Flee the Fundamentalism: Persepolis Essay

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Amanda Huppe Gregori IB English 1-2, 1st period March 2013 Flee the Fundamentalism Children tend to have a high susceptibility to certain aspects in their environment, such as: religion, family life, geographical location, and even their country’s political situation. These factors accumulate within the child and ultimately form an individual; aiding the child’s conception of their individualism. This concept presents itself either as insignificant and unnecessary or vitally important to thrive and survive to any such being. Marjane exemplifies the latter; she desires to fill out as a prophetess, a woman, an individual. In the graphic novel Persepolis The Story of a Childhood, Marjane Satrapi’s desire for individualism in Iranian society causes her to defect from the normal fundamentalist feminine role. Marjane’s childishly naïve aspirations of becoming a prophetess ironically detach her from religion. To clarify, fundamentalism is the belief in absolute religious authority and the demand that this religious authority be legally enforced. Marjane attends a fundamentalist school which requires her to worship and support her government - as the government runs the school. Despite Marjane’s religiousness, the headmistress views her desire of becoming “‘...a prophet’” as a negative one, explaining to Marjane’s parents that she “‘...is disturbed. She wants to become a prophet’” giving an ironic outlook on the ideals the school itself holds high (8). Marjane’s aspirations appear as unusual for her age and gender to her fundamentalist superiors; they fear she will tap into a rebellious and almost revolutionary character regardless of her young age. Considering women in Marjane’s country hold little to no social nor political standing, thoughts of individualism or equality strongly offend the Islamic government. Marjane continues to display her differences with girls

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