What Does Faith Mean?

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Everyone needs faith; it binds people together through all the tragic times in their lives. Yet, with faith, comes doubt. It can either push someone away or connect them closer to God. In Marjane Satrapi's graphic novel, “Persepolis,” she uses plot, setting, and character to portray this message throughout the story. The story takes place in 1979 when Iran is within an Islamic revolution. During this time, people are either dependent on their faith for guidance or others fully turn their backs to God. This event is what the main character, Marjane, struggles with throughout the novel. In the beginning, Marjane held tightly to religion when the revolution is happening because it is something she trusts and can fall back on. But as the revolt leads on, she starts to doubt God and blame Him for all the awful things that happen. Because of that, she lets go of religion as her safe place. The author uses plot, setting, and characters to advance the theme of doubting faith.

At the beginning of the book, since the age of six, Marjane is very religious. She said, “I was born with religion,” and “Was already sure I was the last prophet”(Satrapi,10). Marjane uses her faith as a safety net to help her throughout the plot. She would frequently talk to God as an imaginary friend and looked to him for comfort, she says, “Despite everything, God came to see me from time to time”(Satrapi,17). But as the revolt continues many things happen that Marjane did not understand causing her to doubt God. For example, the universities shutting down, women are forced to wear the veil, and many are tortured and punished for resisting the rebellion all in the name of God. But what pushes Marjane to turn her back on God is when her beloved uncle, Anoosh, was put to jail and executed. She told God to get out of life and never come back, this is when she loses her faith entirely. Marjane later finds her faith when she moves to France, it was a chance for a new life. She finds hope during the revolution by falling in love multiple times. But soon starts to doubt herself when they broke her heart and fall into depression. Feeling the lowest point in her life she overdoses on pills but she sees God and he saves her by bringing her back to Earth. This shows Majane that even though her darkest times in life, God will always be there for her when she needs him the most.

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Next, the setting takes place during the time of the revolution in Iran. The author uses this to show anyone living in this time would struggle and have doubt in their faith. Many dreadful things were happening during this time, for example, women getting raped, loved ones getting murdered, and countless people dying in the revolution. A lot of people would blame God for all the awful events taking place or completely giving up on religion itself. But most people use faith as a guide and find hope in their lives. Some in society find hope in the revolt by moving away to America but Marjane believes she can start a new life in France. But without faith, one can lose themselves by making the wrong choices and maybe fall into a depression-like Marjane. There can’t be a religion, without doubt, it’s what makes one stronger because it brings people together to have more faith to overcome uncertainty.

Finally, the author uses the character Marjane, a young woman, that struggles with her faith throughout her life. She is living in a poor time where it forces people to go against religion and lose all hope. As the Islamic revolution continues, Iran becomes more strict on religion, causing the government to force religious practices onto society making Majane and others give up on faith. It also did not help that her parents were not religious to lead her in the right direction. When she has completely given up on religion she starts to rebel and ruins her relationship with God. Every time she faces a problem she runs away from them and ends up making a bad choice, like doing drugs, having sex before marriage, and losing all respect for her parents. But she starts to find herself again after God saves her and she turns her life around. She goes back to Iran to live with her family and stops smoking and doing drugs.

The theme of religion plays a big role in Persepolis because of the hard times during the Islamic rebellion. A lot of freedom were taken away and dreadful things were happening causing people to blame their faith.

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What Does Faith Mean? (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 19, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/what-does-faith-mean/
“What Does Faith Mean?” Edubirdie, 17 Feb. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/what-does-faith-mean/
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What Does Faith Mean? [Internet] Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 17 [cited 2024 Jun 19]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/what-does-faith-mean/
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