Manner’s feminism leads to in-between identities of east/west, black/white, male/female, equality/inequality and freedom/restrictions. The pressure of fitting in, combined with oppression, ultimately leads to changing her values, her lifestyle, and her home country; Manner’s story suggests how setting and culture help in finding a place in the world. The way the Author, Marianne blends the novel so perfectly between the combination of text and image is a true phenomenon and the way she makes it into her autobiographical childhood story makes it even more real or the audience, creating a beautifully executed masterpiece.
It sparks the key contrasts she emphasizes between black and white within the images, to create the image with a greater power, where she reminds the reader of the presence of white representing purity and black referring to cruelty at the same time. In the record of feminism, there have been many different forms and stages in this text. In the opening of the Prolepsis, Marianne would represent the role of this first wave by wanting to express the role of a prophet. In the Muslim religion, the role of the prophet is mainly a male role. The prophets of her religion held a high role in their lives.
Each one was looked up to, and their words were accepted, and their advice often respected. The role of a prophet was almost the opposite of a female’s role in her society. While the women were highly valued, they were not looked upon with the respect which was reserved for the best of the men, yet her being a woman does not restrain her desire to hold one of the most prestigious roles in her religion and community. The binary opposition of prophet/Atheist, which is inverted in Satrap’s text, can be seen executed in her earlier and later life.
Marianne exemplifies the second trend of feminism when she decides to fight for her country in order to defend it from modern impressionism, and western civilization. In any county, the man fulfilled the role of a soldier. It was the man who would help defend his country, home, and family. The fact that Marianne would play with her male friends, pretending to be soldiers protecting her country, showed that she wanted to be able to symbolize the role of a soldier as easily as it was for the men and thus disbelieving in religion. When the revolution had begun, the schools were segregated by gender.
Marianne was put into a class filled with all girls. Being parted from her friends who were of a different gender did not please Marianne. Marianne had said, “We found ourselves veiled and separated from our friends. ” (The Complete Prolepsis, p. 4) When Marianne had gone away to school in Austria, she was given the ability to be raised in a more diverse lifestyle than that of her childhood friends. She was put in classes with boys and was able to do a wide variety of thing, such as being unveiled and even living in an apartment full of men.
Therefore, it is hardly surprising hat Manner’s identity is formed at the crossroads of two cultures, the Western and the Eastern ones, without really belonging to either of them. But when Marianne came back to Tehran, she was pulled back into the controlling life of the Iranians. Her friends she had previous to moving to Austria were now mad at her for having sexual affairs with more than one man. She was an exile because she got used to the lifestyle of equality in almost everything with the men in her life.
Marianne is shaken and is uncomfortable in her position of inequality and it shows her development into the second wave f feminism, where equality was sought, especially in education. She had believed in equality and had decided on becoming a prophet for reasons that would create more equality and fairness in the lives that surrounded her. Marianne had said, “l wanted to be a prophet… Because our maid wouldn’t eat with us, because my father had a Cadillac, and above all because my grandmother’s knees always ached” (The Complete Prolepsis, p. 6). Each of these reasons shows her dilemma with inequality and her desire for fairness.
The maid was not allowed to eat dinner with the family because of her preference in social status. Marianne was ashamed to ride in her father’s car because it was more luxurious than most of the cars other less wealthy people drove. The last reason she mentioned about her grandmother’s knees aching was a way to show her compassion for her grandmother and her aching knees, which younger people did not have to deal with. Marianne wants to be a prophet in order to correct the ways of inequality and, in this way, she embodies the third wave of feminism, which is the desire to be treated equally, and the ability to choose what one wants to do.
She believed hat her maid should be able to eat dinner with them if she wanted to and that her grandmother’s knees should not ache, because her grandmother did not choose to receive, nor like, aching knees. She was ashamed to ride in her father’s Cadillac because of their wealthy decadence and because others could not choose to drive one. Many Americans are quick to point out that the veil that covers an Islamic women’s face is a sign of the extreme patriarchy in Iran. In Prolepsis, Iranian women’s roles in the Islamic Revolution break the myth of the oppressing veil.
Iran is controlled by an extreme patriarchy where women voice no opinions on social issues. However, we see in Prolepsis that Marianne comes from a family with strong women like her mother and grandmother. Involvement is not just shown in adult women in Prolepsis, but also in adolescent girls. Her mother routinely takes part in protesting alongside her husband in the streets of Tehran. Manner’s mother is an example of the misconception that women in Iran are subjects. Manner’s mother illustrates to us how women all across Iran were active during the Islamic Revolution as protestors, collaborators, or victims.