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Persepolis: Social Class VS. Political Views
Transcript of Persepolis: Social Class VS. Political Views
Marjane's father is wearing sunglasses which makes him look sophisticated and confident.
Marjane is shown peering out of the window and she is looking at her father as if she is ashamed as being seen in the car.
Marjane's parents belonged to the wealthy Iranian middle class and enjoyed all the consumer comforts that their income provided.
A Cadillac is a large American limousine. An indication of wealth and status. It is also an ostentatious car and quickly recognizable.
They can afford to travel abroad and their daughter attends a French school in Tehran.
This indicates that they did not live like the majority of Iranians.
Middle Class Lifestyle
Political Views VS Class
Middle Class Lifestyle
They kept a maid and looked after her well but she did not eat with them. This suggest that they were class conscious.
How does the social class of Marjane's family conflict with their political views?
The black background, suggests sadness and confusion
The picture shows a clear division between the maid and the family
Marjane's parents were left wing intellectuals. They wanted their daughter to understand and follow their political views.
The values they wanted to teach her were of: equality, fraternity and freedom.
The enormous pile of revolutionary literature indicates their knowledge of the history of the struggle for human rights and revolutionary philosophy.
The black background suggests their serious acceptance of this political view.
The examples given emphasize their anti-capitalist views.
This picture shows Marjane's father talking to his neighbor's son. He is informing him of the deception carried out by Mehri who was pretending to be his daughter.
The father is portrayed as serious and authoritarian. This is emphasized by his formal black and white clothing, and his direct language.
boy: contrast to man wearing white informal body language. Bee Gees t shirt.
Political views conflict with social aspirations. Marjane's naive juvenile ambition was to be a prophet. Her teachers were concerned about this and called in her parents, who appeared defensive and dismissive.
In the pictures below they question Marjane, who knows exactly how to reply. She is aware that although they profess to be "classless", they are in fact ambitious and traditional.
The first frame shows Marjane's father in the foreground, he appears very dominating and large. Her mother trails behind him in the background, suggesting male superiority and tradition. This does not match his political ties.
Marjane's response "I want to be a doctor" indicates that she knows this will please them.
The conflict between social class and political views is confusing for Marjane and upsetting.
The father is in the foreground a large and black view from the back. We cannot see his face, this suggests that he might be having some difficulty reconciling his middle class attitude with his left wing politics.
In this frame he states his reasons for his attitude but does explain or justify why this class division exists. (Cause he can't)
here Marjane vocalizes her disagreement and challenges her father's attitude with a rhetorical question.
Theory and Practice
The contrast between the theoretical belief in social equality is clearly seen in this frame.
Her mother is giving an order to the maid who responds very respectfully, using a formal manner of addressing.
The parents are dressed in black suggesting serious intentions. They are going to a demonstration against the Shah, who stands for autocracy.
The irony here is that their body language and words are autocratic.