The Iran. By analyzing the Marjane’s family specifically, the

The Complete
Persepolis, an autobiographical novel by Marjane Satrapi, tells the tale of
young Marjane’s childhood in Iran. In the story, Marjane (Marji) is brought up
by communistic parents.  Evidence of this
Marxist upbringing is displayed several times throughout the book, like early
on in the story when young Marji exclaims that “it was funny to see how much
Marx and God looked like each other. Though Marx’s hair was bit curlier” (13).

Ironically, the audience can analyze Persepolis through a Marxist lens in order
to expose how particular ideas, specifically the ideology of consumerism,
oppress Marjane and her family, and the Iranian people overall.  The main principle behind Marxism is that
acquiring and maintaining economic control is what motivates all political and
social activities.  The audience can see
how Iran’s government employs certain ideologies, such as nationalism and
religion, to subjugate the proletariat in Iran. By analyzing the Marjane’s
family specifically, the reader can realize that the Satrapi family is driven
by this system of getting and maintaining economic power.  This analyzation of the Strapi’s sheds light
on the rest of Iran and how this lifestyle with a focus on consumerism both
helps and hurts the country’s citizens.

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The idea behind Marxism is that consumerism makes
people feel as if their self-worth corresponds with what they buy (Furnham).

This philosophy has two purposes: it creates an artificial sense of empowerment
for the lower classes feel empowered while making the upper class richer. To see
how Marjane and her family are affected by consumerism, it is necessary to take
into account the family’s status in the social hierarchy of 1980s Iran.  Though Satrapi never never states her family’s
economic standing outright, the audience can easily conclude that her family is
financially comfortable.  Even in light
of a raging war and a tyrannical government, Marjane’s parents still have money
to buy her expensive items from America and even send her to Austria so that
she can receive the benefits of a Western education. Before the revolution,
during the 60s and 70s, Iran was experiencing significant economic development thanks
to the oil trade international nations’ interests in the Iran’s resources.  During this time, the middle class benefited
from this trade, and enjoyed financial prosperity (Maloney), which explains the
where the Satrapi’s high economic standing comes from.  Examples of their ample wealth are present
throughout Persepolis.  For instance,