ART OF LIT Juxtapose Essay.docx - Justine Southworth...

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Justine Southworth Justine Southworth Professor Harrison The Art of Literature 4/11/2017 Struggle vs. Renunciation Persepolis and First They Killed My Father are more similar than they initially appear. It may seem that they are very different works. Persepolis is a graphic novel drawn in a somewhat stylized, juvenile style which is appropriate, of course, as it details the coming of age of a young but precocious girl during the Iranian cultural revolution. They are very similar in that they both deal extensively with the relationship between the main character, her struggles, and her religion. Both of them are also closely related to the idea of a class-conscious society established through a cultural revolution, but the cultural revolution in each society is completely opposed and the way that each is opposed reveals, I think, something important about the society within which it takes place as well as something important about the author herself. What I intend to argue in this essay is this. In Persepolis , the religiosity of the society translates to an alignment between the cultural revolution and the religious inclinations of that society. See, for instance, the close relationship between the abolition of capitalist influences and the imposition of the veil (Satrapi et al. 8). The reason for this, I think, is that cultural revolution is inherently aligned with the notion of struggle of rejecting, in this world, the influence of class warfare waged by the bourgeois in order to oppress the proletariat — and Islam is hospitable to the notion of struggle, or Jihad . In order to have a cultural revolution to overthrow capitalism,
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Justine Southworth one requires cultural revolutionaries, and Islam created a social environment conducive to the creation of revolutionaries. By contrast, in First They Killed my Father , the religious environment of the society is a Buddhist one. Buddhism is quite explicitly exposed to struggle, because struggle follows from attachment, or desire, and both of those ultimately create and perpetuate suffering. For example, when told that his family would be separated, Pa states phlegmatically, “It is good for the family to be separated” (Ung 75). He is motivated by a Buddhist conception of attachment, desire, and
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