Persepolis Book Summary - Persepolis Book explained in key points

Persepolis summary

Marjane Satrapi

Brief summary

Persepolis is a graphic memoir by Marjane Satrapi that tells the story of her childhood in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. It offers a unique perspective on the political and social changes that took place in the country during that time.

Give Feedback
Table of Contents

    Summary of key ideas

    Childhood in Revolutionary Iran

    In Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi shares her life as a young girl growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. The story begins with Marjane at a tender age of ten, trying to understand the complexities of religion, politics, and societal norms that her society imposes. She narrates her struggles with the sudden veil policy at school and her extended family's involvements in political movements.

    Marjane spent her developmental years witnessing the fall of the Shah, installing Islamic Fundamentalism and the violence that came along with it. As the atrocities escalated, the veil of innocence lifted, and she started voicing against the oppressors at such a young age. Thus, a rebellious fighter was born.

    Struggles And Survival

    Marjane’s adolescence was marked by the war with Iraq and the changes it brings to their lives. This wartime era brought constant fear as numerous bombings targeted Tehran, leading to frequent blackouts and loss of lives. In the middle of this chaos, Marjane discovered punk rock, rebellion, and the underground culture, challenging the system and society's suffocating norms where it was most vulnerable.

    Witnessing the regime’s oppressions and living life contrary to the enforced Islamic rules, Marjane's parents decided to send her to Vienna for a safer, better life. They believed the fourteen-year-old would have more freedom and opportunities in the West.

    Exile, Despair, And Return

    But life in Vienna wasn’t smooth sailing for Marjane. While she enjoyed the liberty to express opinions, the loneliness, alienation, and cultural shock were overwhelming. She faced difficulties adapting to western culture, constantly battling homesickness. This period of her life was characterized by uncertainty, homelessness, failed relationships, and even a failed attempt at ending her life.

    When Marjane turned nineteen, she decided to return to Iran. Despite the complications she had in Vienna, her home country was more complex. Marjane had to adapt to life under conservative Islamic rule again. Fighting depression and an oppressive system, she found refuge in her art and began to study at the Tehran Art College.

    Self Discovery and The Final Departure

    The Art College wasn’t much different from society. The conservative, biased, and restrictive teaching environment frustrated her. But her distress found liberation in her art, as she thrived in her creative pursuit despite the limitations. Marjane met Reza, fell in love, and married him. However, the marriage didn’t last, and they divorced after three years.

    At the end of the book, Marjane realized she could no longer live in Iran. She bid a painful farewell to her grandmother, knowing she won't ever see her again, left her homeland for the second time, and moved to France in the quest for a life with greater freedom and less compromise. This is where Persepolis concludes, leaving us to ponder on love, sacrifices, identities, and how sometimes we have to leave parts of ourselves behind to move forward.

    Give Feedback
    How do we create content on this page?
    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is Persepolis about?

    Persepolis is a graphic memoir by Marjane Satrapi that tells the story of her childhood in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. Through powerful illustrations, Satrapi shares her experiences growing up amidst political unrest, censorship, and war. The book offers a unique and personal perspective on the complexities of life in Iran and the universal struggle for freedom and identity.

    Who should read Persepolis?

    • Readers interested in gaining a deeper understanding of Iranian culture and history
    • People who appreciate personal memoirs and graphic novels
    • Those who want to explore themes of identity, resilience, and coming-of-age

    About the Author

    Marjane Satrapi is an Iranian-born French author and illustrator, best known for her graphic memoir series, Persepolis. Satrapi's books offer a poignant and personal perspective on growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution and the Iran-Iraq War. Her unique storytelling style and distinctive black-and-white illustrations have garnered critical acclaim and numerous awards. In addition to Persepolis, Satrapi has written several other graphic novels, such as Embroideries and Chicken with Plums.

    Categories with Persepolis

    Book summaries like Persepolis

    People ❤️ Blinkist 
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked these summaries

    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    29 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    10+ years
    Experience igniting personal growth
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,000+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial