Adopting change is a challenging factor for most people in the society today. Not only today, but also in the past years when the great grandfathers were being exposed to civilization. The beginning of transformation adjourned during the precolonial periods in most of the nation. The revolution was even engineered with the colonialist who exposed most of their colonies to many changes. The colonial era, thus as much as it had many disadvantages, it came with some of the advantages to most of the colonized countries. Orientation in a simple laymans language is trying to make a group of people imitate certain aspects of life (R King, 2013). This might be in social, cultural or economic form. To describe Orientalism more, assimilation can complement to the word bringing out more meaning to the word. Through an autobiographical graphic novel, Marjane Satrapi represents her life development history after the Islamic revolution during the war period between Iran and Iraq. By referring to Saids analysis of Orientalist discourse, this study aims to peer into the novel Persepolis finding out hot the book represents the people of Iran and the whole Iranian community through imagery and symbolism.
The objective of this study is to analyze literally the novel and finding out how it represents the Iran as a nation and the members of the nation in general. The novel talks about the growth and development of Marjane from her childhood life to the current life. This study looks into how she represents the community as a whole through her life history. The novel begins by looking into her early development stages. Through the veil, a form of clothing like structures that young girls were obliged to wear in those periods. This represents the personal and cultural identity of the Iranian society. This was a period after the Islamic revolution where there was a significant issue of gender sensitivity. In the society then, females had no much meaning as compared to male. Children were segregated by their gender. This veil was a symbol to represent their segregation. Marjane writes about this to represent the suffering and the injustices she and the other girls of her age in Iran faced during this period of revolution. The abolishment of secular education was also in place as other new forms of education were introduced. According to Said, this was a form of Orientalism (M Satrapi, M Ripa, B Ferris, 2007).
In the novel, she also talks about revolution. She symbolizes revolution to a bicycle. The says that revolution is like a bicycle that stops when you stop riding and only takes you places when you ride it. In the book, she recognizes the oppression that the Iran revolutionists The Shah, who were thoroughly oppressed in the fight for their socialism and rights. This represents the forces of the freedom of Iran from the fight with Iraq. By referring to the common American Leon Trotsky and Fidel Castro nationalist, she represents the revolutionaries of socialism Iran Frei, Fatemi and Ashraf who by using the examples of the activists Fidel Castro and Leon Trotsky fought for their rights. According to Saids Orientalism discourse in my view, he explains that Orientalism is when a person imitates how some issues rehandled, and they do the same to the issues at hand that are similar to those that they imitate (C Trefflich, 2007). This Orientalism reveals itself here when in the novel, the three brave fighters (Frezai, Fatemi and Ashref) are mishandled and oppressed as they fought for their rights of the whole community as done by the American activists. This represents the revolution and socialism in the nation.
In the novel, Persepolis, she also writes about how the strongest fighters of Iran are killed and dies. She includes the oppression of the members of the society from the story of her grandfather who was imprisoned. She is then told a story of how the previous leader Reza Shah was brutal and did not take any considerations about anything to do with human rights. His son Mohammed Reza is even worse than his father. This gets he grandmother who came to visit and her mother worried about his dad who to an extent was overdue to the arrival time. She starts fantasizing bout his dad being shot. After a while, his father arrives safely and narrates to them a trending story of how some dead man who was suffering from a cancerousdisease is turned to be a martyr in allegations of being a revolutionist. This shows how the great people in the society were killed during the war. They had a very limited freedom to explore and to be anywhere at any time. Through this, she represents how the Iranians as a whole were oppressed and had a poor kind of leadership. This is also a form of Orientalist leadership imitated from the dictatorship forms of government. She terms this as the fall of great ones.
The novels through the expression of how the Iranian community is torched, and finally they find some hopes for freedom. He chapters talks about how the Marjanes family survives through. This also represents the other local families in the community as a whole. She talks bout how the nation celebrates after the abolishment of the monarchical period, which according to my view marked great transformation in the Irans political history giving a lot of people the freedom they dreamed about.The also talks about how the political prisoners were released after the abolishment of the monarchical form of government. In my view, a form of political Orientalism is revealed as people fights for their right and adopts the best forms of leadership from the other nations.
She also expresses how people finally the community of Iran sees some lights at the end of the tunnel. They express their hope that they are headed for freedom after the bombing of an oil refinery in Abadan and other bordering towns. This instills fear of most of the people who then stays in their houses and fills their groceries with much food. Marjanes mother instead, hordes a lot of the commodities that she will late avail after the severe scenario of bombing. As per my perspective, the writer names this chapter as the jewels to express the signs and symbols of hope. This is expressed by the members of this society keeps much food which will take them through the few days. This shows that they have hope in the coming days that the war will come to a halt, and they will be able to get more food. Marjanes mother keeps many goods for hoarding that she is pretty sure that after the settlement she will be able to sell them at a better price.
The recruitment of the Irans young boys to go and fight for the nation against the Iraqi who had enormous weapons was, according to my own opinion trick to most of the families here the boys were taken from. They were convinced that in any case they die when fighting the war, they will be martyrs who will go to heaven direct. Hey, re even given plastic keys painted goldfish in color which are hinged on their neck. They are told that when they die the key will open their doors to heaven. This was among the poor. In my view, this symbolizes the exploitation of the poor people by a the careless leadership in Iran. The leaders know very well hit the other army of Iraqi is well equipped with powerful weapons, however, their army contains a huge umber f young soldiers and that they are not as well equipped as the other team but still they send the young soldiers to the fight.
Through the whole novel, the life history of the writer revolves around the struggle for humanity and independence in terms of socialism and freedom. The story concludes when the writer settles the scores between her and Reza and clear their project towards graduation. Regardless Reza being a long time enemy of their family and the whole society resulting from their lineage of poor leadership the come together and become as one. This symbolizes reunion and unity, according to my opinion. The novel in summary through the writer talking about her life history, she expresses the struggle and oppression that the Iranians, in general, have one through in their struggle and revolution.
King, Richard. Orientalism and Religion: Post-Colonial Theory, India and" The Mystic East".Routledge, 2013.
Satrapi, Marjane. The Complete Persepolis. New York: Pantheon Books, 2007.
Trefflich, Cornelia. "Edward Said's Orientalism." (2007).
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