Saturday, August 1, 2015

Persepolis Graphic Novel - Social Context (C.H.)






Marji starts to realize the many social injustices and other social events throughout the memoir; Marji questions many of the social stigmas and rules that are integrated into her society.

Social class discrimination is one of the first issues Marji attempts to understand and somehow correct, she helps the maid who is born on a much lower class to read and write letters to the neighbor whom she is infatuated with, after a long exchange of letters dictated by Mehri and written by Marji’s father realizes this and informs the neighbor of the social status of Mehri ending any possibility for their relationship. Marji confronts his father and his father simply replies “Because in this country you must stay within your own social class” Marji frustrated ponders “but is it her fault that she was born where she was born?”[pg37]


As the story progresses Marji encounters social class discrimination which makes her feel guilty and ashamed, as her favourite writer Ashraf Darvishian wrote many real stories of children living in complete poverty, that was when Marji had the realization why she felt ashamed to sit in her father’s Cadilac “The reason for my shame and for the revolution is the same: The difference between social classes” [pg33]


Shortly after the Iranian Republic was founded the government imposed many restrictions, such as the veil, censoring of educational content, prohibition of western music and memorabilia, women and man relationship in public.

The veil enforcement brought many protests in which Marji’s mother participated, there were many demonstrations for and against the veil. In one of these demonstrations a German journalist photographed Marji’s mother which caused her to completely change how she looked by dying her hair wearing thick sunglasses in fear of retaliation from the fundamentalists. [pg 8]

Marji’s mother soon was confronted by the fundamentalist to threatened her very ideology simply because she was not conforming to the social norm of wearing the veil, but she was not the only one demonstrations quickly degenerated and any individual against the veil were beaten up using as a slogan “The scarf or a beating”.