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Religion's Role Throughout Persepolis Essay

1342 words - 5 pages

Religion’s Role Throughout Persepolis
Nowadays, there are many religions that one can choose from. Religion, to some, is a guide line, but to others it’s more like falling in love. In 1979, Iran was in the midst of the Islamic Revolution. During this time, some people held tight to religion while others let it go. Marjane Satrapi wrote Persepolis about her life at that time. At the beginning, Satrapi grasps religion tightly; however, by the end of the book, she seems to let it go. Throughout Persepolis, religion acts like a security blanket and enhances the understanding of the graphic novel’s theme, which is “stay true to yourself.”
Religion can often be seen as a form of security. In most cases, it all depends on what someone’s religion is. Satrapi begins Persepolis by saying she was born with religion, and she wanted to become a prophet. There are many reasons to why she wants to be a prophet: “I wanted to be a prophet… because our maid did not eat with us. Because my father had a Cadillac. And, above all, because my grandmother’s knees always ached” (Satrapi 6). At that time she did not know how to feel about the revolution. Veils had been introduced in schools, and the boys and girls were all being separated. The only information that she had to go off of was the bias opinions of her school or her parents. Religion was something that she knew about and could fall back on. It was like a security blanket. Thus, the role of religion in Persepolis is security.
As time goes on, Satrapi becomes more and more involved in the Islamic Revolution. On page twelve, she is given books to enlighten her about the revolution. Satrapi thinks that Karl Marx looks like God: “It was funny to see how much Marx and God looked like each other.” (Satrapi 13). However, when God brings up this comparison, she refuses to talk about it. Along with that, she decides she must put aside her prophetic destiny so that she can become more involved in the revolution, yet another topic that she will not communicate about with God. Satrapi begs her parents to allow her to go to demonstrations; however, they are reluctant because of the violence that takes place. When they say no, she is greatly disheartened. She searches for God, but “that night he didn’t come.” (Satrapi 17). The fact that God does not come indeed shows how much Satrapi needs religion to feel safe. When God does not come to comfort her, she feels like a child who loses their security blanket. Slowly, Satrapi grows up, and her “security blanket” starts to become useless.
Soon the Shah leaves Iran. The revolutionists were jubilant, especially Satrapi’s parents. Freedom also came to political prisoners. Satrapi’s family knew two of the prisoners, Siamak Jari and Mohsen Shakiba, who came to visit her family. Siamak and Mohsen knew each other and shared their experiences in the prison with Satrapi’s family and Siamak’s family. They speak of torture: “Our torturers received special training from the C.I.A.”...

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