As an assignment for our summer, our grade was set to read Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. The book is actually a novel and follows Marjane’s early childhood before and during the war. It explores various themes such as having the grow up fast, religion and family. The story is set up as a graphic novel which makes it easier to imagine all the horrible things that happen. All the torture is illustrated and all the expressions are drawn down. Throughout the story, you follow Marjane’s life during the war and her development.
Marjane did not live an ordinary childhood due to the situation in her country. As an international child, I do not lead an ordinary life either. We learn, experience and see things from the world we could have never imagined if we all lived in our home country. For Marjane it is different. She experiences a war at her early age. She sees people being tortured and killed on the streets. When Marjane turned 14 she was sent to Austria due to her rebellion which is halfway across the world. She had to grow up in a new country without her family and friends. She had to leave everything behind.
Iranian culture is very devoted to religion. However, there are people that are more religious than others. When you come across someone more religious and you have something showing from your body as a girl it is a sin. Due to the revolution, non-religious schools were shut down and all religious girls and boys schools were set up. Girls are married off usually at a young age. I learned that in my culture we have a lot more freedom. The youth in Iran has to deal with a lot more at a young age. They have to grow up faster and cannot live their teenage years. By reading Persepolis it has also helped me develop a further look into the youth and culture there. They also just want to be ordinary however they have dealt with a lot more at a young age and cannot just have fun.
I wonder what the Iranian kids think about our life and our culture? Will they think it is weird for us to find out own love, live our own lives, not having to cover up everything?