Monday, October 26, 2009

Reading Lolita in Tehran, Part IV “Austen”



This is a 100 point assignment in the ‘Participation’ section of your of your grades.
  • You will be graded on the Malden High School Open Response Rubric.
  • You need to make 2 posts in total. There is a Part A and a Part B to each post you make.
  • Both posts are due by Friday, Oct. 30th @ 11:59 p.m., though you should make your first post as soon as possible. Keep in mind others depend on your comments to continue with their own.

Please label your posts.

Part A: Post your reaction to something specific and thought provoking in the book (though this is not a minimum, your post should be at least a few hundred words.) Feel free to ask questions in this section as well, since everyone will be reading these posts.

Part B: You should also respond by elaborating on another comment in the stream (about the same length--a couple hundred words as a minimum.)

The above prompts are vague because it is up to you as a group to start to develop your own focus. You can feel free to bring in outside research etc, just make sure you cite or give a link to your sources—but I’m most interested in your “philosophical” discussions about specifics in the book and your ability to discuss the writer’s technique and how she affects meaning.

Image of Nafisi from The New York Times article, which also covers her new memoir Things I’ve Been Silent About. Feel free to use as fodder for discussion topics.

26 comments:

oliviak said...

Part A

As I was reading this last section of Nifisi's memoir, I noticed that she was addressing many important themes multiple times, not really in any order. Her two most important themes were the revolution and also sexism in Iran. I found it difficult to take all of it in and really be able to process it because it was quite a lot of material and content.
I think this last section strongly paralleled what was happening in Iran at the time that Nafisi was writing this. As the rules were getting stricter and more strongly enforced, Nafisi's group of girls were all growing and becoming a bit more tense with each other. I felt like there was more chaos and disagreement. Most of them all wanted to leave Iran because they were being too 'suffocated' and controlled, but it seemed like fear really dictated any action that they would take.
As Nafisi had said, saying that she was going to move to America was a defense mechanism for her. She didn't have to actually go anywhere, I think it just helped her to cope with the awful situations in Iran. It wasn't until she made the actual decision that it became more than a defense mechanism and an actual plan.

I wanted to bring up a quote on page 311 that has a direct relation to the topic of freedom that had been discussed in the first assignment.
"It is frightening to be free, to have to take responsibility for your decisions. Yes, he said, to have no Islamic Republic to blame."
To me, this quote ties together every meaning Nafisi brought up throughout her memoir. It might be a bit of a stretch, but it really is the basis for the book. The Islamic Republic holds these women back so much that they learn to live with no freedom, which grows into resentment, which leads to blame. Once they're free, however, it's completely up to them to make anything of themselves they want, to do anything they want. Since they've lived so tied back for most of their lives, how will they know what to do? It's a scary place to be when all of a sudden you're completely on your own with no strict rules governing you anymore.
I also remember Mahdhid saying that everything she did was led by her faith, but that she was questioning it more and more as it grew more power in Iran. She said that she was pained everytime she wore the veil, yet she did so anyways because her religion told her to.
I don't understand why Mahshid thinks she owes something to Iran, or why she's okay with living miserably there. Does anyone else agree or have any idea why?

SamP1 said...

Part A:

While reading Reading Lolita, over the course of the book the major theme of women’s rights in Iran. The world was a regression from the lack of freedom back in Nafisi’s grandmother’s time, and then to more freedom during her mother’s time (she married for love), and then the regression back to Nafisi’s grandmother’s time. The girls in her book group, the Iranian girls who defy the laws and remove their gloves, robes, and covers whenever they are in each other’s presence are all independent and all feel that these laws are unfair. When they read banned books or books that are frowned upon like Pride and Prejudice, in the last section, they ponder their restrictions and use the books to relate to their lives. They escape with books like Lolita and Pride and Prejudice. In the fourth section, Sanaz talks about her marriage to a man who she loves, and she feels lucky because of the freedom she is given. Azin, though, is less fortunate because of her husband’s abuse. She uses her red nails as a coping mechanism, and my question is:

Does anyone have a different opinion why? I think that her bold control of her nails is the only thing she can control, because she can’t control her abusive husband.

