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Education & Propaganda in Persepolis

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Ceara A

on 9 October 2015

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Transcript of Education & Propaganda in Persepolis

Two Sides of the Same Coin
In testimony of Professor J. Budziszewski
Education is the training of minds, propaganda the training of prejudices
According to Carroll H. Wooddy, author of "Education and Propaganda"
Education is the instruction of children and youth, propaganda affects adults
Education aims to service society as a whole, propaganda promotes special interests of a certain group
Education aims to teach objectively, presenting alternatives in controversial matters; propaganda is when certain opinions and attitudes are insisted upon

What is the Difference?
Two true statements can be made:
1. Education hinders persuasive effects of propaganda
Additional external knowledge can counteract propagandist information and beliefs
2. Propaganda can be supported by education
Propaganda is made worse if school teaches propagandist beliefs and attitudes

In Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi effectively communicates the relationship between education and propaganda, along with the effect they each have on the Iranian people, shown through Marjane and other characters' actions in response to each of them.
Intended magnitude of propaganda shown through size of teacher and speakers in comparison to students
Appearance of uniformity dispelled because of confusion in students, seen in question marks and their expressions
"Indoctrination" and "Uniformity"
Introduced to educational system in Iran
Story layout is used to show progression from secular French schools to Islamic, gender-segregated schools
It is "capitalist" and "decadent" to learn in another language
Learning more than necessary is given negative connotations
It is harder to instill wanted sentiments in the youth, as they are able to see the world from multiple perspectives and think critically
School Systems
Education & Propaganda in Persepolis
Ceara Arellano
Indoctrination and Uniformity
Schools are major source of propaganda, evidently seen in this splash page
Highlights significant action: beating of breasts
Purpose is to mold students into desired citizens who unflinchingly support the Islamic regime by instilling sense of nationalism and through constant reminder of war martyrs
Emphasized by uniformity of students in dress, action, thought and feeling
Expressions are blank and empty
Actions are mechanical
Represent lack of original thought, making them apparently easier to lead
Clear example of where education counteracts propaganda
"...the reason we were so rebellious was that our generation had known secular schools..."
Marjane and classmates take nothing seriously due to their exposure to other ways of learning, making propaganda useless
Despite supposed power imbalance between teacher and students, students are shown to be united and overpower the teacher
Students versus teacher represents education versus propaganda
We're All in This Together
Is an example of how education supports propaganda and what happens when it works
How Ms. Nasrine's son and other poor kids react to propaganda contrasts with how Marjane reacts
Ms. Nasrine's son doesn't question what he's been told and doesn't listen to Marjane's mom
Poor kids are "hypnotized" and thrown into battle
Propaganda works on them because there are no outside influences
Success of propaganda is established through consistent uniformity in dress, action, thought, belief and even death
The Key
In Summary
Marjane Satrapi constantly and effectively juxtaposes education and propaganda in Persepolis. She shows their differences and similarities and how each of them can affect the other, whether it be propaganda in the classroom, or the presence of knowledge amidst propaganda, and how Iran's people are affected by both.
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