Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood

Explain the importance of Cyrus the Great.

In the chapter, "Persepolis," why is Cyrus the Great important?

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After school one day, Marjane returns home and finds her grandmother visiting. She asks her grandmother about her grandfather and about his arrests. Her grandmother does not want to talk about him and instead tells her about the poverty she and her family had had to endure. Sometimes, she says, she had simply boiled water on the stove so that the neighbors would not know that they had nothing to eat.

Her grandmother tells her that Reza Shah had been very harsh, but that his son had been β€œten times worse.” Every king since the dawn of time has kept their promises to the people, but the Shah had not. He had spent his time throwing celebrations of the past dynasties of Persia. He had visited the tomb of Cyrus the Great and bowed before the headstone while the giant man lied in the ground under him. The people, however, did not care about any of these celebrations. Now, her grandmother tells her, there is a revolution.