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Persepolis review 1

Persepolis (Old Persian: Pārśa, New Persian: Takht-e Jamshid
or Pārseh), literally meaning "city of Persians", was the
ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire (ca. 550–330
BC). Persepolis is situated 70 km northeast of city of Shiraz in
the Fars Province in Iran. The earliest remains of Persepolis
date from around 515 BC. It exemplifies the Achaemenid style
of architecture. UNESCO declared the citadel of Persepolis a
World Heritage Site in 1979.
an economic and political system in which
property, business, and industry are owned
by private individuals and not by the state.
socialism (or Marxism)
Socialism is a set of political principles
whose general aim is to create a system in
which everyone has an equal opportunity
to benefit from a country's wealth. Under
socialism, the country's main industries are
usually owned by the state.
dialectical materialism
he economic, political, and philosophical
system of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
that combines traditional materialism and
Hegelian dialectic
is the ideas, principles, and practices of
totalitarian political systems.
the Shah
(formerly, in Iran) king; sovereign. There
were two, the original Shah’s son was
overthrown in the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Islamic Revolution
Iran 1979 – a state of revolt when the
Iranian Shah was overthrown and an
Islamic theocracy was put in place.
1.According to the introduction,
what stereotypical image is Satrapi
trying to dispel?
Iran has been discussed mostly in
connection with fundamentalism,
fanaticism and terrorism.
2.The author indicates two motives
for writing Persepolis What are they?
1. the entire nation should not be judged
by the wrongdoings of a few extremists.
2. those Iranians who defend freedom, die
in the Iraq war, leave their home should
not be forgtten.
“The Veil”
1.How was education affected by the
new regime? Why?
Answer: all the female students have to
wear veil in school and all the bilingual
schools are forced to close. students are
separated from their friends.
because this is called a cultural revolution.
2.What did bilingual schools
represent to the new regime?
Answer: the bilingual schools symbol of
3.How do women respond to the veil?
Answer: women walk on the streets to
demonstrate either support or against the
4.Why was a picture of Marjane’s mother
published in the newspaper? How did her
mother respond? Why?
Answer: 1.she was protesting the veil when a
German journalist took a photo of her.
2.she was really scared and dyed her hair, worn
dark glasses for a long time.
3.against wearing veil means against the regime
so she is afraid of being found
5.Why does Marji want to be a prophet?
(3 reasons)
Answer: 1.her maid did not eat with her family.
2.her father had a Cadillac
3.her grandmother's knee always ached
6.Who is Zarathustra, and what are his
three rules for living?
Answer: 1.he is the first prophet in the country
before the Arab invasion.
2.behave well; speak well; act well.
7.How do others respond to Marji’s
religious calling?
Answer: 1.they just laugh and consider her as
crazy and disturbed.
“The Bicycle”
1.Who are Che Guevara, Fidel, and
Trotsky? (Look them up!) Why are they
3.What happens at the Rex Cinema?
What does the Shah say? What do
Marjane’s parents know?
Answer: 1.it is burnt down with 400 victims
2.Shah said it was done by a group of religious
3.they know it was Shah's fault and there will be
more demonstrations later on.
“The Water Cell”
1.According to Marji, how was a king
chosen? What was her rationale?
Answer: 1.the king was chosen by God
2.the knowledge she learnt from book and
words from teachers
2.Why did Marji’s parents react to her
statement about the Shah (hint: her
family history)?
Answer: Shah's father has overthrown the
former emperor, who is the grandpa's father of
3.What was Marji’s grandfather’s job
under Reza? How did his beliefs change,
and how did his life change?
Answer: 1.prime minister
2.he went to Europe for study and had access to
read Marx and became a communist.
3.he was often sent to prison and his life was in
4.Why does God return after a long
Answer: it reflects the controversy inside Marji's
mind, she used to believe in God and he has
chosen the Shah but in fact it was not, Shah put
her grandpa into jail and ruined his life.
4.Why does God return after a long
Answer: she lost her faith and needed help and
advice from others.
1.How did the new Shah’s rule compare
to his father’s?
Answer: the new Shah is ten times tougher than
his father
2.Describe the symbolism of the image at
the top of page 28
Answer: It symbolizes how their actions seem
great (praying) but really are not so good
(disrespect the dead.)
3.What did Marji’s father do every day that makes
her mother so nervous? Why is this activity
strictly forbidden?
Answer: 1.taking photos of the demonstration
2.the authority does not expect the suppression
to be reported
4.What did Marji’s father do every day that makes
her mother so nervous? Why is this activity
strictly forbidden?
Answer: 1.taking photos of the demonstration
2.the authority does not expect the suppression
to be reported
“The Letter”
1.What causes Marji to feel so ashamed?
Answer: 1.her friends did a lot of work in a
young age but she did not
2.she can feel the huge difference between
social classes
2.How does Marji view Mehri? How does
Mehri view Marji?
Answer: 1.Marji considers her as a family
member with no class difference.
2.Mehri views Marji as her sister
3.What did Marji do for six months to
help Mehri? Why?
Answer: 1.Marji wrote letters for Mehri.
2.Mehri cannot read or write
4.What is the outcome when the news of
Mehri’s clandestine affair reaches Marji’s
father? Why did it end up that way?
Answer: 1.he meets Hossein to clarify the
2.Hossein believes that they belong to different
classes so they will not become couple.
5.What is Marji’s reaction to the break-up?
Answer: she is so confused but can do nothing
to change the reality. the only thing she can do
is to comfort Mehri
6.What happened on Black Friday? Why?
What painful lesson did Marji learn?
Answer: 1.Marji and Mehri go to the street to
protest and are caught by her parents then get
slapped on the face.
2.it is very dangerous that day because many
people are killed in one of the neighbourhoods.
3.it is the Iranian people killed each other rather
than Israeli
“The Party”
1.How does the Shah attempt to appease the
people? Why did he fail?
Answer: 1.he declares the march towards
democracy and tests a dozen prime ministers
2.he doesn't really mean to carry on democracy
so nobody trusts him
2.How had the U.S. changed its public policy
toward Iran?
Answer: although Jimmy Carter and Shah were
friends before but Jimmy refused to give refuge
to Shah and his family. because the US cannot
get oil from him.
3.According to Marji’s dad, why will the
Middle East never have peace? What do you
Answer: 1.there is oil in the middle east
4.What contributes to Marji’s anger and
confusion when she returns to school?
Answer: 1.the teacher asks students to tear out
the photos of the Shah from their books. 2.she
is told that Ramin's father has killed a million
5.What two lessons does Marji learn from her
Answer: 1. she should not nail people.
2. she should learn to forgive someone.
“The Heroes”
1.Where had Siamak and Mohsen been for
the last several years? Why?
Answer: 1. they were locked in the prison
2.they fight against the Shah regime
2.Who led the training in torture practices?
Answer: scientists from CIA
3.According to Marji, what makes a hero?
Answer: fighting for the good and freedom for
the country is a hero, who can also bear torture.
1.Who is Anoosh? How does Marji feel about
him? Why?
Answer: 1.Marji's uncle, a brother of Marji's
2.he is a real hero for Marji and she is very
proud of him.
3. he fights against Shah and is put in prison for
nine years.
2.Who is Fereydoon? What was his goal?
Answer: 1.Anoosh's uncle
2.to free Iran province by province
3.Where did Anoosh go after Fereydoon’s
arrest? How would you characterize him?
Answer: 1.he went to his parents' home
4.When he had to leave, where did he go?
Answer: he went to the U.S.S.R when he got
better in his parents' home
5.What does Anoosh study in the USSR?
Answer: Marxism-Leninism
6.What gift does Anoosh give to Marji? What
might it symbolize?
Answer: 1.a swan made from bread
2.his ability to maintain his humanity in dreadful
“the Sheep”
1.What is the significance of the title? How
does it help to characterize the people of Iran?
Answer: 1. Their family friends had made across
the border by hiding in a flock of sheep
2. usually when there's a flock of sheep there's
usually a shepherd controlling them, like how
the government is controlling its people
2.According to Anoosh, why is it nearly
impossible to persuade the population to
follow Marxism?
Answer: 1. half of the population is illiterate
2. the religious leaders will still govern the
country by religious ethic.
3.What was the reported outcome of the
elections? How does Marji’s father explain
these results?
Answer: 1. 99.99% of the population voted for
the islamic republic
2.these results are faked
4.Why do Marji’s parents subject themselves
to a political upheaval and refuse to leave
Iran? What is their opinion of those who left?
Answer: 1. they do not want to live in a poor life
because Marji's father says he can only be a taxi
driver and her mother can only be a cleaning
2.they are just afraid of change and they will
come back home finally.
5.What makes Marji suspect that something
has happened to Anoosh?
Answer: Anoosh did not pick her up after school
6.What is Anoosh’s final wish? Why?
Answer: the proletariat will rule
7.Who comes to visit Marji after Anoosh’s
death? What is Marji’s reaction?
Answer: 1. the God
2. she is very angry with the God and asks him
to get out.
“the trip”
1.What do the fundamentalist students do?
How does this event affect Marji’s plans?
Answer: 1. they have taken the Americans
2. the US embassy is closed so Marji cannot go
to the US to see her friend Kaveh.
2.Why does the new regime close the
Answer: the educational system and what is
written in school books are decadent,everything
needs to be revised to ensure that our children
are not led astray from the true path of Islam.
to avoid students from being affected by the
3.What event causes Marji’s mom to take to
her bed for several days?
Answer: two fundmentalists insulted her
because she did not wear veil.
4.What does the illustration on pg. 77 reveal
about Marji’s feelings about the vacation?
Answer: she is quite happy and enjoying the
vacation very much.
5.What does Saddam Hussein do at the end
of this chapter? Why?
Answer: 1.he invaded Iran and started a war.
2.he has been wanting to invade Iran for a long
time and some fundamentalists just offered him
the chance
6.How does Marji feel about the new war?
Answer: she feels very excited and wants to
fight against Iraq.
“The F-14’s”
1.Does Marji’s father intend to fight against
the Iraqis? Why?
Answer: no. he is more against the regime in
domestic Iran than Iraqis.
2.What is humorous about the sequence at
the bottom of pg 81?
Answer: showing that Taji is completely
oblivious of the bomb, indicating the war is a
3.How does Marji reflect the common
stereotypical thinking of other Iranians? How
does Marji’s dad cut through her propaganda
induced thinking?
Answer: 1. the Iranians should retaliate and
bomb Baghdad
2.the pilots are either imprisoned or executed
4.What does Pardisse describe in her paper? How
does Marji try to console her friend?
What is Pardisse’s response? What does Marji
learn from this experience?
Answer: 1. a letter to her father in which she
promised to take care of her mother and little brother.
2.by telling her that her father is a hero and she
should be proud of him.
3.she wishes that his father were alive in prison rather
than dead
4.being alive is always important than anything
“The Jewels”
1.What is one of the ramifications of the nation’s
political conflict?
Answer: resources are very low
2.What criticism does Marji’s mom make of
capitalism? What confusing thing does she
suggest as they leave the store?
Answer: 1.people who follow capitalism are
always greedy. if everyone took only what they
needed, there would be enough to go around.
2.she has got two boxes of rice but would like to
get more, which makes Marji feel confused
3.Describe the symbolism in the picture at
the bottom of page 89.
Answer: It symbolizes the people trying
to escape the fire from the bombs.
4.Besides their possessions, what else have
refugee families lost?
Answer: their homes and houses
5.Besides their possessions, what else have
refugee families lost?
Answer: their homes and houses
“The key”
1.What was the primary difference between
the Iranian and Iraqi armies?
Answer: Iraqi armies were modern
with good quality while Iranian armies
had a huge reservoir of potential
2.What might be the purpose of publishing
Iran’s “martyrs”?
Answer: the government wants people
to be angry and willing to join the army
to the war
3.Comment on the picture on page 95.
Answer: students are forced to join the
mourning activity and beat their
breasts whereas they are actually
confused and unwilling about it rather
than angry or sympathetic for the lost
lives of the soldiers
4.Why was Marji’s generation so rebellious?
What does the teacher blame?
Answer: 1.Marji's generation was so
rebellious because prior to now they had
been to combined schools and were
allowed an education with worldly ideas.
2.The teacher blames the basis education
comes from the family.
5.What injustices do the parents see in the
educational system? Which restriction is
particularly ironic?
Answer: 1.their children have to hit
themselves, be covered from head to toe
and forbidden to play.
2.The fact that women had to cover
themselves and men did not was ironic.
6.Who does the government recruit to serve on
the front lines of the war? How do they
persuade them? Can you think of another time
when this practice has been used?
Answer: 1.young boys
2.the government says if they are dead in
the war, they will be taken by the key to
the paradise where they can get food,
women and houses.
“The wine”
1.How did the interior of their homes reflect the
external changes that were occurring?
What two things did they need to protect
themselves against?
Answer: 1.Iraqi planes and Iranian
fundamentalists are everywhere.
2.protect themselves from bombing and
2.What forbidden items did the government find
at the house of Timoosh’s dad? What
was his punishment? When have you seen this in
our country?
Answer: 1.records, video cassettes, chess
set and cards
2. 75 lashes
3.Why did Marji’s family continue to hold parties
despite the danger?
Answer: Because they felt that life would
be unbearable without parties.
4. Even though Mrs Nassrin’s comments on page
106 bring humor, how are her actions
also symbolic?
Answer: This symbolize the Iranian
revolution. They are stomping on the
people. Or the people are being made to
do things that go against their personal
beliefs like Mrs. Nassrin has to do.
5. Name one violation that Marji’s dad is guilty of
at the traffic stop. How does his wife respond to
the situation? What is a condition of their release?
Answer: 1.driving after drinking alcohol or
wrong dressing code
2.try to beg for the officer's forgiveness
3.for the guy to follow them home and
search their home.
6. What story does Marji’s grandmother use to
stall the officers? What is she really
planning to do? Ultimately, how did they get rid of
the officer?
Answer: 1.she has diabetes
2.flush all the alcohol in the house down
the toilet
3.Marji's dad just ends up bribing him to
“The cigarette”
1. What did the local news report about the war?
What does Marji realize about this information?
Answer: 1.The news reports are
exaggerated, and they reported that they
had destroyed 10 Iraqi planes and 5 tanks
every day.
2. it is faked because even America doesn't
have such a big army.
2. What was Marji’s motive for breaking her
parents’ rules?
Answer: She broke the rules because she
wanted to fit in and be friends with the 14
year olds.
3. What was Marji’s destination? What was its
reputation? How do you think it was able to
survive the regime’s repression?
Answer: 1.Her destination was Kansas on Jordan
2.Kansas had a reputation of teenagers from
north Tehran hanging out there; it was a "hip"
3.It was able to survive because the regime had
no idea that Kansas was a place where you
could have some fun.
4. How would you describe the relationship
between Marji and her mother?
Answer: Marji and her mom have a tense
relationship at this point.
5. Describe the efforts made toward bringing an
end to the war between Iran and Iraq.
Answer: Iraq proposed a settlement to
rebuild Iran and to restore peace that Saudi
Arabia was going to fund
6. What was the motivation for launching an
attack on Karbala?
Answer: Iran did not want peace they
wanted to continue the war.
7. What did the survival of the regime depend
upon? What was the human cost of this survival?
Answer: 1.The survival of the regime
depended on the war.
2.The human cost was one million people.
8. How did the regime become more repressive?
Answer: The regime became more
repressive naturally by systematically
arresting and executing their own people
who opposed it.
9. What was Marji’s symbolic act of rebellion?
Describe her interesting response.
Answer: 1.Marji's symbolic act of rebellion
was her smoking a stolen cigarette;
2.her response was she thought it was
awful but she still continued.
10. In what ways has Marji become an adult?
Answer: 1.Marji believes rebelling against
her parents and becoming more
independent is making her more of an
1. What had become a bigger conflict than the
war against Iraq? How does this manifest
Answer: 1.anyone showing the slightest
resistance to the regime was persecuted.
2.the butcher said kids were executed in
the street without even having been
2. How long were the borders of Iran closed?
Answer: three years from 1980 to 1983
3. What surprising philosophical comment does
Marji make to her parents? What is your reaction
to her statement? (see page 119)
Answer: 1.Marji says that she doesn't need
parents in her life.
4. In front of the hospital, what request is made of
the Iranian people? What is the double meaning
Answer: 1.people's blood is requested to
be donated to save the wounded in the war.
2. the government asks people to be a
martyr like injecting blood into the society
but now they ask for blood from alive
5. People in need of hospital care face a dilemma:
describe this problem.
Answer: The hospital didn't have the
equipment for people needing open heart
surgery, and it is difficult to get a passport
to get medical care outside the country.
6. How did the government delegate positions of
power? Describe the encounter between Marji’s
aunt and the Minister of Health.
Answer: 1.Positions of power are given to
anyone who fully adopts the beliefs of the
2.The Minister of Health was Marji’s aunt’s
former window washer. All he had to do to get
a position of authority was growing a beard and
putting on a suit.
7. Where did many of the seriously wounded
travel for treatment? Why is this ironic?