Part B:

Olivia –

I agree with your outlook on freedom being scary for the men and women living in Iran. The quote that you chose is strong to depict that kind of idea. I feel that Mahshid doesn’t know anything but the world that is her faith. Her government, unlike ours, is based around her faith and what she (or does she?) believes in. Without the support of rules, structure, and oppressive environment, Mahshid has no idea what to expect or what to look for. You said yourself the reason Mahshid is content living in her miserable live in Iran because she doesn’t know anything else. She never was allowed to show her hair, her hands, her arms, or anything. The newfound culture would literally shock her, and who wouldn’t be afraid of that?

Gaelle said...

I agree with Olivia with how Nafisi was addressing a lot of important themes, but the biggest or important theme would be sexism in Iran. the rules became stricter and stricter, which I think was not fair to them, the things that they parents were allowed to do, they not even close to be allowed to do it. Like it says on page 259 “My mother could choose whom she wanted to marry. I had less choice, and my younger sister has even less.” Life down there is supposed to be about freedom, I don’t see any freedom for the women. They have no say in anything.


Talking about that, there was quote that was bothering me “She was referring to an Islamic rule peculiar to Iran, according to which men could have four official wives and as many temporary wives as they wished. The logic behind this was that they had to satisfy their own needs when their wives were unavailable or unable, to satisfy them.” Page 259 this quotes really disturb me, for real , men could go out there, do whatever they want to , just because of their needs, Really how about us girls don’t we have needs? To tell you, that’s not a good excuse for the men to use to go out there and sleep with other women. Women and men are both human, and both have their needs. Was anyone disturbs about this quotes? Well I was, I was getting very angry when I read that part. The laws down there were not fair at all to the women’s.


There something in page 258, I kind of agree to. “Nowadays, girls marry either because their families force them, or to get green cards, or to secure financial stability, or for sex- they marry for all kinds of reasons, but rarely for love.” I totally agree with this, nowadays, people rarely marry for love. I don’t think I could of done such things. Without love, there’s nothing. Money is not going to do nothing, yeah, it might help you pay the rents; buy cars, foods etc... , but when you need to talk someone, would that money be there for you and listen to you. Nope! I don’t think so. Some people, I do understand why they decide to marry without love? Like the quotes said in the book, they were force by their families or etc...

SamP1 said...

A point in the section that I found interesting was when a very pompous, arrogant man in their class showed a kind of forbidden affection for Mitra. His love letter to her “smelled of cheap perfume, of rosewater” (291) and he referred to her as his “golden daffodil.” This embarrassed Mitra, as it should, because his boldness confused her. It was against their culture to write poetry and refer to young women as “bashful roses”. She ends up lying and telling him that she’s engaged, to avoid awkwardness.

Does anyone think that Mitra might have had feelings for Mr. Nahvi and just rejected him due to the improper way he approached her?

Gaelle said...

Well I definitely agree with you SamP1, He husband mistreat her, he abused her in so many ways. On page 272 “He beat her up and then tried to placate her by swearing his undying love. More than the beatings, it was his taunts that disturbed me- how he shouted that no one would marry her, that she was “used”, like a secondhand car, that no man would want to marry a secondhand wife. Those things that he’s telling her are so harsh. All she could is cried, and try to talk about it with the group of girls. My question is why couldn’t she do something about it? But then I realized even though if she had decided to go to court, I feel like they would blame her, telling her she needs to find a way to satisfy her husband. It’s all her fault that she getting beat. By her having her nails all red, is the only thing that she could control, when I think of red , I think of happy, so in the book, every time she goes to class, she always be staring at her nails, I guess, it keeps her happy, showing her , she still have something she in control of.

