Persepolis

Persepolis

Affects of Revolutions Throughout the past few centuries there have been many different revolutions that affected different parts of Europe. Some took place a long time ago in France or in other parts of Western Europe while others were more recent and took place in Russia and other Eastern European countries. Many were violent and extreme while some were more peaceful but the goals were the same, to fight against an oppressor and to stand up for what they believed in.

In the book Persepolis, the main character Marjane Satrapi (also the author) and her family are living in Iran during the times of two great revolutions. The first revolution is to overthrow the Shah a brutal ruler who compares himself to somewhat of a God. The other revolution is against the Islamic Government who is trying to make everyone the same and have less individuality. The way Marjane’s family reacts to the two revolutions is very different. There are different circumstances and issues that went along with each revolution.

They go through some very tough times but in the end they make it through. The first revolution is to overthrow the Shah, who believes he is like Cyrus the Great. He is a very harsh ruler who imprisons people and tortures them because they do not agree with what he says or what he does. The Shah took the power of ruling away from Marjane’s Grandfather, imprisoned him and left his family with nothing. Marjane’s family feels a lot of anger towards this man and they want him to be overthrown. Many stories that Marjane was told influence her to want to fight and stand up against the Shah.

Her father illegally takes pictures of the demonstrations and Marjane even sneaks out to help demonstrate. Her family’s stories inspire her and her other family members to not be afraid and to fight. There are many riots and demonstrations going on at this time to overthrow the Shah and Marjane’s parents excitedly participate. The family heavily participates in the demonstrations and is very vocal in how they feel about the government. They don’t care if they insult someone and aren’t afraid.

Of course, there is the chance that they could be arrested but during this revolution, it doesn’t seem to affect how they demonstrate against the Shah. Many people were arrested during this revolution and when they come out they are heroes of the revolution. People are so proud of anyone who stood up against the Shah. Even if you died you were acknowledged as a revolutionary hero. Everyone was for the revolution and worked together towards ending the Shah’s reign. Marjane even wanted to beat up a boy who was supposedly affiliated with the Shah’s secret police.

Marjane’s family was very proud to be fighting the Shah. The second revolution that Marjane and her family lived through was after the Shah was overthrown. This revolution was against the Islamic Republic. At the beginning of the book, Marjane says that her life was very westernized and modern. The Islamic Republic wanted to bring everyone back into the less westernized society where women had to wear veils and couldn’t show any skin. They said that seeing women’s hair was provocative and that it should always be hidden.

Also, now men should have more facial hair than they normally do and to let it grow out. It is a part of an older tradition that wasn’t practiced because of how modern the society had become. At this point, Marjane is in her teens and is a little bit rebellious. She argues with her teachers and openly rebels against the new government. Her parents support her individuality but are a little bit more cautious with how they let her act. Marjane gets in trouble at school and her teacher calls her family and says she won’t report her this time but it should never happen again.

Marjane’s parents warn her about it but they don’t get too worked up about the situation. When her parents go on a vacation, they have to find ways to sneak things back into the country because the new government doesn’t allow the westernized items into the country. There were also young boys hired to find and arrest people who were against the Islamic Republic and many other groups out to get the traitors. The attitudes towards this revolution are very different. Everyone tries to hide things and no one really openly demonstrates against the government.

Marjane’s family is against the Islamic Republic but they oppose it in secret and continue to break the laws by drinking illegal alcohol and throwing parties. They don’t go out into the streets and protest or even discuss the government in public though. Everything they do is behind closed doors. There are a few key differences in how Marjane and her family act during each of the revolutions. During the first, they are very vocal and excited about protesting and demonstrating against the Shah.

But during the second revolution, her family is not vocal in public about how they feel at all. Everything is kept to themselves and with close friends. Secretly they don’t support the government but because of what can happen to them or their family members. People are more scared during this revolution than the other. They have heard of what happens and that you most likely die if you are taken away. Marjane’s family now doesn’t try to act like heroes; they just go along with what they are supposed to do but secretly hating it.

They act completely different from how they acted during the first revolution in which they are demonstrating in the streets. Every revolution to ever occur throughout history is in some way different from any other. There are many differences between the revolutions, some are more violent, some are peaceful and some have more public demonstrations. For each revolution, people react in a different way because of the different circumstances. In Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi and her family are put through two tough revolutions.

For one revolution, they openly oppose the government, fighting and demonstrating in public while during the other revolution, they secretly oppose it and fight it behind closed doors. This is the main difference for the family between the two revolutions. They do this because of how the government cracks down upon the people opposed to the Islamic Republic and how there is a greater chance of being killed. No one wants to risk losing a loved one and no one wanted to be arrested. Because of certain circumstances, people were forced to act one way when they really felt another way.