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Theme of Identity in “Persepolis”



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    The Social identity of Marjane in the novel Persepolis is primarily a construct of outside influences. She is growing up in a chaotic environment that most people would run away from. However, her father and uncle seek out danger and answers and this seeps into her characteristics. She notices many differences between her and others in her community, primarily to do with social class and religion. These factors develop pieces of the person that is Marjane Satrapi. Marji’s father is as photographer who often finds himself in dangerous situations.

    Uncle Anoosh is an extremely powerful rebellious role model for Marji. He helped Azerbaijan declare its independence and he himself is a revolutionary who escaped for the Soviet Union. The combination of these influences along with the desperate times that she is born into create a stew of rebellion that defines Marji’s personality. In Iran during the revolution the country is very split on religion, but the religious people in the story are extremely sety on everyone being religious. From a very young age they are taught to wear the veil, an Islamic article of clothing usually a black cloth covering the whole body except the face. Later in the book, Marji had established her rebellious attitude and acquired an attire to fit her new found punk attitude.

    The Guardians of The Revolution (a group of religious women tasked with prosecuting anyone who is not wearing the veil) see her on the street with her sneakers, jean jacket, and Michael Jackson pin the request that she come with them in the car to the station. In fear of interrogation and possible torture, Marji decides to lie and say that her attire was for basketball and that her cruel stepmom with kill her if she is late. This disregard of the veil states that she is distancing herself from religion and that her rebellious attitude is growing. Marji’s family is on the upper class of the socio economic spectrum. When her maid is evidently in love with the boy next door and she is unable to be with him, she makes a stark realization that this is because her maid is not as wealthy as he. And due to that simple fact love is prohibited from coming into reality. There is also a recurring theme of death and tragedy throughout her childhood. You may want to avoid getting too connected to any character and i’m sure this is how she herself felt at the time.

    I would describe Majrane as a very strong individual, simply because i think that any of us could hardly imagine growing and living the way that she did. Marjane’s social identity is influenced by outside factors such as people and her environment. Her brave dad, rebellious uncle, and the Iranian Revolution that they all were exposed to caused her to grow the way that she did. Her socioeconomic status simply allowed her to grow into her own interests where other may not have had the means. At such a young age at the beginning of the novel, Marji would have seen everything through a sugar coated lense. Not fully understanding what was afoot, and taking what her parents said to be the truth. Theses influences as well as many people around her experiencing tragedy, caused her to grow up a strong and independent member of society.

    Theme of Identity in “Persepolis”. (2021, Jul 24). Retrieved from

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