Study Guide

Persepolis: Freedom and Confinement Theme

By Marjane Satrapi

Freedom and Confinement Theme

It's easy to take certain freedoms for granted: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom to wear white shoes after Labor Day. Many times, we don't notice our freedoms until they're gone. This is what happens to the people of Iran in the 1980s, when Marjane Satrapi's story begins. Revolutionaries who speak out against the regime are executed; everyone is expected to dress as though they are Muslim fundamentalists, especially women who need head-to-toe coverings and a veil. And the white shoes thing? They're probably not allowed to wear white shoes ever. We're not sure on this point, but there's more black clothing in Iran than at a Michael Kors fashion show. White shoes wouldn't fit in.

Questions About Freedom and Confinement

  1. What is the price of Marjane's freedom both times she leaves Iran?
  2. What freedoms does Marjane miss most when she moves back to Iran?
  3. How does Marjane fight to regain some of her freedom?

Chew on This

The greatest contrast between Iran and Vienna is the amount of freedom granted to the citizens of Vienna, and the crazy restrictions on freedom Iran imposes on its citizens.

Marjane's biggest fear when returning to Iran is giving up the freedoms she has enjoyed in Vienna.