In an Associated Press interview, Satrapi said, “The only thing I hope is
that people will read my book and see that this abstract thing, this Axis of
Evil, is made up of individuals with lives and hopes.” And in her introduction
to Persepolis, she explains that she wrote this book to show that Iran is
not only a country of “fundamentalism, fanaticism, and terrorism.” How does
Satrapi go about challenging this myth? How does Persepolis dispel or
confirm your views on Iran? In what ways does reading this book deepen your
understanding and knowledge of Iran, and the current situation in Iraq?
Describe Satrapi’s drawings. How do the drawings add to the narrative of
How did the revolution exert power and influence over so many people,
including many educated and middle class people like Satrapi’s parents? Why did
so many people leave after the revolution? Why do you think Marji’s parents send
her off to Austria while they stay in Tehran? Why don’t they leave/escape as
“Every situation has an opportunity for laughs.” (p. 97) Give some
examples of how the ordinary citizens of Iran enjoyed life despite the
oppressive regime. What made you laugh? How does Satrapi add comic relief?
How do the characters in Persepolis circumvent and defy the rules
imposed on them and attempt to live ordinary lives despite revolution and war?
Give some examples of their small acts of rebellion.
“In spite of everything, kids were trying to look hip, even under risk of
arrest.” (p. 112) How did they do this?
What does Satrapi say regarding disparity between the classes before and
after the Iranian Revolution? Discuss some examples that Marji witnesses and
At the core of the book is Marji’s family. What is this family like? What
is important to Marji’s parents?
What is the role of women in the story? Compare and contrast the various
women: Marji, her mother, her grandmother, her school teachers, the maid, the
neighbors, the guardians of the revolution.
Persepolis Chapter Questions
According to the introduction, what stereotypical image is Satrapi trying to
author indicates two motives for writing Persepolis What are they?
was education affected by the new regime? Why?
did the veil symbolize?
did bilingual schools symbolize to the new regime?
women have a universal response to the veil? Why or why not?
was a picture of Marjane’s mother published in the newspaper? How did her
mother respond? Why?
Describe the symbolism and conflict represented in the picture on the top
left of page 6.
does Marji want to be a prophet?
is Zarathustra, and what are his three rules for living?
do others respond to Marji’s religious calling?
Comment on the symbolism in the picture at the bottom of page - What three
attributes of God does Marji wish to embody as a prophet?
are Che Guevara, Fidel, and Trotsky? (Look them up!) Why are they important?
Persian people faced oppression from what four sources?
does Marji’s relationship with God begin to change?
happens at the Rex Cinema? What is the political spin?
“The Water Cell”
According to Marji, how was a king chosen? What was her rationale? What is
her father’s reaction? Why?
is a puppet government? In such a system, who seemed to be the real emperor
of Persia? Give another example of a puppet nation.
four things happened to the emperor’s family, and any who opposed the new
government, when he was deposed by Reza?
does Marji’s mother reveal in a flashback? Her husband responds by saying,
“That time is past.” What do you think?
does God return after a long absence?
did the Shah’s rule compare to Reza’s?
Discuss the symbolism of the image at the top of page 28.
did Marji’s father do every day that makes her mother so nervous? Why is
this activity strictly forbidden?
Ironically, what happens when a second dead man is carried out on a
stretcher during a demonstration?
happens next that surprises Marji and amuses her family? What do the widow’s
actions show about the Persian people?
causes Marji to feel so ashamed? Why? How is this realization connected to
does Marji view her? How does Mehri view Marji?
did Marji do for six months to help Mehri? Why?
did news of Mehri’s clandestine affair reach Marji’s father? What was the
is Marji’s reaction to the break-up?
happened on Black Friday? Why? What painful lesson did Marji learn?
does the Shah attempt to appease the people? Why did he fail?
had the U.S. changed its public policy toward Iran?
According to Marji’s dad, why will the Middle East never have peace?
contributes to Marji’s anger and confusion when she returns to school?
two lessons does Marji learn from her mother?
does Ramin believe his father is not a murderer?
Where had Siamak and Mohsen been for the last several years? Why?
led the training in torture practices?
According to Marji, what makes a hero?
is Anoosh? How does Marji feel about him? Why?
is Fereydoon? What was his goal?
Where did Anoosh go after Fereydoon’s arrest? How would you characterize
did Anoosh have to leave so quickly after his arrival? Where did he go?
came to visit Fereydoon before his execution?
does Anoosh study in the USSR?
gift does Anoosh give to Marji? What does it symbolize?
is the significance of the title? How does it help to characterize the
people of Iran?
According to Anoosh, why is it nearly impossible to persuade the population
to follow Marxism?
was the reported outcome of the elections? How does Marji’s father explain
are the two possible consequences of the people’s ignorance?
do Marji’s parents subject themselves to a political upheaval and refuse to
leave Iran? What is their opinion of those who left?
makes Marji suspect that something has happened to Anoosh?
is Anoosh’s final wish? Why?
comes to visit Marji after Anoosh’s death? What is Marji’s reaction?
- What do the fundamentalist students do? How does this
event affect Marji’s plans?
- Why does the new regime close the universities?
- What event causes Marji’s mom to take to her bed for
- What does the illustration on pg. 77 reveal about
Marji’s feelings about the vacation?
- What does Saddam Hussein do at the end of this
- How does Marji feel about the new war?
- Does Marji’s father intend to fight against the
- What is humorous about the sequence at the bottom of