This written task focuses on the study of literature and aims to understand the attitudes and values expressed by literary texts and their impact on readers. In order to achieve this aim, I have decided to make a private journal entry, published online, by Marjane Satrapi’s father after he witnessed the incident between a widow and a crowd of people who had blamed the death of the widow’s husband on the Iranian King which can be found in page 32 of the Persepolis book and the second after.
I have chosen to a journal entry published online as it will allow me to make a critical analysis on the historical and social context of an incident in the story through Mr. Satrapi’s views of the incident as a left-wing supporter, therefore showing insight into his personal attitudes and values towards the conflict within Iran. Also worth noting is how Mr. Satrapi’s opinions could be a reflection of the author’s expressed personal values, in that case then the journal entry is my interpretation on the author’s attitudes and values.
I will also add user comments on the bottom of the website in which I will analyze the impact of a literary text on readers who are reading about the incident from Mr. Satrapi’s point of view. The written task is in the form of a journal entry in which the target audience will be Mr. Satrapi himself. Thus, I will use informal diction to create authenticity. The journal entry will not follow any text conventions since it is a personal piece of text, but it should include the date in which the entry was written in to indicate the time period which could help provide context to the journal entry.
Islamic Revolution Archives Compiled by Bryant Andrews This is an extract from famous photographer Ebi Satrapi’s private journal circa 1979. 30th September This morning was interesting, very interesting indeed. I’d seen with my own eyes just how far some of us are willing to go to support the revolution. A grieving woman was walking beside a crowd of people who were yelling “the king is a killer! ” while carrying the body of a deceased man who I later realized was her husband who had died of cancer.
At some point the commotion stopped and everyone’s attention was suddenly fixed on the woman who had entered the middle of their circle. She proceeded to yell at a man from the crowd who accused her of being a royalist. As if a royalist would actually dare go against those kinds of raunchy revolutionists, right? After the woman shouted at the crowd that it was her husband who died of cancer they were carrying, she was pulled to a corner from the people by two men who I heard told her that her husband was a hero and a martyr.
By now I was pretty taken aback by what he the man said, but of course, beyond interested to know what would happen next. I mean, I’ve heard of and know a lot men, women and even children who were called martyrs after one of the king’s soldiers shot them or after they did something out of line got in and out of trouble with the king’s people, but to use the word martyr for a man whose death wasn’t even caused by the king but had just coincidentally died at right time and place was, frankly, unsurprising. But what happened after that was a little bizarre, even for me.
The woman who had been yelling at the crowd to put her husband down just a few minutes before started to shout the words “the king is a killer” along with the crowd after what seemed to be a very brief argument between the woman and some people from the crowd. To witness the whole thing sure was something. Again, I’d expect something like this to come out of this desperate country any day but surprisingly, to witness it firsthand had left me with baffling thoughts. Has nationalism taken over our lives? I mean, I don’t even know how to react to the incident.
I don’t think I would be one of those men who would do such a thing as to using the body of a dead person to represent the chaos the king had brought. Some people might say, ‘whatever it takes’ but honestly, I don’t think I would’ve have the heart to do such a thing. It’s funny to think that if I had died a few weeks ago during the demonstration, I would have been considered the same kind of martyr the woman’s husband was to the public. The people sure cannot be stopped. I guess that if it takes that much to have a revolution, even the most unorthodox methods to bring the king down should be used.
Still, I regret telling the story in front of Marjane earlier this evening (She laughed along with us, I don’t think she actually gets it though). She’s too small to understanding why a widow’s deceased husband can ever be a laughing matter. I really hope she doesn’t grow up be those people who could potentially embarrass our whole revolutionary party. I found her asleep just a few minutes ago with the “Reasons for the Revolution” book on top of her face. She’s learning and I’m happy about that. It just that, I think she’s growing too mature for her age with the situation in this place and me and mama being in demonstrations all the time.
Comments: BenGodwasser I was shocked when I read this. Satrapi may be right when he said (implicitly) that the revolution had taken over the people’s lives. I suppose, it’s common for stuff like this to happen in a revolution, especially this one in Iran. So glad I found this, pretty interesting experience and views! KjartanH It’s funny how Satrapi could’ve been one of the men in the crowd. Then again, his opinions are hard to comprehend, really. On the one hand, he’s saying all these things about the dedication of the revolutionists, but on the other hand, he seems to be ashamed of what his ‘people’ (revolutionists) were capable of doing.
EleanorUK As a mother, I’d want to have my daughter be curious about the world like Marjane. We can only shield our kids for so long before they escape to the real world, right? KevinDrew As with Satrapi, I am not very surprised with what happened with the woman and the man. In fact, I bet the woman felt gratified when her husband was labeled a ‘respected’ martyr AND a hero (regardless of whether he actually was one). Who wouldn’t want to be the wife of a martyr? Especially when the wife realizes she could use him to help bring down the king, to strengthen the revolution.