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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.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Reading Lolita In Tehran Post 5 (A & B)

In my previous post, I noted that Azi believes that she is irrelevant to society. I just wanted to add a quote that I think would branch off from it:

“I wrote, rather dramatically, to an American friend: “You ask me what it means to be irrelevant [I asked the same thing]? The feeling is akin to visiting your old house as a wandering ghost with unfinished business. Imagine going back: the structure familiar, but the door I snow metal instead of wood...Your office is now the family room and your beloved bookcases have been replaced by a brand-new television set. This is your house, and it is not. And you are no longer relevant to this house...” (169).
Before the quote, Azi would talk to anyone who would listen to her. She believes that others she has spoken to feel as if their place in the world was taken away. Though she applies this to others, it also relates to herself. She was living in a country where not all that mattered to a person were limited and she was able to articulate with that, but now, ever since she began wearing the proper Muslim woman attire, her life changed drastically. It seemed to really affect her. “The problem for me was that I had lost all concept of terms such as home, service and country,” (169).

Anyhow, Jenny, you wrote about Azi's visits to her magician. Before, I elaborate, I would repeatedly get confused about who this “magician” was and her relation with him. I did not want to go back to the text because I was hoping that the narrator would explain his importance. I also agree with you about whether or not Azi “invented” him or not, but I think he really existed because of the scene when she had an appointment with him and did not find him there. I don't think that his significance to the novel was all that vague as you put it. I looked at the name she gave him first, “magician—and at times, my magician”. A magician is a talented person who usually performs tricks, illusions, and provides an entertaining atmosphere to a crowd. In this case, Azi's magician put an air of hope and fulfillment. “This was what was good about him: people who went to see him somehow ended up with some plan or another, whether it was how to behave towards a lover or how to start a new project...” (175). The narrator mentions how he was able to fix situations and how people would come to him for advice. The magician was put there (especially notable during the times of the bombings in Tehran when most people lost all hope) to help bring Azi back on track on her teaching. She left Tehran University because of the veiling law that was passed. I found it interesting about how he described her. “He said later that when friends asked him after our first meeting, What is the lady professor [this is what the magician called Azi, the narrator] like?, he said, She's okay. She is very American—like an American version of Alice in Wonderland...it was merely a fact”, (175-176). He describes her as being very American, where most Muslims in Tehran would probably take as an insult. Instead, she thinks nothing of it—rather she agrees with his statement. He also believes she is like Alice in Wonderland. This movie was a story of a young girl who falls into an unfamiliar world with fictional characters unlike herself, that seem yet adapted to their environment. She travels in this fantasy world, different as can be, and befriends the most unusual creatures. She's lost in this land and must find a way back to her world; same as Azi. She is in a world where she is unlike the others, she's lost (because of the veil she's wearing) and tries to find a way back to her purpose (teaching back at the university).

Ashely, you asked if Nafisi could be a Christ figure. Like Jenny, I understand where you're coming from because, yes, she has disciples that like and don't like her classes that she teaches. I don't really see the relations of Christ within her except that she has followers. But, then again, I see that she represents Christ in other ways, too. She seems very devoted to her books, just as Christ was with the Bible, and doesn't seem to care what others think about her, just as Christ felt when others denied him as prophet and instead as a hoax. Then again, at the end, she conforms to wearing the veil because she has to in order to continue teaching, let alone walking in the street, which Christ did not conform to, instead he remained faithful to God and His plan, was crucified, and died, but rose again.

Jenny, to answer your question about losing contact with the other students, I just believe that it was meant to happen. Many of her students were either jailed or executed, and many just chose not to come to school or had joined the fight against Iraq, especially with the war that was going on. Even before the war, Azi was losing contact with many of the students As to it being a symbol of leaving the past behind, I see your point, and I find that I agree. She left for the United States in 1997 as she stated in the Epilogue. After all of her experiences in Tehran, Iran, I believe that she left to a land where she could be herself, her true self and not worry about what the Islamic regime had to say about it.

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