Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood

by Marjane Satrapi

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Throughout the novel Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood, Marji has questioned the role of education. Pick out at least three examples of her negative view from the novel.

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Marjane Satrapi's negative attitude toward education may have started when she was a child and was forced to wear a veil to school. Early in the book, Marji recalls that "All bilingual schools must be closed down" and that "we found ourselves veiled and separated from our friends" (4). This marks a beginning of lack of freedom, both personally and socially, and it could certainly be associated with Marji's larger attitude toward her schooling.

It also seems that Marji's intense interest in the political situation in Iran is not appreciated at school. She recalls an assignment she was excited about because she would be writing about the war. She says, "I knew all about the war...I was very proud of myself...but the teacher didn't seem too impressed" (85–86). So, Marji's effort and passion are not rewarded; her work is dismissed by the teacher—who goes on to praise a student who wrote an emotional letter to her father (who was fighting in the war). Later, Marji also describes what she calls "torture sessions" at school in which girls had to hit themselves.

The children are always getting in trouble for not taking the school's priorities seriously. Marji likes to make fun of what she sees as the absurd direction of her education, but that is definitely frowned upon. Her parents are called in, but they too question the school's agenda. Marji and her parents seem to value a more liberal approach to schooling rather than indoctrination.

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