Persepolis Summary

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

The graphic novel, Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi follows her life from ages ten to fourteen during the Islamic Revolution. It begins with all women being told to wear veils. Then Marji's French school is changed to segregate the boys and girls. Marji decides she wants to be a prophet because she sees many problems with the world that she thinks she can fix. She sometimes talked to God about her feelings. Marji's parents participated in demonstrations against the government. She learned that her family had suffered for years at the hands of the Shah. Marji tried to read as much as she could to learn about the history of her country and the different forms of government.

Marji told about what happened with her nanny, Mehri. She came to their family when Mehri was only ten years old because her parents couldn't afford to take care of her. She helped raise Marji and became part of the family. When she was sixteen, she fell in love with the boy next door. Marji helped her to write him love notes, but when Marji's father found out, he confronted the boy, and the relationship ended. They could not be together because they're from different social classes. When Marji and Mehri decided to go to a demonstration without permission, they can home and received slaps from Marji's mother because they had been on on Black Friday when hundreds of people had died.

They finally forced the Shah to leave, and the country celebrated. When Marji learned that a boy in her class had a father who was part of the Shah's secret police, she wanted to torture him, but her mother stopped her. She explained that it wasn't the boy's fault, and it was their job to forgive. Political prisoners, such as Siamak and Mohsen, were then liberated. They came to Marji's house, and she found out about how they had been tortured in prison. Marji was hurt by the way people treated one another. Later Marji learned about her Uncle Anoosh who had also spent time in prison. He came to visit and told her how he had escaped to Russia, got married, had children, got divorced, and came back before they arrested him. Some of Marji's friends began moving to America. Soon after they learned that Mohsen had been drowned in his bathtub, and Siamak escaped with his family, but they killed Siamak's sister instead. Then Marji got to visit her Uncle Anoosh in prison before he was executed.

As the war began, the American embassy was shut down so that no one could get a Visa. The universities were also shut down. Marji's family was able to fit in a quick vacation to Italy and Spain, which was wonderful. When they returned, bombs started dropping near their home, and they had to hide in the basement. When she went back to school, Marji learned that her friend Pardisse's dad, who is a pilot, was killed. The war caused food to become scarce. Mali, a friend of Marji's mother, showed up one night with her family because her house had been destroyed. Young boys were being recruited to fight. Marji's Uncle Shahab, who came to visit them on leave from the military service, told them about all the men dying on the front lines.

More things became illegal, such as games and liquor. Marji's mom covered their windows with black curtains. Two years into the war, Marji became more rebellious. She skipped school with some friends and tried smoking a cigarette. Marji's Uncle Taher experienced a lot of stress from the war. After his third heart attack, he needed medical attention from a hospital outside of the country, but he couldn't get a passport in time and died.

A year later Marji's parents decided to go on a vacation to Turkey. They illegally brought her back some clothes and posters. Marji bought tapes off men of the street. One time she was stopped by the Guardians of the Revolution, who tried to force young girls to follow the rules and wear a veil. Marji cried and was released. Scuds started to fall in their neighborhood. One day Marji came home to find their neighbors, the Baba-Levys, had been killed by one of these missiles hitting their home. At school Marji began to speak out against her teachers. She got expelled from two schools before her parents decided to send her to live with a friend in Austria. The novel ends with Marji saying good-bye to her parents at the airport.

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Persepolis Quiz
Persepolis Quotes
Persepolis 1st Part Summary
Persepolis 1st Part Quiz
Persepolis 2nd Part Quiz
Persepolis 3rd Part Quiz
Persepolis 4th Part Quiz
Persepolis 2nd Part Summary
Persepolis 3rd Part Summary
Persepolis 4th Part Summary
Persepolis 5th Part Summary
Persepolis Important Characters
Literature Summaries

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