Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood

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Who are the characters that you have been introduced to so far? What is the setting? What conflict is driving the action? After examining the exposition, make a prediction. Where do you think the conflict will take this story? What do you predict will be the climax of this story?

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The setting of the story is Tehran during and after the Islamic Revolution.

Tension between Past and Present

Throughout the novel, Marjane feels a tension between the great and glorious past of the Persian Empire and the violence and problems of modern Iran. In the novel's opening chapters, she identifies herself with the great prophets of the past dating back to Zarathustra. She imagines herself as a symbol of love and tolerance. When the Iran-Iraq War begins, she vehemently defends it as a just cause and relates it to a 1400-year conflict that has been waged between the Arabs and the Persians.

For other conflicts found in the novel please use the link below;

This unwavering belief in the past is put in tension with the novel's present day political intolerance and religious fundamentalism. Marjane's pride in her history is in direct conflict with the imprisonment of political revolutionaries and, later, the execution of those that speak out against the strict cultural demands of the Islamic regime. Marjane's journey through the novel is an exploration of how one can love one's past while denouncing its present condition.

Class Conflict

Class conflict is an underlying tension throughout the novel. At the beginning, Marjane cannot quite grasp how her father can drive a Cadillac and her family can have a maid while also preaching the virtues of class-consciousness and equality. Iran's history is seen as a history of both great wealth and great poverty. The 1979 Revolution is characterized by Satrapi as largely a Marxist revolution undertaken by the urban cultural elites on behalf of the impoverished people of Iran's countryside.

This conflict is more clearly seen in the chapter "The Letter." In this chapter, Marjane's maid is forced to abandon her love for a neighbor. They cannot be together, Mr. Satrapi tells his daughter, because their social classes are not supposed to marry. Marjane sees a great injustice in this belief because, at the same time, her parents march in the streets for a M