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Oppression on Women in Margaret Atwood's the Handmaid's Tale and Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis

In: English and Literature

Submitted By ladydeception
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Pages 4
Oppression on Women in Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale and Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis
Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi, is memoir of a little girl growing in Iran. She refers to a secular pre revolutionary time through contrast, the oppressive characteristics of the fundamentalist government upon women in particular. Her work is a lot similar to Margaret Atwood's, A Handmaid’s Tale, in which the protagonist Offred reflects upon her former life’s freedom, cherishing her former name and in doing so emphasizes the cloistered and enslaved life that she must now endure. Although both Margaret Atwood and Satrapi show how a totalitarian state oppresses women in different ways by taking away the freedom to think and decide for oneself, both accentuating on the ways a woman should dress, which stratified society in Handmaid’s tale and enforced religious modesty in Persepolis.
Growing up in the western society, we often think clothing as a means of expressing our individuality, our style, defining who we are. Offred grew up in a similar environment but it was taken away once she became a Handmaid. That was the precise reason why she felt “ fascinated but also repelled” (28) at the same time when she saw the Japanese tourist. She says she “used to dress like that. That was freedom. Westernized they used to call it”(28). She says this because she no longer gets to dress like the tourists any more. In a very little amount of time, the society has forced every individual to change his or her mind about such clothes. Whereas Satrapi depicts in her graphic novel a picture of ten year olds forced to wear a veil because of the Islamic Revolution, “ We didn’t really like the veil, especially since we didn’t understand why we had to”(3) explaining further the complexities surrounding the veil. She says some religious fundamentalist feels that hiding hair could keep the men from...

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