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Identifying The Role Of Religion In Persepolis

1296 words - 6 pages

All religion is flawed, but that is only because all men are flawed. God created an imperfect man; consequently, man created an imperfect religion. In Persepolis, Satrapi highlights the imperfect religions of the world in order to support her theme: man must stay true to God. Religion’s height of belief rests in the hands of the believer; moreover, the strength and sustainability of a religion is solely dependant on the support of followers. Satrapi’s primary message in the book revolves around religion. However, she challenges the belief of an imperfect religion by creating her own perfect religion in order to emphasize the sustainability of life through one God and constant faith in Him. ...view middle of the document...

Satrapi continues to lay the foundation to her perfect religion by illustrating several various political leader. From Gandhi to Fidel Castro, she lists these historic leaders in order to promote the idea of global unity in her perfect religion. Each leader she speaks of believes in a single God; however, they do not believe in the same principles of government. The author implies that in the midst of bitter dispute, whether it be over land, law, or civil beliefs, there remains one common belief that unites the world. The role of religion in Persepolis is to uncover common ground between peoples and, thereby, provide an argument for peace among conflicting countries.
Without followers, there is no religion. Specifically, there is no comfort in religion if people do not have faith. For this is true in Persepolis when Satrapi speaks to God about her knowledge and fondness of revolutionaries, he leaves her. The author demonstrates that people must stay true to God and avoid following false leaders who use religion to justify immoral actions. Additionally, Satrapi desired to “demonstrate in the street” with her parents in order to help the revolution succeed (Satrapi 17). Her desire to join the demonstration also contributes to God leaving her for the night because she is thinking in terms of the radical revolutionaries, which she even began to dress like, such as Che Guevara and Fidel Castro. The moment Satrapi strays away from the single belief in God and starts to wander into the personal beliefs of revolutionaries, God leaves her company. Satrapi demonstrates that there is no comfort in other beliefs, for God is the greatest comfort people can have and losing faith in Him will lead to negative actions. Thus, the author is symbolizing her theme of staying true to God, which is the centerpiece of Satrapi’s perfect religion.
Satrapi continues to construct her perfect religion throughout the book. For instance, she discusses different methods of torture for those who committed torture during the revolution. She has a “diabolical feeling of power” as she thinks of the various methods of torture, but she is quickly “overwhelmed” (Satrapi 53). The panel, where she speaks of her “diabolical feeling of power,” depicts Satrapi’s reflection in a mirror to be a devil (Satrapi 53). The drawing symbolizes that people have a natural ability to sense or feel what is moral or immoral as Satrapi quickly feels the negative emotions that come with her “diabolical power” (Satrapi 53). The perfect religion Satrapi creates embodies the natural feelings of what is wrong and right that God gave to us in creation. At this point in the book, Satrapi emphasizes the importance of forgiveness in her perfect religion. Where as people should not punish “bad people” to the same extent of...

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