In Marjane Satrapi’s memoire Persepolis, the chapter “Kim Wilde” suggest that people perform small acts of rebellion in order to express their desire for freedom from Iran’s oppressive regime. Marjane lives in a country whose regime seeks to ban Western cultural influence, however, Marjane continues to engage in Western clothing, music and lifestyles even though she is becoming more aware of the severe consequences that she may face upon doing so.
In “Kim Wilde”, Marjane’s parents visit Turkey because the borders have opened to travel. There is irony in the way that passport pictures are taken. Women have to wear their headscarves in the picture, however, passports are supposed to identify individuals. Instead Taji’s passport picture was “unrecognizable” (126) to Marjane upon seeing it for the first time. As well, Marjane points out her mother’s angry expression which can be due to Taji’s anger towards the regime and their ...view middle of the document...
After receiving her presents, Marjane is quick to thank her father for sneaking the poster in the inside of his jacket even though it was her mother’s idea initially. This event shows that Marjane is closer to her father and believes he understands her better in regards to her interest in Western culture. Marjane is quite fickle in this chapter because she changes her mind about Turkey from disappointment to love almost instantaneously after receiving all her presents.
Marjane wears her new clothes in addition to her traditional headscarf, places her posters up in her room, and ventures to the black market where she purchases tapes by Kim Wilde and Camel. On her way home, Marjane encounters two women that are guardians of the revolution. Together, the guardians harass Marjane and call her a “little whore” (133) because of the length of her headscarf and the Western clothes she wears on top of her traditional dress. The combination of Western clothes with Iranian religious clothes shows Marjane’s expression of freedom with an underlying sense of fear of the regime. Although Marjane is growing into Western culture, she is not completely assimilated which is shown in her choice of clothing and lack of confidence she possesses when she encounters the guardians of the revolution.
Marjane makes it back home without being captured due to the excuses she makes. Although Marjane was somewhat emotionally damaged, or pretending to be, she goes to her room and continues to sing along to “Kids of America” by Kim Wilde. This last frame in the chapter shows her unfaltering decision to stand against Iranian’s social expectations that the government imposes and continual rebellion despite the risks involved.
Marjane and her family all show acts of opposition to the regime, however the choices made by each individual of the Satrapi family differ. In the chapter “Kim Wilde”, Marjane shows her rebellion more boldly with clothes and lifestyle choices, whereas her parents are more subtle and sneaky about their expressions of freedom. However, together, the Satrapi family support each others’ efforts to become independent people from the oppressive Iranian regime.