Gaelle said...

Olivia

When I was first reading it, I feel just like you, I couldn’t understand why Mashsid thinks she owes something to Iran? But then I came to a conclusion, it’s not like she feels like she owes something to Iran, it’s just that, everyone’s she knows is leaving Iran, Especially the ones that could do something about it, If everyone decide to leave the country, who is going to help make it better, by running away is not going to solve or change anything like she said on page 286. “Who will help make something of this country? How can we be so irresponsible?” I know that the girls don’t want to live in Iran no more, especially with them having no rights to anything, but they all wished that something could be done about that, but they all running away. So that’s why Mashid seemed kind of mad. She feels like they could something about the country.

oliviak said...

Part B

In response to Gaelle's comment about how it was okay for men to have all these different wives, I completely agree with you. I was definitely disturbed when I read that, it just shows you how badly sexism was in Iran. I was thinking about the reason for men to be able to have them, because of their 'needs' and how you had said well we have needs to. I liked how Nafisi added the reason because it shows the big contrast between the importance of what men need and what women need. Women weren't expected to be anything but obedient, and to wait on their husbands hand and foot. It makes me angry just to think about this, I really don't understand how any of those women lived there for so long.

And In response to Sam P., I don't think that Mitra turned Mr. Nahvi down because of the odd way he approached her. I think Mr. Nahvi has a very strong personality and he is rather strange, so when I was reading it I just got the impression that she was embarrassed and didn't know what to do to make him stop. He also seems a bit like a stalker in the way that he approaches her out of no where and how he doesn't ever speak. It's like all of a sudden he slips her this letter telling him he loves her, where did that come from? She seemed kind of scared as well, she called his approach at her car 'the shadow of death.' Basically, I think she was just kind of confused and annoyed. I did think it was funny the way she ended it, though, and how he couldn't even say one word to her.

oliviak said...
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Samantha J said...

Part A

This section was the most interesting for me. The idea of freedom has been a constant theme throughout, but it has always been show to be this perfect thing and in this section it is the first time Nafisi touches upon the “truer experience” of freedom by not only focusing on Pride and Prejudice, but by also touching upon the works of Bellow and the effect her views have on her students.

On page 312 there is a quote that caught my attention, “All that is good in their eyes comes from America and Europe, from chocolates and chewing gum to Austen and the Declaration of Independence. Bellow gives them a truer experience of this other place. He allows the to see its problems and its fears”. In the story freedom seems to be what they believe will fix all their problems and bring them happiness, but I have to ask myself, do they realize that even in America people are unhappy with their lives? I found myself agreeing with “the magician”, they depend on the Islamic Republic to blame. I am outraged with how the Islamic Republic controls Iran, but I still think that the image they had of freedom was a fantasy and I like that for the first time Nafisi touches upon the fact that freedom is more than just the answer to all of their problems.

Does anyone else agree?

Samantha J said...

Part B

Olivia-

After I read your post I started to think on it and I think that it leads back to the fact that no matter how much you hate your home, it’s still your home. I have to agree with Gaelle, everyone is running away from Iran and abandoning it and leaving it to be consumed by the current conditions. I think that Mahshid feels like they all have the responsibility to help change Iran and that nothing will be accomplished is they all run away from the problem. Without people there that are willing to change the country then there is no hope for change and Mahshid feels that she owes it to her home to attempt to fix it, even if she can’t alone make a difference, if everyone leaves then there is no chance. She feels an obligation to Iran because it is her home, no matter how horrible it is.

Sam P-

I have to agree with your view of Azin and why she paints her nails. It is really the only thing she can control; her husband holds all the power under the laws of Iran, which includes the ability to take her precious daughter away from her. I also think that it is due to the fact that it her own way of rebelling against the lack of freedoms for women in Iran. Her nails are against the law and even though she covers them in gloves she is still resisting the control of the Islamic Republic. She is using it as a way to control her own life, which has been taken away by both her husband and the Islamic Republic.

