The Body in Pain, The Ideals in Vein

Toloo Riazi

Abstract


Cuba: My Revolution, a graphic novel by Inverna Lockpez (2010) and Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi (2000) depict the story of the Cuban and Iranian Revolutions through the eyes of their respective female protagonists. The semi-autobiographical or roman à clef Cuba: My Revolution portrays Sonya’s life, a seventeen years old girl, in the revolutionary Cuba. Sonya, torn between her advocacy for the revolution and her dreams of becoming an artist, decides to become a surgeon to “serve the people”. The biographical novel of Satrapi narrates her own childhood as a ten-year-old girl in Iran of 1980s. The reader, in two volumes (hereafter Persepolis I and Persepolis II), witnesses Marji’s transformation to an adult alongside with political changes of the country. Although in the first place the two characters, particularly Sonya, greet the above motioned changes with optimism, soon the revolutionary illusion is replaced with disenchantment. The so-called disillusion is depicted in dialogues and the illustrations, inter alia. However, this paper aims to analyze the transformation of body of main female characters as a way in which failure of revolutionary ideals are shown. Indeed, the body as a major source of perception, allows Marji and Sonya to understand their countries and come to grips with the changing ideals as well as reality. I shall unfold the decline of the revolution from the angle of bodily transformation. It is my intention to consider the bodily basis of dystopia as a primary approach toward a painstaking study of the Cuban and Iranian Revolutions.

Keywords


Cuban revolution, graphic novel, gender studies, Iranian revolution.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18533/journal.v7i10.1509

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