Persepolis and Human Rights: Unveiling Westernized Globalization Strategies in Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis

Mahdiyeh Ezzatikarami, Firouzeh Ameri


Persepolis is one of the significant memoirs published by Iranian émigré women in the tumultuous post-September 11 era. In the Euro-American context, critics embrace Satrapi’s emphasis on universal human rights; however, they have neglected her Orientalist discourse which problematizes her representation of Iranian Muslim women. The present paper looks into Satrapi’s Orientalist discourse in Persepolis mainly drawing upon Lacan’s theory of the object’s gaze. It concludes that Satrapi’s Orientalist discourse has been disguised through her emphasis on the intercultural momentum toward human rights, which makes her role as a ‘comprador intellectual’ much more destructive than that of her counterparts. Her peculiar style and wise choice of narration have unquestionably rendered the book to a wide-ranging audience, as a result of which, Persepolis has played a critical role representing Iranian Muslim woman in the post-September 11 era.


Persepolis, Orientalist Discourse, Universalism, Veiling, The Iran-Iraq War, Child Narrator, Comprador Intellectual

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