Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood

by Marjane Satrapi

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Student Question

How does reading Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood deepen your understanding of Iran and Iraq's current situation?

Expert Answers

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I cannot answer a question that asks how a book deepens YOUR perception. That has to come from you. However, there are some key points that you might consider when you are reflecting on this answer for yourself. For one thing, we in the west, tend to not know very much about people who live in Eastern countries where the culture is very different from our own, unless we have met and spoken with people who are from those cultures.  The laws and cultures of Iran and Iraq are very different from ours, and the majority of the poplulation practices Islam in both places. Women are treated very differently in those cultures and do not have the same rights and privileges as American and European women do.  Therefore, a book that is written by a woman who is a member of that culture and shares the story of her childhood experiences and how they shaped her can be extremely insightful. Once you look at something from another person's perspective, it is difficult to think in the same limited way about that person. A Native American would say that you must walk a mile in someone's moccasins, meaning that you need to see things from someone else's perspective to understand the situation. That is what Persepolis offers  that can help you to understand the Iranian and Iraqui cultures.

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