Study Guide

Religion in Persepolis

By Marjane Satrapi

Religion Theme

Freedom of religion is a wonderful thing. If you've seen our "Freedom and Confinement" theme elsewhere in this section, however, you know that Iran isn't too big on the whole freedom thing. (Confinement, however, they love that.) The regime wants everyone to follow Islam to the letter… or else say hello to your water torture chamber. Marjane is actually devoutly religious—she believes in God, and she has strong faith. So why does she have a problem with this? She believes that her faith in God doesn't depend on how much hair shows through her veil. If it did, wouldn't Willow Smith have been smote by God for whipping her hair back and forth?

Questions About Religion

  1. Does young Marji really talk to God, or are her conversations a literary device?
  2. How does Marjane show her faith in God? How is her faith different from what the Iranian regime expects?
  3. Does Marjane lose her faith when she moves to Vienna?

Chew on This

Marjane believes in God, but she doesn't necessarily believe in religion, and the customs and ceremonies that surround it.

Forcing people to show their belief in God in certain ways is not true religion—it's corruption and power. The regime cares more about power than it does about loving God.