The Veil In Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis

1295 words - 5 pages

Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis introduces the Islamic veil as an attempt by the Iranian government to control women. Islamic radicals promised safety and security for those who abided by their rules. Rebels who refused to wear the headscarf were threatened with beating, rape or death. These modern women who fought against religious oppression met the minimal requirements of the government rules to safely live in the hostile environment. Through being forced to wear the veil, the control of the Islamic government drives its people to a rebellion.

The reformation of the country of Iran toward Islam caused turmoil among the people because the drastic changes forced on the people were not easily accepted. One of the major changes is that women were forced to wear veils as a religious requirement. A change in government toward a religion is difficult to overcome because not everyone agrees on the changes and many people want to keep things the way they are. This change to Islam is difficult for Marjane and the other children as she explains “We didn’t really like to wear the veil, especially since we didn’t understand why we had to” (3). Marjane’s family serves as an example that there are families in Iran who do not strictly follow the Islamic religion and do not understand why they are being forced to follow the government mandated rules. Although many people did not believe the government’s proposition that women’s hair excites men, they still had to wear the veil to live safely. Marjane claims, “I think that the reason we were so rebellious was that our generation had known secular schools” (98). Constantly struggling to make the transition to the religious schools was difficult for the children of Iran because they had already been attending schools with the opposite gender that were not very strict. These students struggled to convert to the religious schools.

The Iranian government forced its control on children by forcing segregating the schools and making girls wear the Iranian headscarf. Wearing the scarf represents the concealment of childhood in Iran for Marjane and her friends. Reformation in Iran comes with the protests, violence and eventually war which disguise the chance of childhood for the youth of the country. Marjane says, “we found ourselves veiled and separated from our friends” (4). Concealing these children from the childhood they deserved left them to deal with fear, anger, loss and death. Her story highlights the lack of stability children need to grow into responsible adults. Marjane’s story represents the thousands of children in Iran who are lacking the proper elements for child development because of the revolution.

Though the veil forms an inconvenience in the lives of all Iranian women, it serves as a form of protection in their lives against the dangerous religious extremists fighting for the revolution. Marjane and her mother did not believe in the religious importance of wearing the veil but knew they had...

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