Marjane is the novel's main character. The book is a narrative of her life from six years of age until fourteen years of age. She provides the childhood perspective from which the historical events of the novel are understood.
Mr. Satrapi is Marjane's father. He is a leftist political protestor that takes part in the demonstrations of 1979, yet he is also an established engineer and maintains a middle class lifestyle.
Mrs. Satrapi is Marjane's mother. She holds leftist political views and often urges Marjane and her friends to rely on education as a way to further themselves and their country. Marjane often equates her with an overbearing presence as she grows older, yet she maintains a close bond and relationship with both her parents.
Anoosh is Marjane's uncle. He was imprisoned by the Shah for his communist views, but was released after the Revolution. He had been married in Russia, but his wife divorced him. Anoosh is arrested by the Islamic regime and executed on the false charges that he is a Russian spy.
Marjane's grandmother lives with Marjane's family for a while. Her husband had been a prince of the Shah and had been made prime minister. He had been arrested for conspiring with communists and tortured in a water cell. Her grandmother provides Marjane with a matriarchal figure.
Siamak is a hero of the revolution. He had been captured and tortured by the Shah's police and had been released after the Revolution. The Islamic regime also seeks to capture him and they kill his sister in the process. Siamak escapes Iran by hiding in a group of sheep being transported across the border.
Mohsen is a hero of the Revolution and a friend of Marjane's family. Mohsen had been captured and tortured by the Shah's forces. He is murdered by the new Islamic regime by being drowned in a bathtub. The regime frames his death as a suicide.
Mehri is Marjane's nanny and maid. She was taken in by the Satrapi's as a young child because her impoverished family could not support her. Mehri falls in love with a neighborhood boy but she cannot be with him because she is from a lower social class than he is.
Mali is a close friend of the Satrapi's. She comes to live with them for a while after their border town is bombed by Iraqi forces. She and her husband had been wealthy, and the work portrays them as quite materialistic, but they lost everything in the bombing.
Taher is Marjane's uncle. He suffers numerous heart attacks from smoking and from the stress of war. After his third heart attack, he is refused a passport by the hospital director and dies without seeing his son for a last time.
Khosro is a friend of Marjane's family. He is asked to make a fake passport for Marjane's Uncle Taher, but he leaves the country before he is able to complete the job because of government persecution.
Niloufar is a young girl that hides in Khosro's basement. She is captured and executed by the Iranian government.
Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
Much of the novel's first half is a recounting of the author's loss of naivety and faith. As a child, Marjane sees herself as a prophet in the line of Zarathustra, Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed. Her imaginary friend is her vision of God as an old man...
The title of the book alludes to the ancient capital of Persia, Persepolis. At a deeper level, it alludes to a theme of tension between past and present. Persepolis had been a great historical city of Persia and now holds the burial grounds for...
There are drawings of some of the earlier prophets and in Marjane’s vision, these prophets question whether a woman can also be a prophet. She says that she had wanted to be a prophet “because our maid did not eat with us. Because my father had a...
Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi.