In this second section of Persepolis, I could immediately tell that the vibe of the story had changed. With the coming of the new Islamic regime and the war with Iraq, the atmosphere of Iran as depicted in the graphic novel had changed dramatically. Suddenly most characters in the story wore all black. The Satrapi family in particular came under heavy fire from numerous outside sources, both soldiers and neighbors, about their supposedly sinful behavior. Violence and verbal harassment have become a norm as radically religious people begin to berate those who they consider sinners for doing something as simple as wearing the wrong kind of sneakers. It was really alarming to see such a sudden shift in mindset in Iran, but it helped paint the picture and show why the country is the way that it is today. The thing that interested me the most is how the Iranian government would lie to its people about the daily war updates against Iraq. This in particular reminded me of the Kim regime of North Korea, and how they lie to their people about everything to keep them uninformed about the true nature of world politics.
All of this being said, I felt a huge theme of this section was the idea of resistance to oppression. This part of the story featured some of the strictest oppression that we have read so far in this class, but it was good to see that there was still some resistance from those who refused to simply accept the new changes. Examples include Marjane’s father who is adamant about resisting any religious fanatics who try to berate him. Even the children of Marjane’s class were rebellious against their new strict school policies because, as Marjane stated, they remembered a time when schools were secular. The end of this section included Marji dressing in Westernized clothing and blasting “Kids in America” by Kim Wilde in a blatant rejection of the religious fanaticism. It was comforting to know that people weren’t immediately accepting the new oppression and had some element of resistance.