In Persepolis:The Story of a Childhood, how is individual vs. society presented?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that the backdrop of the Islamic Revolution in the late 1970s and early 1980s is where one sees the collision between individual and community.  For Marji, struggling to maintain her own sense of individual identity in a setting where religious conformity is seen as the only notion of the good is where the largest display of individual vs. society is evident.  Marji never loses sight of her own individuality and sense of self.  While it does evolve as the times around her change, this notion of self is never sacrificed.  Her struggle to maintain it in the face of oppressive conformity is where the conflict between individual and society is best demonstrated and most evident.  I believe that this is critical as it serves as the backdrop for the conflict and how it plays out throughout the narrative.  It is a challenging element for Marji's parents.  No doubt proud of their child who asserts her own individual identity at every step, they understand the danger of doing so under the rule of the Ayatollah.  In this, the struggle between individual and society is presented as one in which danger exists when one voices their own identity.  Yet, like Marji. one is compelled to speak out against that which is unjust and wrong.


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