Answer: 1.They traveled to Germany
2.it is ironic because Germany sold the
weapons to Iran that caused all these
8. What is Taher’s only wish? What prevents him
form realizing his dream? Ironically
what happens three weeks later?
Answer: 1.To see his son again before he
2. Niloufar is spotted, identified as a
communist and executed.
3. Three weeks later, uncle Taher's real
passport arrives on the same day he is
1.When did Marji’s parents receive their passports?
What was one provision listed?
Answer: 1.A year after the death of Marji's
2. Strictly forbidden to travel in occupied
2.What problem do Marji’s parents face as they
return from their trip to Istanbul? How
does Marji’s mom show her ingenuity?
Answer: 1.Her parents are bringing illegal
items back into Iran: Kim Wilde and Iron
Maiden posters.
2.Her mother sews them into the dad’s
3.How does Marji’s reaction to the Kim Wilde
poster reinforce an existing conflict?
Answer: She originally said Turkey is uncool.
Now that the posters and other illegal
items have come from Turkey, she says she
loves Turkey.
4.How did Marji’s mother compare to other
Iranian mothers? How does Marji’s
relationship with her mother seem to reflect
typical parent-child issues?
Answer: 1.Her mother was more
permissive than most mothers, allowing
her 13-year-old daughter to go out alone
5.How had Iran’s food shortage been resolved?
What was appealing about Gandhi
Answer: 1.it is solved by the growth of the
black market.
2.you can buy forbidden items from the
Gandhi Avenue such as tapes
6.What was the purpose of the Guardians of the
Revolution? What happens when they
encounter Marji? How does Marji respond?
Answer: 1.to arrest women who were
improperly veiled
2.They are critical of Marji, saying that she
is not properly dressed, her head not
properly covered.
3.she lies and makes up many excuses
7.Why will Marji have to go to the Committee?
What would happen there? How
does Marji avoid going before the Committee?
Answer: 1.she wears punk shoes, jacket, with
Michael Jackson button, tight jeans and veil
2.Marji could be held for hours withno
notification to her parents. She could be
3.she lies and makes up many excuses(her mum
is dead and the stepmother is cruel)
8.Analyze Marji’s behavior when she returns
Answer: 1.She doesn’t want to tell hermother
because she knows her mother will never again
let her out alone.
2.She just goes up to her room and listens to
the tapes that she got away with.
8.Analyze Marji’s behavior when she returns
Answer: 1.She doesn’t want to tell hermother
because she knows her mother will never again
let her out alone.
2.She just goes up to her room and listens to
the tapes that she got away with.
“the Shabbat”
1.What was the new strategy? How does the
author characterize Iranians? How does she
characterize her father? Her mother?
Answer: 1.the Iraq is using ballistic missiles
2.the Iranians like to make exaggerating gossip
3. Her father is optimistic. He can see something
happen but will only believe it when the BBC
confirms it.
4.Her mom is more pessimistic.
2.What did the sirens signify? What did Marji
realize for the first time?
Answer: 1.Sirens mean they have three minutes
to know if the end had come
2.She realized how much danger they were in,
that it didn’t matter if they went to the
basement or not, they would be killed if a
missile was dropped on their building.
3.How does the picture on the top of page 137
reflect the mood? Where does Marji’s
only hope lie?
Answer: 1.The city is deserted. It is a large
picture of trees and an empty street.
2.Marji’s only hope, in her parents’ eyes, lies in
a French education that she can get only in
4.What motivated the Baba-Levy family to stay in
Iran? Why is this so unusual? What
was Neda’s dream? What ultimately happens to
her and her family?
Answer: 1.The Baba-Levy family is Jewish, and they
said their ancestors had come 3,000 years ago and
this was their home so they were staying.
2.There are few Jewish people in Iran.
3.The daughter Neda romanticizes about a blond-hair,
blue-eyed prince saving her.
4. A bomb hits their building, and they are killed.
5.What happened to Iran’s economy during the
war? Is this unusual?
Answer: 1.The currency (tuman) loses its value
and the inflation becomes very serious.
2.no, it is usual.
6.How does Marji’s mother attempt to protect her
daughter? How does Marji discover
the truth? What does the last frame on page 142 reflect?
Answer: 1.she tries to change the subject by
talking about the tape on the windows and pull
me away from the destroyed building.
2.she saw a bracelet on the debris, which was
attached to a certain body part.
3. It reflects Marji's deepest suffering and anger.