Shedding Marji’s Religious Innocence

“I wanted to be justice, love and the wrath of God all in one.” pg. 9

In the beginning of Persepolis, we are introduced to Marji and her relationship with politics, religion and God. While Marji is innocent and naive, she is also smart and knows to keep her thoughts about God and becoming a prophet to herself when her parents ask her what she wants to be when she grows up. I think that Marji’s relationship with God at this young age is definitely rooted in a sense of innocence that most children experience. While most children, however, seem to have insignificant imaginary friends, Marji’s imaginary friend is God (or Karl Marx, depending on the hairstyle).

We see Marji beginning to face reality and lose this sense of innocence the night that God doesn’t come to her when she really needs it on page 17. In my opinion, Marji is learning about the way her world works. Just because she wants her revolution to be successful, there is no way that an entire population will support her. When she is illustrated crying in bed and God does not come to her that night, she is facing the reality that not all will go her way, especially when it comes to politics and even religion.

God, as Marji’s imaginary friend, serves as a vehicle for religion in the story. I think of God as being a visual representation of faith as a whole. In the beginning of the story, I think that Marji struggles with religion in this way, which is why God can not always come to her when she needs it. Her struggle with religion has to do with shedding that innocence that does not give her a realistic perspective of the political turmoil around her.

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