Nowadays, there are many religions that one can choose from. Religion, to some, is a guide line, but to others it’s more like falling in love. In 1979, Iran was in the midst of the Islamic Revolution. During this time, some people held tight to religion while others let it go. Marjane Satrapi wrote Persepolis about her life at that time. At the beginning, Satrapi grasps religion tightly; however, by the end of the book, she seems to let it go. Throughout Persepolis, religion acts like a security blanket and enhances the understanding of the graphic novel’s theme, which is “stay true to yourself.”
Religion can often be seen as a form of security. In most cases, it all depends on what someone’s religion is. Satrapi begins Persepolis by saying she was born with religion, and she wanted to become a prophet. There are many reasons to why she wants to be a prophet: “I wanted to be 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” (Satrapi 6). At that time she did not know how to feel about the revolution. Veils had been introduced in schools, and the boys and girls were all being separated. The only information that she had to go off of was the bias opinions of her school or her parents. Religion was something that she knew about and could fall back on. It was like a security blanket. Thus, the role of religion in Persepolis is security.
As time goes on, Satrapi becomes more and more involved in the Islamic Revolution. On page twelve, she is given books to enlighten her about the revolution. Satrapi thinks that Karl Marx looks like God: “It was funny to see how much Marx and God looked like each other.” (...
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...t is how religion plays a part in enhancing the understanding of themes in Persepolis.
Times were hard during the Islamic revolution. Freedom was taken away, and for some, so was their religion. The major role of religion in Persepolis is security; it gives people somewhere to go when they are frustrated or scared or confused. For Satrapi, it was exactly that. As she grew up, she found no need for such a thing as security. To her, God became the reason why bad things were happening, and she let go of religion as a safe place. Religion also enhanced the understanding of themes. It gave reasoning and clarity to the theme “stay true to yourself” throughout Persepolis. Religion takes many different forms in people’s lives. It is something that people need, but sometimes they grow out of it.
Satrapi, M. (2003). Persepolis. New York, NY: Pantheon Books.
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