Sunday, April 8, 2012


Marjane grows up in Iran in a more or less reserved space. She is a curious and rebellious young girl at the very start of the book, and continues the same way as she grows older. Growing up as a teenager in Iran, Marjane and her family have several interests that are not accepted in the Iranian society. For example, she grows fond of heavy metal and begins to roam the street corners in ways to find and somehow smuggle new music. Also, Marjanes parents enjoy wine and casual family get together and need to take extreme caution because the government does not allow keeping alcohol in the households. This already shows a very reserved communistic space. Marjane moves out of Iran to live in Austria. Marjanes parents feel like she will be able to express herself freely and live in a safer environment by sending her to Austria. Although this is true, Marjane still feels like she us surrounded by superficial people who take her freedom for granted. She fears she is becoming someone that she is not is this alternate society. In Iran, women are criticized, just for being women. There were frequent hate crimes against women in communist societies, and if their heads were not covered, men were to urge them in public to cover it up by referring to them as “sisters”. In the West, women were treated as equals, and still are. After the collapse of the soviet union, hopefully things Iran settled down a bit more regarding the discrimination against women. As my parents also lived in the Soviet Union, they would tell me stories on how it was expected for a man to support for a family. I can name only a few cities which this is not the mentality of the society. This is one thing the East and the West surely have in common. The idea that even though women are treated as equals, and  even though there are certainly extremely powerful woman figures all over the world, men will always be the ones that are expected to take control of the family and provide for them.

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