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What did you learn about Iran from this book?

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alexb2 | eNotes Employee

Posted January 16, 2009 at 12:22 PM via web

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What did you learn about Iran from this book?

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akannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 23, 2013 at 4:35 PM (Answer #1)

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The original question had to be edited down.  I think that one of the most important lessons that is gained from the book is how challenging it is to be a woman, in general.  The notion of woman is defined in terms in Iranian daily life.  Life in Iran for women consist of contending with External decrees, living in constant fear of public perception, as well as fighting to define oneself with autonomy.  Another reality about Iran that is revealed in the work is how there is constant political and social change in the nation.  Identity must be defined in accordance to such changes in government, making the process of identity formation, especially for women, a challenge.  Power as being something restricted to the very few is another reality that emerges from Nafisi's work.  Iranian constructs of political power are not ones in which shared equality is evident.  It is for this reason that the life of the women in the narrative takes on an even more poignant note.  Their desire to define themselves in a world that does not share political or social power is what makes their struggle so universal to so many in so many contexts.  In this, one understands that the conditions of Iran are applicable in other contexts.

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