Stephanie A. said...

Part A

Before anything I’d just like to say that I found what was happening to the writers of Iran to be really terrifying. With that bus full of writers almost being pushed over the edge of a cliff and writers and editors disappearing, I found that all to be very scary. I think those writers who were not afraid of leaving were extremely brave because it seems as though any merited writer was in danger during those days. It’s like the government was sending a message to their people, that if they had strong opinions contrary to what the government wanted you to have, it was unacceptable and measures would clearly be taken against you. If I were a writer, I’d leave the country. Even if I wasn’t a writer, I’d probably want to leave anyways because the government is making their message clear about having an opinion that doesn’t coincide with theirs. But then again, I can’t imagine leaving for a completely new country and possibly not knowing anyone there, and maybe that’s why many people stayed.

In response to what Sam J. was saying about how their idea of freedom, I do agree what their idea of was a fantasy But Nafisi raises a point I never thought to think about before when she said “It’s frightening to be free, to have to take responsibility for your decisions” (312). Everyone wants to be free. Everyone wants to be able to make their own decisions and take charge of their lives without anyone telling them what to do. But I never thought to be frightened of being free. Is being free more work? I mean, if you’re being told what to do all the time, you really don’t have to worry about doing anything but follow the rules. But when you have to take responsibility of your own decisions that probably takes more work, you don’t want to mess up. It’s like when someone leaves their parents’ house to live on their own. I’d thought it would be excited but really for the first time you’re only dependent on yourself. But is being free really something to be afraid of? What does Nafisi even mean but “it’s frightening to be free?” Does she mean the responsibility of being free is scary or does she mean the work it takes to be free and have your own decisions is scary to think about?

Stephanie A. said...
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Kellie said...

Part A
Reading the last section, I felt as though the primary themes of the book were portrayed more fully in this section. Though freedom was a constant theme throughout the memoir, I felt as though Nafisi incorporated sexism (as most of you said) in order to more fully display the freedom that was not given to the women of Iran. One thing that I picked up from this section and the previous that I wanted to mention was the fact that the men in Iran were very controlling, and somewhat afraid of revealing American customs to the Iranian women. I feel as though they fear giving women this information because of the empowerment they might get when they are exposed to such Americanism. This section highlights that there are problems in America as well when it is stated that “all that is good in their eyes comes from America and Europe”. This is the one part of the book when there is actual realism of the issue of freedom. Nafisi does not look to freedom as an escape, as much as an idea that is hard to reach.

I’d just like to say that one very intriguing part of this section was when Mitra was abused. I felt as though this part of the book exemplified the exact freedom that women in Iran did not have. I also thought that her blindness to her abuse was similarly related to the blindness of all Iranian women and their freedom.

Stephany J. said...
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hillary said...

Part A

I would like to point to a quote on p.317 that reads, “What I now realize is that, ironically, the more attached I became to my class and to my students, the more detached I became from Iran.” At first I thought that this was a good thing. Nafisi had found a way to escape the terrible world filled with injustice and violence. But as I looked at the quote I realized that this wasn’t such a great thing. I feel as though Nafisi has lost herself in this newfound world of literate fiction. I expected the story to build on how she has grown along with her students, but I keep seeing that she’s losing herself. Reality is inevitable and that is where all the problems lie. If she keeps living in this fiction world (no matter how philosophically she analyses text and purpose) I feel as though it benefits her only so much. Iran is in need and I expected her to do more than challenge the regulations through discussion and writing.


Part B

I think Olivia brought up such a great point about how Mashid thinks she owes something to her country. I actually refute that and say that she does not in fact think so.

