Persepolis Short Summary
This is a novel by Marjane Satrapi. It follows her life between the ages of 10 and 14 during the Islamic revolution.
A Brief Overview of the Story
It is the year 1980, and all girls have been ordered to wear veils in their now gender-segregated school. This was the onset of the many years of religious and political upheavals in Iran. Satrapi’s parents and most of her relatives, e.g., Uncle Anoosh normally attend political protests. Anoosh had escaped to the USSR after the regime suspected him of espionage. He usually enlightens Marjane about the world, and the two become close until Anoosh’s execution – an event that shatters Marjane.
Because of her parents and relatives, Marjane is now passionate about social activism. She intends to turn all social wrongs into right and make the world a better place for the elderly. However, it proves to be a challenge with all the violence killing her family and friends.
Marjane is a strong spirited girl whose behavior leads to her expulsion from school. Her parents get worried about stricter punishment from the increasingly rigorous regime. They decide to send her to a boarding house in Vienna, run by nuns.
While in Vienna, Marjane can relate well with the nuns. However, a few years later, she gets trapped into various living situations: sharing a room with her licentious friend Julie, and eight homosexuals as well as a mean woman with an uncontrollable dog.
Marjane now misses her family, and this leads her into depression and homelessness. Eventually, she resolves to return to Iran. Though it is hard to let go of her freedoms, she enjoys living with her parents, who treat her with equality. Her grandmother also effectively puts her in check and emphasizes on being true to oneself in order to be happy.
Back in Iran, Marjane does her social activism through whatever means she can. She designs a new uniform that has a shorter veil, she parties, gets married and finally gets divorced with her husband. All these actions mark her journey towards discovering her identity.
After some years, Marjane realizes that Iran is not suitable for her anymore. She decides to migrate back to Europe. The event lets the audience know that she will only come back to Iran to visit her grandmother one last time before she dies.