How does Marji’s grandmother initially respond to questions about the past? She doesn’t answer the question she just changes the subject. What are the strengths and limitations of using the graphic cartoon to tell the story? With illustration you could see the expressions of the characters. How did the Shah’s rule compare to Reza’s? The shah was ten times tougher then Reza. How is the image of the Shah on the bottom of page 27 both symbolic and ironic? The picture shows him as a king and he’s a star above everyone. Who was Cyrus the Great? Why was he so important?
Ruler of the ancient world, he was maybe the greatest leader of the country. What did Marji’s father do every day that makes her mother so nervous? He takes unwanted pictures of the demonstration that is not forbidden. Why is this activity strictly forbidden? The shah doesn’t want other countries to see what is going on in the country. Ironically, what happens when a second dead man is carried out on a stretcher during a demonstration? He was carried also they said called him a hero and said the king was a murderer. What happens next that surprises Marji and amuses her family?
The wife of a dead man said her husband died of cancer. What do the widow’s actions show about the Persian people? They don’t like the king. s“The Jewels” follows a narrative of tragedy interwoven with comic relief. Mali and her family represent the receding Western influence in Iran and the wealth and privilege that evaporate with along with it. Mali loses everything in the war. Her husband and her children seem chiefly concerned with the material things that are lost. Mali, however, is more concerned with the loss of dignity that comes with becoming a refugee.
This relates to a running theme of the novel, namely, one of the greatest threats faced by the people of Iran is not an outside invading force but is, instead, the turning of the people against one another. This chapter also illustrates the way in which women faced an increasing loss of identity and agency in the country. The political and religious leadership of the country set an intolerant tone for the rest of society, and women withstand the worst of this intolerance and violence. It is not only the men, however, who perpetrate this injustice, as Marjane finds out.
Instead, the injustice is brought about by those who buy into the ideology of the regime. The jewels, thus, represent a feminine Iranian perspective that is lost by intolerance and injustice, just as Mali’s jewels are sold for the highest price so that the family can survive. “The Key” moves from narrating the injustice towards women to narrating the injustice perpetrated against children. They keys are the regime’s manipulation of young boys; it is a sexual and materialistic manipulation, a promise of women and wealth if they give their lives in war. Satrapi interprets this as indoctrination.
The key is more powerful than the promise of education and college that Marjane’s mother tells to one of the children. The indoctrination, as Marjane finds out, is also a form of class warfare. Only the poor children are given keys and Marjane’s cousin Shahab describes the incredible violence inflicted upon young children. “The Key” is also a chapter that highlights certain criticisms of the novel. It can be interpreted that Satrapi does not take seriously the religious perspective of conservative Islam. Instead, she understands these teachings only in the view of her politically leftist perspective.
Satrapi, critics claim, actually writes from a Western view. Thus, Persepolis has been criticized as a novel that takes only a thin view of religion and the motivations of the people that adhere to conservative Islam. In “The Wine,” Satrapi explores themes of matriarchy. At a party to celebrate the birth of her cousin, Marjane is suddenly handed her baby cousin, as her aunt cannot handle the stress of caring for her child during a bombing. This incident represents Marjane’s maturation process — she is handed the reins of matriarchal esponsibility before she is ready. While all of the adults see Marjane’s aunt as having lost her mind, the incident carries more meaning for Marjane. It is her first realization of a looming adulthood and the fact that she will be asked to carry on the family’s history. She doubts the “maternal instinct” precisely because she feels as though she will not be able to become the family’s matriarch. This scene foreshadows the novels ending in which Marjane is sent away to Austria to continue her education. She is forced to grow up much sooner than she wants.