Islam is so caught up in religion and they certainly take it as a big deal since (referring back to the trial) Mr. Nyazi always compares America to the devil/Satan. I actually found that Mashid showed a desire to break away from the country altogether, but her heart remains with her religion, not that she thinks that what the revolutionaries are doing is right in any way. Referring to 327, Mashid says “Just because of my faith and the fact that I wear the veil, you think that I don’t feel threatened?” She follows us with, “My choice. What else do I have but my religion, and if I lose that…” I found her words to be very vulnerable and lost. Her allegiance is not to her country, but more to her morals. It just so happens to be that her religion is controlled by this government that acts with little morals intact. I like what Gaelle was saying about the Iranian people actually being afraid of freedom, more specifically freedom in Iran. Iran is such a sad place in which unexpected fear lurks around every corner. With the revolutionists so compassionate about what they fight for, it is certainly a scary thought to go against the majority.

Stephany J. said...

Throughout the novel, Azar Nafisi chose to draw attention to similar themes, but in different ways. I found her repetition of the same message exacerbating to a certain extent because it was like reading the same material over and over but slightly altered. Yet, her repetition was done to create an emphasis on the topic at hand. Nafisi compares the way that Jane Austen’s time period is similar to that of Iranian women. The comparison of these two drastically different cultures caught my attention. It was apparent the Iranian government was restricting especially towards women. While the British government allowed more freedom towards women. That did not mean that they were not restricted in other ways. If so many people disagree with the treatment of women it is so odd that nothing has been to stop it. In America this treatment of women would never stand. There would be numerous organizations that would attack the thought process of the government. Why doesn’t Iran have the luxury of having an official organization that fights for the rights of everyone?

In this section the audience is able to see the effects in the thinking process of women. While the women were discussing “love” in a half-hearted way the audience is able to see their thought process. In a way I felt sympathy for these women. I felt as if they thought all hope to fall in love was not possible at this certain time. Getting married was supposed to be a special union not an aspect to be forced into. The humor used by the characters still does not sit right with me. Their behavior did not fit the previous passionate discussions about the injustice of women. Do you think theses women act to lightly about this subject, because the are gotten over it? Or do you believe theses women act in this manner as a coping mechanism?

Stephany J. said...

Part B:

In response to Gaelle, I also found it quite odd that Mashid felt as if she owed something to Iran. Iran had done nothing by stifle her in all aspects of life so I do not understand why she thought she could possibly alter the fate of the country. She barely had a voice in the typical society so I do not know how she could possibly take on the government. The women who chose to leave Iran were tired about being second to nothing. Iran was not ready to be shaken up by a woman. The government had protected themselves by making examples of radicals who chose to go against their principles. This method was used to deter any westernized thinking. If these women were not educated in western aspects do you think that they would be leaving Iran still? On the other hand, if these women were never exposed to this western way of thinking they could have possibly turned into the type of government that the government wanted---silent.

Kellie said...

Part B
In response to Stephanie, what was happening to the writers was very terrifying. I agree, I don’t think that I could stay in a country like that, but on the other hand I don’t think I would have the bravery or courage to leave the country. When reading this section, I kept putting myself in their position, and asking myself “what would I do if I was them?” Stephanie, I think that when thinking about their position, you have to take into consideration how hard it was to leave the country. When I read this book, I was under the impression that security was major, and it was very hard to leave, even if they wanted to. Even though it may have been hard to leave the country, I think the major reason why so many people stayed was simply because it was so hard to leave due to security, and fear of the government, which is the major issue in this book.

Jackie said...

In regards, to Olivia's post, I too noticed how Nafisi addresses multiple themes. I found it a little overwhelming also. However I do feel as though it was a bit redundant. It seems like she just repeats her self in a different way. Though I think her point is relevant and is meaningful but the freedom, and womens rights get lost in her presentation and her story.

