In this scene, Marji has chosen a side, but her decision has consequences which force her parents to send her away. Therefore, the schoolteachers, who used their influence to support the new government, also created doubt in M...


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...e new government practically force Marji to leave Iran whereas she wanted to live in Iran, but keep her freedoms and ideologies. Towards the movie’s end, each woman hold influence in Marji’s life. She stays true to herself, like her mother and grandmother want, yet she holds herself back in public. She learns to abide by the rules enough so she could continue her life in Iran. In the end, her mother and grandmother’s influence win out and she leaves Iran to express her ideologies. Yet, during her time in Iran, she has learned and understand the difficulties and war occurring. Marji can see the division that runs through her country and fights to remain true to herself. The other female religious leaders taught her the rules and forced to act careful in public and create a lasting influence on her. The time to rebel and fight back are not near; now, Marji should live.

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