The entire Persepolis, an autobiographical book by Marjane Satrapi, explains to the tale of Marjane’s childhood in Usa. In this history, Marjane (Marji) is brought up by communistic parents. Evidence of this Marxist upbringing is usually displayed several times throughout the book, most especially the moment Marji exclaims that “it was funny to see just how much Marx and God looked like each other” (Satrapi 13). The audience may analyze Persepolis through a Marxist lens to determine how particular ideas, specifically the ideology of consumerism, oppress Marjane, her relatives, and Iranian civilians general. The main theory behind Marxism is that the acquisition of wealth and goods is what motivates every political and social activities. The audience are able to see how the Iranian regime utilizes this ideology to subjugate the proletariat in Serbia, and how the low class turns to religion for reprieve. By studying Marjane’s family members specifically, the reader can realize that the Satrapi family is powered and oppressed by this approach to obtaining and maintaining monetary power. This analyzation in the Satrapis also sheds mild on the rest of Iran and just how this consumeristic lifestyle and reliance in religion affects the country’s citizens.
The idea in back of Marxism is the fact consumerism makes people truly feel as though their very own self-worth refers with what that they buy (Furnham). This idea has two purposes: it creates an man-made sense of empowerment to get the citizens while helping to placate statements of rebellion. To see how Marjane and her family members are affected by consumerism, it is necessary to take into account the family’s status in the sociable hierarchy of Iran. Although Satrapi never states her family’s economical standing overall, the audience may easily conclude that her is financially secure. Even because of a raging war and a tyrannical government, Marjane’s parents still have money to acquire her pricey items by America and in many cases send her to Austria so that the lady can receive the benefits of a Western education.
However , not everyone in Usa enjoys this kind of comfortable position. The reader is frequently exposed to the struggles from the lower class, like when the destitute boys of Iran are asked by the program to join the war, while the upper class kids who are the same age get to attend parties and not have to bother about such issues (Satrapi 99-102). Even by a young grow older, Marjane realizes that she belongs to a category that is far better off than those who are around her. The girl even feels guilty about basic things around her, like the fact that “our house maid did not consume with us” and “my father had a Cadillac” (Satrapi 6). Regarding these manipulated boys, the regime uses consumerism to use them, encouraging material merchandise in paradise in exchange for his or her lives sacrificed in warfare. Because of this consumeristic attitude, these boys happen to be quick to give up their lives for the oppressive govt, ruining their particular futures and tearing separate their families.
Analyzing the relationship between the several social classes in Serbia and Marxism is critical to understanding how consumerism influences Marjane and her family. Her family’s status in the upper class means that Marjane and her parents are more likely to adhere to Karl Marx’s ideals because, because Marjane’s uncle solemnly appreciates, “In a country where 50 percent the population is illiterate you are unable to unite the people around Marx. The only thing that can definitely unite these people is¦a faith based ethic” (Satrapi 62). That is, the people who happen to be most impacted by oppression (the lower class) do not have the necessary education and skills to totally appreciate and understand Marxist theory, which focuses on the down sides of oppressive ideologies and class struggles. Instead, as Anoosh remarks, they often consider religion to get comfort, with thoughts of a pleasant what bodes offering respite from present-day problems.
This kind of theme of a reliance in religion can be traced backside thousands of years to ancient Athens. Socrates experienced much critique for his belief that individuals should issue everything and shouldn’t rely on religion to explain everything. This individual believed that individuals should be inquisitive about the natural world around them and use this curiosity to further advancements in science, philosophy, plus more, instead of attributing everything to the will of the gods. In the same way, Uncle Anoosh provides a similar function as Socrates, lamenting the Iranian lower class’ incapability to fully be familiar with issues creating their oppression and the way to relieve it. Rather, people usually turn to faith for direction and support through times of hardship, which isn’t very inherently bad, but will little to solve the methodical oppression they face.
Naomi Mandel, a professor of marketing in ASU, furthers this debate about the partnership between consumerism, religion, and class. In studying religion’s effect on consumerism, Mandel discovered that “religion allows people to handle fears including death, or perhaps other your life challenges ” instead of turning to compensatory intake [or spending to deal with]” (Worshipping at the Church of Consumerism). In other words, the upper class liberals of Serbia, such as the Satrapis, who adhere to the Marxist ideology could possibly be less oppressed by the doctrine of religion, but the family is more susceptible to have problems with oppression by principles of consumerism. Naturally, this sarcastic relationship brings about the hypocrisy that Marjane begins to acknowledge within her own family. The very best example of this occurs once Marjane recalls the time when their house maid fell in love with the neighbor’s child. The set sent one another love-letters till Marjane’s father ruined the relationship by updating the son of her social position. Marjane’s father explains to her that “in this country you should stay in your own cultural class” (Satrapi 37). Though Marjane’s daddy believes in Marxism, he seemingly does not comply with the ideals strictly enough to attempt to replace the oppressed status of the reduced classes encircling him. Despite the fact that her parents champion generous values, that they still show up victim to discriminating persons by their social status and living luxurious lives even though the proletariat endures. Here, the graphic mother nature of the publication is particularly useful in conveying this message by accentuating the emotional discomfort endured by maid as well as the evident not caring of the father and neighbors (once he found out his lover was from a lower class).
This consumeristic attitude likewise harms prestige families just like the Satrapis in the sense that their particular desire for and acquisition of items helps calm their dependence on a rebellion. By purchasing American goods just like t-shirts, paper prints, music, and more, many Iranians could fall prey to complacency, as they use these objects in an effort to escape their very own current condition. Similar to how a citizens inside the lower class use religion as a means of freedom from their oppression, the top class may start to satisfy their requirement of rebellion and liberation through small , edgy acts just like throwing a party, that do nothing to improve the current political local climate and risk their own lives.
Persepolis craftily illustrates some of the difficulties with Marxist ideology and religion that pervaded late twentieth century Usa. Marjane Satrapi artfully portrays how the frequent consumeristic frame of mind of the time resulted in a upkeep of financial inequality, plus the detrimental results consumerism and religion got.
Furnham, Adrian. “Affluenza: The Mindset of Prosperity. ” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, twenty eight Aug. 2014, www. psychologytoday. com/blog/sideways-view/201408/affluenza-the-psychology-wealth.
Maloney, Suzanne. “Iran Base: The Revolutionary Overall economy. ” PBS, Public Transmissions Service, 26 Oct. 2010, www. pbs. org/wgbh/pages/frontline/tehranbureau/2010/10/iran-primer-the-revolutionary-economy. html.
Satrapi, Marjane. The full Persepolis. New york city: Pantheon, 2007. Print.
“Worshipping on the Altar of Consumerism. inch Research and Ideas, 23 May 2017, research. wpcarey. asu. edu/worshipping-at-the-altar-of-consumerism/.