I also agree with Stephany in that her comparison of Jane Austin to the status of women in Iran was drastically different. I like how she was able to connect the two time periods. Women in both time periods were restricted by both the government and society and Nafisi made this very apparent in this section. However I did feel as though she was going against the original statement of "do not under any circumstances, belittle a work of literature by trying to turn it into a carbon copy of real life"(3)
On the other hand, I feel like it is appropriate to do so because Jane Austin, more than any other author or book she has mentioned, fits what is going on in Tehran the best. Furthermore, in this section, as it is the last, the book finally makes sense to me. I see things that I did not pick up on in previous sections, in this section.

Jackie said...

Like the rest of you, I found that what was happening to the writers was appalling. However it made me think, What if we didn't have the freedom to write? What if we were persecuted for writing what we think and feel? It occurred to me that this is one freedom that is almost too personal. I can't imagine not being able to create a story and share it with the world around me. I was wondering what everyone else thought, What would life be like if we didn't have the freedom to write? I imagine that living here would be stifling but I think I would have no other choice but to leave the country. I think that the freedom to write is so important because it is a skill that all of us can build upon, but if not used and neglected it is lost and wasted. However, I do see what Kellie is saying, realistically leaving Tehran was easier said than done. It was much more difficult to leave the country. Which I feel hindered peoples freedom even more. By not allowing someone to leave the country and seek a new life they want, you are (in my own opinion) not giving them a life. I also see a connection to a doll's house here. Before Nora finally chooses to leave, she had no choice, she wasn't living a life of her own. She was living someone else's.

Stephanie A. said...

(In my previous post, I forget to label my second paragraph as part B so this will be a part B)

In response to what Hillary said about Nafisi loosing herself in her literature, I can see what she’s saying. Nafisi really does get into her books but I don’t think she’s necessarily engulfed in the world of her fiction books. I think it’s just a way to not think about the problems they have to face for a while. It’s like when people go on vacation; they don’t have to think about what ever is going on at home and the things they have to take care of. None of that has to matter because the vacation is a way to get away from it all. That’s how I saw Nafisi using her books and the discussions she has with her students. I saw it as more of a way to get away from all the stress of the country. I think being “detached from Iran” might even be a good thing for Nafisi. During the time they are living through with all the restrictions on women and all the horrible things that keep happening to writers and being questioned when just going out to eat and the raids, I think it’s a good thing for them to not be too attached to what’s going on in the country. I can imagine it being extremely stressful to be living under those conditions. Plus, they’re government I believe takes it too far in trying to control them. If they can have their own opinions while getting into their discussions, then I would think it’s almost healthy to not have to think about the pressures of their country twenty-four-seven. If reading and discussion is a way to get away from it all, they maybe that’s can be their form of a vacation away from reality, although they do connect their readings to their lives.

Jen said...

I can see where Olivia’s coming from with how she thinks Nafisi’s addressing different themes and that sexism is one of them. I remember when the girls were discussing the new law that’s been made, allowing men to have temporary wives as young as nine years olds. However the women can’t do anything close to that. I just thought it was unfair how they’re treated, and raised. On page 298 it says “No one ever taught me how to be happy. We’ve been taught that pleasure is the great sin and that sex is for procreation and so on and so forth.” I agree with what Gaelle’s saying, so they need pleasure but the women don’t?? What I found most disturbing, was the fact that they could marry little girls, that didn’t even hit puberty yet, and then discard them once they’re done satisfying themselves. This also reminds me of the relationship between Nazin and her husband. So a man like him could go and get himself a temporary wife, while he abuses hi “permanent” one, and he tells her that no one else would want her because she’s a used merchandise. These men have control in every way possible. It’s just so upsetting to see how dominating the government is. I don’t understand how everything could have turned backward. In the first part of the book when she talked of the different generations and the different laws, I find it weird to think that her mother’s generation had more freedom than her daughter’s generation.

Jen said...

