The Veil Unveiled


In the book, Persepolis part 1, Marjane, the author of the book and little girl in the section of the book, talks about what it was like growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution.  She takes the reader back as she relives what it was like during the era of the veil.  She mentions that there were people that did not want to wear the veil and how there were demonstrations that involved people that were for and against the wearing of the veil.  She also mentioned beforehand that in 1980, the wearing of the veil became a requirement at her school.  Marjane talked about how at her school the students did not want to wear the veil because they did not understand its purpose.  She mentioned that she did not know what to think about the veil.  This was evident because she mainly talked about what was happening around her during the time of the veil.  She didnt really give her own opinion on the matter. 

I feel that Marjane uncovered some history behind the wearing of the veil in Iran for many people, including myself.  I had no idea as to why the veil was worn in that part of the world.  Most people assume that everyone who wears a veil, does so for religious reasons, which is probably the case in today’s society.  She made it clear that it was the result of the Cultural Revolution.  She also uncovered some things that many people would like to know.  For instance, i always knew that there had to be people that were opposed to wearing the veil, as well as many other cultural things.  And how there must have been some sort of conflict during this era regarding the changes.  I found this section of the book very interesting because i felt as if the author was very transparent and unafraid to let the readers know and get a glimpse of life during the Revolution during the time of the veil. 


3 thoughts on “The Veil Unveiled

  1. It’s really interesting that you bring up the subject of veils and how they were introduced and forced upon the individuals living in Iran during the time of the revolution. A majority of the people just obeyed the new command in attempt to not upset government officials and encourage the risk to be thrown into prison. I appreciated the few in the novel that stayed true to their beliefs and disagreed with the wearing of the scarf. I sometimes noticed that Marjane acted differently and changed her habits while she did not have on the veil. There seems to be some symbolism in the veil and how it affects demeanor of Marjane throughout the story line.

  2. The concept of wearing a veil has been part of Western and Near Eastern culture generations. Although Persepolis portrayed the introduction of veils as a result of the 1979 revolution, which I would not describe as a secular revolution, in truth the veil comes from roots in religion. Similar to a Nun’s habit, veils were introduced to encourage piety in religious houses where carnal relationships were strongly discouraged. Historical perspective aside, I too found the methods in which it was introduced to Iranian society interesting and uniquely insightful. Since it’s introduction the veil has been publicly ridiculed in Western society as a symbol of female repression, however it was comforting to note that there was similar opposition within Iran itself. One of the most powerful aspects of Persepolis is that it challenges the perceptions many of us in the West have of Iranian culture and customs in the face of consistent demonization in the media and exposure to radicalist saber rattling from the Iranian government.

  3. Many people followed the government blindly. Some adults, like teachers, were following without questioning. They seemed very naïve or brainwashed. The teachers wore the veil and made sure the students were wearing them properly too. The kids didn’t have much idea of religion. Marjane “talked” to God and wanted to be a prophet and wanted to end suffering for her grandmother and other people of old age by outlawing pain for them. She was clearly clueless how the world works and how religion worked too. We pushed out God like she was the boss of him when she didn’t understand the war and the unfairness of the world. Also one thing I found interesting that Marjane’s parents never took her to the church, synagogue or temple in the book, yet she somehow knew about God. With that said, yes kids didn’t like the change because it required them (girls) to wear veils but it seemed that kids didn’t exactly understand why they were wearing them.
    Later on, Marjane was still rebellious and stood up against the school board when they announced girls needed to have clothes that covered more part of their bodies while guys could wear about anything except anything too western. She was, then, older enough to see that the veil was unfair and disagreed on the reason of the veil. This was a very different reason why she didn’t like the veil.

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