Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood

by Marjane Satrapi

Start Free Trial

What are some examples of violence against women in Persepolis?

There are several examples of violence against women in Persepolis. One prominent example is the scene in which Marjane goes to demonstrations against the government’s rule that women have to wear veils. She says this is the “first time in my life I saw violence with my own eyes.” Violence against women is also discussed when Marjane’s mom explains that virgin women are raped in order to be legally executed.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Marjane Satrapi’s memoir Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood discusses many instances of violence against women. Marjane's story takes place in Iran, under the rule of a theocratic government. It is a patriarchal society in which the government enforces many rules and regulations that impact women. In particular, there is a lot of violence that occurs because of the government’s rule that women have to wear veils. For example, consider the scene in which Marjane’s mother is attacked by two men. They tell her that she deserves to be raped and if she does not want that to happen then she should wear the veil. Then when Marjane goes to a demonstration against the veil rule, she says it was the first time in her life she “saw violence with my own eyes.” Women were beaten up for their resistance, which underlines how much control the government had over women’s bodies.

Violence is also seen in the scene in which Marjane’s parents tell Marjane that she is moving to Vienna. Marjane’s mother explains that it is against the law to execute virgin women. If a woman who is a virgin is arrested, men get around this rule by raping her. Marjane’s mom says that this is what happened to Niloufaur, a girl that Marjane had briefly met earlier. Marjane’s parents fear that their daughter may end up in a similar situation, so they send her to live in Vienna.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team