I think that the question Sam asked was interesting. When I was reading this section the way Nafisi described it, to me, it seemed like Nazin’s nails was a way for her to escape. It’s the only control she has over her life. It’s her way of escaping from her problems, and her husband. I think that Sam J. made a good point, saying that it’s her way of rebelling against the law. She’ mesmerized by the fact that she’s doing this, and the fact that she can actually control something in her life.
I also think that Nafisi uses literature as a way to escape the world she’s living in. Ever since the beginning, the way she described those private classes, it seem s to be another world. There the women can take off their veils, and robes, and become individuals. This is the opposite of what the government’s trying to accomplish. At times she would talk about how she carried certain books with her to feel safer, because she thought of it as some type of protection. In these novels she can focus on the characters, and their problems, and analyze their lives and difficulties, so that she can escape her own for those moments. It’s no surprise that she feels detached from her country. They get no respects as human beings; this so called revolution’s been all about women making sacrifices for traditions, and values.

Jen said...

On page 342 it says “her former husband had taken Negar from her and there was not much else to stay in Tehran for.” This reminds me of A Doll’s House. When I first read it I thought that Nora was leaving her children behind because of Torvald. I thought that during that time, by law, the children were Torvald. This makes it easier to find a connection between the treatment of these women, and those a few centuries ago. I remember when Nafisi and the girls were dancing, and one of the girls commented on how British society was stricter than heirs based on the comparison between the two dances. I thought of both of them as restriction. In Tehran if one of these women were to perform such a dance in public, they’ probably get stoned, or get thrown in jail. In both cases these women had to follow the rules of society. Nafisi was talking about how these two people dancing together could communicate with their eyes, but I just saw these as all the things they weren’t allowed to do.

Sandy. J said...

Part A

While reading the last part of the memoir, I realized that Nafisi uses the same style as she did in part one. In my opinion, the first and last parts of the memoir were the same, Nafisi was discussing novels with her girls, and how it relates to their society in Iran. The two middle parts were random, and didn't fit the idea of the memoir as well as it should have or what I had expected to be.
One of the many things that appealed to me while reading "Reading Lolita in Tehran" was Nafisi's statement about the Iranian people, more specifically women that are living someone else's dream. I pondered on it, and realized that was a true statement. Nafisi explained to us that the "President Rafsanjani proposed that young people should enter into temporary marriages" (pg 259), I thought that was absurd. It also occurred to me that the Iranian people were living his dream, because that was his opinion. He could enforce that perspective because he's the president, and if anyone dares to oppose it, they will be severely punished. It is the president dream to have everything as he wants, it’s not what any else would prefer. The people didn’t approve of the new law, “This angered both the reactionaries, who felt it was a shrewd move on the president’s part to curry favor with the young, and the progressives found it insulting to women” (pg 259). They weren’t living their dream, which would assume to be the freedom to make their own choices with no objection from a government; instead they lived the president’s dream which restricted them to the freedoms they ought to have. One of the messages Nafisi wants to convey to us is that these people were robbed of liberty; there is no space for their dreams or their voices. She uses the novels as a way to escape that because with those novels, their minds are free. They have a voice, and limitless space to dream and to imagine.

Sandy. J said...

Part B

In response to Olivia and Gaelle’s comment. I have to say that it’s not the fact that sexism exists, and these men dominate everything, that’s why they can have multiple wives. It’s the culture. In other cultures, men are supposed to have multiple wives, it’s the law. In some parts of China, for example there is a limited amount of children that women can have. Let’s not try to focus so much on our feelings about what is occurring but the aspects of the Iranian culture. I do agree with you guys that it’s absolutely ridiculous and absurd, but that’s the way the things are. These people don’t really have a choice, it’s the law that they need to obey. We read that if they don’t follow these laws, the severe punishments that await them. They’re restricted in everything they do. They gave men all the power, and women the power to be domestic. In the memoir, Nafisi mentions how women used to be more educated than men. I guess someone didn’t like that fact and they changed the rules. It’s going to have to take someone else with a dream to achieve an egalitarian society.