Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood

What exactly were Marjane's parents thoughts on the inequality between social classes?

Chapter - 'The Letter' (specifically the scene decribing the truth of the letters being revealed) and the chapter 'Perspolis' (relating to the past of Marjane's family - the grandmother poverty, etc.). Also, how did they conflict the viewpoints and opinions of Marjane on the same issue?

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Marjane first becomes aware of class dissonance in “The Letter.” This chapter tells the story of Marjane’s maid, Mehri, who comes from an impoverished family and is adopted by the Satrapis. Marjane has a difficult time coming to grips with the idea that Mehri’s adoption was not a completely benevolent act. Mehri becomes the housemaid for the family and does not receive the advantages of education or upbringing that Marjane receives. Mehri remains illiterate; illiteracy is often seen as a symbol of control because the illiterate are often not able to come to a self-understanding of the systems of power that govern their lives. The idea that Mr. Satrapi would deny Mehri a chance at love with a neighbor highlights the nuanced, yet confusing, circumstances of class conflict in Iran. In this chapter, Marjane has not yet come to understand it fully, but it does add to the general sense of injustice that she feels in her childhood self.

In this chapter, we also see how emotional this issue becomes for the family. Mr. Satrapi is not only upset about the letters, but feels betrayed because Marjane hadn't told him what was going on. He then reveals his viewpoint by explaining that Mehri’s love is impossible because “in this country you must stay within your own social class.” Marjane's viewpoint is in direct conflict with that of her father..... she is disgusted by his words. Marjane then goes to Mehri and tells her that the next day they will go and march with the demonstrators. They sneak out of the house and spend the next day marching and protesting. When they return, Marjane’s parents are furious and her mother slaps both of them across the face. It is revealed that they had decided to protest on the most dangerous day of the Revolution, “Black Friday,” when there had been “so many killed in one of the neighborhoods that a rumor spread that Israeli soldiers were responsible for the slaughter.” Marjane and Mehri sit on her bed, both with dark hand marks across their faces from the slap, and Marjane thinks that it is “really our own who had attacked us.”