Have you ever felt that your life sucked? Well your not the only one, life is never perfect. There will always be something, even if it’s minor, that you won’t be happy with. Things start to get worse when your surroundings start to change and you can’t adjust to the changes. There are just some people that are naturally slower at adjusting to major changes. In the graphic novel book Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, the setting takes place during the time of the Iran-Iraq war. During her childhood she went through experiences that a normal child wouldn’t have gone through, overall this made her a different person. She tried to act more grown up that she really was, she didn’t know how to handle the issues around her. If she would have been living in a more peaceful environment she wouldn’t have tried to be so grown-up at such a young age. All these factors not only affected Marjane but everyone else around her. As things started to settle down when the war was over things didn’t change much. Before the war people were all worried about what might happen to those against the regime, people became more isolated from their friends. In Persepolis, “The Trip” you could tell that even after so much hostility from war there was still discrimination, fighting, and conflicts with other countries.
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One of the major problems that people were concerned about was the amount of discrimination that was going on between the people living in Iran. There was a very hostile environment with everyone; if people didn’t act extremely religious the can a chance of dying and neighbors had to watch out who they trusted people were no longer one-hundred percent trustworthy. All Different types of people would all get together to protest and express their beliefs. There were fights about women’s rights and even about religion. During this time period Khomeini had just overthrown Reza Shah, and he had forced people to wear a veil to cover women’s hair and as well as their body. The veil was a big issue. If they had the veil on, they were for Khomeini. If they had it off they were against the Shah. As time went on the veil was misinterpreted, it was used as a form of “safety”. A woman without a veil was considered to be more vulnerable to being raped or hurt by men around her. One day on the television a fundamentalist man said, “Women’s hair emanates rays that excite men. That’s why women should cover their hair! If in fact it is really more civilized to go without the veil, the animals are more civilized than we are” (74) Marjane’s mother was one of the people that were affected by this new reformation. One day Marjane’s mother was walking around a store when she suddenly came running she cried out “They insulted me. They said that women like me should be pushed up against a wall and fucked. And then thrown in the garbage.”(74) After this incident she considered being a more religious person and said that she might start to wear the veil so that, that wouldn’t happen again. Other women knew that if they didn’t wear the veil the same could have happened to them so everyone was more cautious about what they wore. People who weren’t one-hundred percent religious were looked down upon and even discriminated. People like Marjane and her family were very westernized. They didn’t wear the veil all the time. They would do things that were illegal at the time like drinking alcohol, partying, having cards, playing music, etc. Even Marjane considered herself to be more“avant-garde”. But sadly enough “In no time, the way people dressed became an ideological sign. There were two kinds of women…The fundamentalist women. The modern woman. You showed your opposition to the regime by letting a few strands of hair show” (75) So, imagine even if you wore a veil and you were flashing a small piece of your hair. By doing this you were considered someone against the government, as some got angry with the new regulations others agreed with how things were being handled. People argued for and against the veil. All the discrimination against each other wasn’t good, people had to watch out because if someone religious said something bad about some one less-religious they could die. Some got angry some people actually took actions that weren’t always very peaceful and organized.

As fighting started to worsen more people began to die because of the government, or even other people. People that had similar belief systems as Marjane’s family were tired of being pushed around. There were always protests going on, but people had to be cautious because many times guns were shot and people were killed randomly. In the past Marjane hadn’t been allowed to go to the protests because her parents were afraid of her safety. Things started to change especially after what her mom’s experience with those guys. So, instead of her mom refusing to let her participate in the protest, she now wanted her to go felt that she needed to learn how to defend her given right’s as a woman. To her this was important because she wanted her daughter to fight for her rights and to be able to live in a better environment. When they were in the protest against the veil the situation got ugly and Marjane received a first-hand experience on some horrifying images. During the protest Marjane said “For the first time in my life. I saw violence with my own eyes. DAD!… That was our last demonstration”(76) It turned out that during the protest a woman there got stabbed in her leg by one of the fundamentalist men. As the government was reforming itself, so were the people. People were a lot more cautious with the kind of things they would do. If at any point they were caught doing anything illegal, torture techniques where employed and eventually those people were killed with inhumane trials. The worst part about these problems was that not only were people fighting but different countries, like Iraq and the U.S. were having trouble with Iran.

As a young child Marjane went through the Iran-Iraq war. During this time Marjane had been on vacation in Madrid. They wanted to get away from all the problems and chaos. At first they had no idea about what was going on around them. When they got back home they found out that their country, Iran had officially declared war. Even before this there had already been resentment and hostility between the two countries but Iraq had been waiting for there to be a strike to officially attack. Even before the war commence, there were problems on religion and genders. Now that the war has started there would be more problems like more deaths. The Iranians were having some problems with the American people. It turns out that eventually some Iranian commanders were forcefully holding more than fifty American people hostage and they had taken over control of the US Embassy. When this happened people in Iran were forbidden to enter the United States of America, because they couldn’t get a visa. And then some day’s later it was announced over the television that “The Ministry of Education has decreed that universities will close at the end of the month”(73) After the Shah was overthrown, the new person in charge, Khomeini decided that he no longer wanted students to get an education, because he didn’t want to create future “imperialists”. So while some people were benefiting from thing change others were losing out. The universities were closed for two years. The few people that were benefiting were those who were very religious. If in the past they had a low class job now they could get into higher ranks such as director of a hospital. All these different factors lead to more fighting and discrimination. So in general for a while things started to change.

Overall evidence shows that even after the overthrowing of the Shah there was still problems that didn’t just disappear, if anything it got worse. People were treated more unfairly than they were before. People became unhappy and they started to fight for their opinion through protests which lead to many deaths. This started to occur with more frequency, what the situation worse is that the country itself wasn’t at peace with other places. War is such a horrible thing to go threw that those affected have such a different life than those that didn’t experience the same thing. When war is occurring people become more isolated from family and friends, they become more worried about things that they had taken for granted in the past, like food. So while people worried about issues within the community they also had to worry about what was going on in other countries. In general when there’s a war the after effects are never good. Another of the main problems was discrimination; this problem was never really resolved. Even today women don’t have the same about of rights as men do.

(Nagasaki, Japan)
Devastating nuclear bomb dropped on Nagasaki.