What are the key ideas and events in Persepolis?

Expert Answers

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

Marjane Satrapi's graphic novel Persepolis gives readers an account of what it was like to be raised in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. Satrapi depicts the various ways in which the revolution impacts her life and how Iran's religious turmoil affected the way the rest of the world perceives...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

Marjane Satrapi's graphic novel Persepolis gives readers an account of what it was like to be raised in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. Satrapi depicts the various ways in which the revolution impacts her life and how Iran's religious turmoil affected the way the rest of the world perceives her country.

There are many key ideas Satrapi touches on in her writing. The biggest theme is religion's role as the springboard for the Islamic Revolution. Satrapi and her family are very religious, and as a child, Satrapi spends a lot of time praying. However, she does not feel that the government should mandate the way she worships. For example, Satrapi talks about the government requiring women to wear a veil. She does not believe that she should be seen as more or less faithful based on her decision to wear or not wear a veil.

This event also factors into Satrapi's exploration of femininity. In Iran post-revolution, women were highly restricted, forced to wear a veil and told how to think and what to do with their lives. Satrapi suggests that enforcing a woman's dress is the first step to restricting her rights.

Warfare and fear are also ideas Satrapi explores throughout her story. Tehran, Satrapi's home city, is constantly a victim of bombings, and many of her friends and family members served in the military. The Iranian people lived in fear of the constant bombings and punishment from the highly oppressive government. Satrapi clearly conveys that war and political strife can be terrifying and should not be glorified.

Satrapi also seeks to humanize Iranian people as they live under the new government. Her family, though they fight occasionally, are still loving and are fiercely devoted to one another. Satrapi also goes through the same adolescent experiences that teenagers all over the world do, like becoming obsessed with rebellious music and wearing different outfits in a search for personal identity. In many cases, Satrapi wants to convey how normal the Iranian people are relative to other cultures, despite all apparent differences.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team