Persepolis: How Satrapi Challenges Iranian Fundamentalism

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PERSEPOLIS: HOW SATRAPI CHALLENGES IRANIAN FUNDAMENTALISM When we Americans hear the word “Iran” or “Middle East,” what is the first thing that comes to our minds? Do we have positive perceptions of the country and its people or do we have negative perceptions? These are questions that Satrapi certainly challenges in her book, “The Complete Persepolis.” She narrates her autobiography throughout the Iran and Iraq war by utilizing graphic animation, and she helps Americans explore the real lives of Iranian citizens as opposed to the brutal Iranian dictators and fundamentalists. Americans’ ignorance of the history and culture of Iran give the impression that Iran is an “axis of evil or a perceived enemy of the United States.” In the introduction, Marjane Satrapi discusses the reasoning behind why she wrote the book. She says that since 1979, Iran “has been discussed mostly in connection with fundamentalism, fanaticism, and terrorism.” The reasons behind these negative connotations are probably based on how Iran is portrayed in the media and the genuine and important facts about the citizens are not exposed. It is easy to form stereotypes about Iranian people because students “have unfortunately missed out on learning about Iran’s extensive history, rich culture, and diverse society, all important elements in fully appreciating Persepolis.” She goes on to acknowledge that she has lived over half of her life in Iran, and Americans’ perceptions are, in fact, far from correct, and our image of the country and its people is far from the truth. A nation should not be judged by the wrongdoings of a few extremists, and those few extremists must not be representation of the nation as a whole. Satrapi aims at dispelling the many stereotypes and perceptions that many people hold about Iran. Perhaps an important tool that Satrapi utilizes in writing Persepolis is

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