Iranian American Contrast In Persepolis Essay

1257 words - 6 pages

During the 1970’s, Iran was not the most ideal place to live in, with the abundance of restrictions placed upon its citizens. In Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, Satrapi documents her life and what it was like to live in such a place from childhood to adulthood, giving the reader a direct look at life inside Iran. While the Iranian government made it a point to restrict many freedoms and desperately oppose westernization, there were other places that were open to change and allowed freedom for its people, the main one being America. The contrast between America and Iran is perhaps the most prominent example of contrasting places in the novel, since once area promotes freedom while the other ...view middle of the document...

During the war against Iraq and the cultural revolution, Satrapi states that “there were no imports from the west,” (Satrapi 126) so it was clear that Iran wanted no outside influence whatsoever. In fact, Satrapi’s parents had to resort to sneaking in gifts from Turkey just so they would not get caught and receive punishment. Iran was heavily conservative and wanted no trace of other countries inside their home, which is why many people decided to move to America, the country of freedom. While Iran was making sure that their country did not become westernized, America was exceedingly more accepting about it. America allowed Iranians to move in and experience their country and their culture, while Iran was strictly against it. Characters in the novel, such as a part of Satrapi’s family as well as her childhood friend Kaveh, realized that Iran’s regime was too constricting and that they would be better off living in a place with many more freedoms like the United States. Kaveh’s parents even state that “it’s impossible to live under an Islamic regime, it’s better to leave,” (Satrapi 63) and that “the United States is terrific.” (Satrapi 63). Iran and America differ greatly in that Iran is a country full of restrictions and strict laws, a country where its people are afraid to live and be themselves. Meanwhile, America is a country that is considered the land of the free, one that promotes individualism, which contrasts greatly with Iran’s ideals.
Iran and the United States are on two entirely different sides, each country representing an idea that their country sticks firmly to. As demonstrated in the book, Iran mainly represents the idea of sticking firmly to your religion. This can be shown through the introduction of the veil. Iran made it a law for the women to cover up head to toe, because the religion dictated them to do so which would prevent them from stimulating men. In addition, Iran believed in devoting oneself to the religion, even to the drastic extent of self-harm for the sake of religion. As Satrapi said, “Hitting yourself is one of the country’s rituals. During certain religious ceremonies, some people flagellated themselves brutally.” (Satrapi 96) People were expected to whip themselves just for religious ceremonies, a thing that can only come from extreme devotion to religion, which is what Iran stands for. America, on the other hand, represents freedom for all. In Persepolis, America was used as the opposite of Iran, a place that Iran citizens could go to for freedom and bigger opportunities. Additionally, aside from ideas, America also represented the Satrapi household. While Iran was being recreated to...

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