The the ideology of consumerism, oppress Marjane
The CompletePersepolis, an autobiographical novel by Marjane Satrapi, tells the tale ofyoung Marjane’s childhood in Iran. In the story, Marjane (Marji) is brought upby communistic parents. Evidence of thisMarxist upbringing is displayed several times throughout the book, like earlyon in the story when young Marji exclaims that “it was funny to see how muchMarx 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 orderto 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 thatacquiring and maintaining economic control is what motivates all political andsocial activities.
The audience can seehow Iran’s government employs certain ideologies, such as nationalism andreligion, to subjugate the proletariat in Iran. By analyzing the Marjane’sfamily specifically, the reader can realize that the Satrapi family is drivenby this system of getting and maintaining economic power. This analyzation of the Strapi’s sheds lighton the rest of Iran and how this lifestyle with a focus on consumerism bothhelps and hurts the country’s citizens. The idea behind Marxism is that consumerism makespeople feel as if their self-worth corresponds with what they buy (Furnham).This philosophy has two purposes: it creates an artificial sense of empowermentfor the lower classes feel empowered while making the upper class richer. To seehow Marjane and her family are affected by consumerism, it is necessary to takeinto account the family’s status in the social hierarchy of 1980s Iran.
Though Satrapi never never states her family’seconomic standing outright, the audience can easily conclude that her family isfinancially comfortable. Even in lightof a raging war and a tyrannical government, Marjane’s parents still have moneyto buy her expensive items from America and even send her to Austria so thatshe can receive the benefits of a Western education. Before the revolution,during the 60s and 70s, Iran was experiencing significant economic development thanksto the oil trade international nations’ interests in the Iran’s resources. During this time, the middle class benefitedfrom this trade, and enjoyed financial prosperity (Maloney), which explains thewhere the Satrapi’s high economic standing comes from. Examples of their ample wealth are presentthroughout Persepolis. For instance,