I know in my last post I mentioned I was beginning to lose interest in the novel suddenly, but I must say that I take it back. The idea of the book turning into a war story in some ways forced me to disengage with the text only because it wasn't what I wanted to read or expect. But, I realized that the war between Iran and Iraq was actually significant to the book.
“So he had formulated an ideal of me as a Muslim woman, as a Muslim woman teacher, and wanted me to look, act in short live according to that ideal...No, I could tell Mr. Bahri, it was not that piece of cloth that I rejected, it was the transformation being imposed upon me that me made me look in the mirror and hate the stranger I had become,” (165). This was my first quote that I chose for the the fourth part of the book because I finally got a sense of what she really thought about the veil, what she really felt about being covered, head to toe, in a black chador...in her own words. It's pretty obvious that the veil is an extremely important aspect of the lives of Muslim women in Iran—especially the narrator, Azi. The idea that she applies about the veil was a way that I never thought of it before. I always thought she opposed the idea because she was a rebel and hated conforming to the government, and would rather live her life the way she chose to rather than the way “they” chose to.
Jenny you noted that Nassrin, one of Azi's students, lives in a society where women are considered to be subordinate and they mustn't show any trace of individuality or identity. The narrator is living in the same one. This world that the Muslim women are living in contradicts Azi's beliefs that wearing the “piece of cloth” would turn her into a stranger within herself, which I agree with. I can't imagine her in a thick black chador of endless layers that block her from personal expression. Wearing the veil would mean a dismissal to, according to Jenny, “her identity and individuality”, most of her beliefs, her lifestyle, and her behavior. In other parts of the book, she calls herself “irrelevant”. Azi's irrelevance to society is because she is so different. The university believes she is different, too. This came to be after the veil was required in most accommodations in the country. Also, most of her favorite book stores were closed down because they sold too many “Westernized” novels that they believed were poison to the country. “Sometimes, almost unconsciously, I would withdraw my hands into my wide sleeves and start touching my legs or my stomach. Do they exist? Do I exist...Unfortunately, the Revolutionary Guards and the guardians of our morality did not see the world with the same eyes as me. They saw hands, faces and pink lipstick...” (168). This relates to Azi's previous statements because as before, she is not the average woman living in Iran. I couldn't believe when I read over the passage that she was wearing the veil! I was shocked and a bit angry because I saw it as defeat, but then again, it was necessary in order for her to return to teaching at the University of Tehran. What she said foreshadowed this quote because the cloth did make her a stranger. She would walk down the street and question whether her existence was true or false. The Islamic regime only saw what their minds and eyes forced them to see. They did not realize how wearing the veil would rape these women of their individuality (according to few of the characters).
- Vanessa G.
- Hello everyone! My name is Vanessa. I'm currently in school for my Bachelor's in Social Work with a minor in Juvenile Justice. Life is what we make it so why let "society" ruin it. If you are a part of society and allow it to influence you, this blog is not for you. If not, enjoy reading about hair and products, music, society, relationships, and anything else I can think of.