Friday, October 12, 2012

Prisoner of Tehran Discussion 1

Happy Friday!

I am in love with this book.  I'm flying through it every time I sit down to read.  It terrifies me that things like THIS HAPPEN.  I just cannot accept that people think seeing a woman's hair is the end of the world.  I cannot accept that disrespecting one's religion or their religious entity deserves death.  CRAZY PEOPLE CRAZY. I am so thankful to live where I live and be able to think and say like I do.  Also, how brave is Marina? I wish to say I'd do the same, but man.  Yikes.

These questions are based off of Chapters 1-13.

1.  At the end of chapter 13, Ali gives Marina an ultimatium.  Marry him or people she loves will be in trouble.  Kill herself and people she loves will be in trouble.  What would you do if you were in Marina's situation? What do you think she will do?

2. On page 46, after Marina has been locked outside on the balcony as a punishment by her mother, she decides to rebel, saying "I knew that my mother would get angry, but I didn't care; I couldn't bear my solitary confinement any longer." How do you think childhood experiences such as this one affected Marina's reaction to prison? Was she more or less equipped to deal with the conditions and restrictions imposed at Evin as a result of how her mother treated her?

3. When Ali saves Marina just seconds before her execution she remembers: "His eyes focused on mine, Ali walked toward me. I wanted to run. I wanted Hamehd to shoot me and end my life" (42). Why do you think it was worse for Marina to be rescued by Ali than to die by execution? Does Marina's reaction reflect more broadly on the role of women in Iranian culture?

4. The memoir begins with Marina landing in Canada with her husband and child; we know from the outset, therefore, that her marriage to Ali has ended and that she has remarried. How did this knowledge affect your view of Marina and Ali's relationship? If Marina's marriage to Ali had truly been a "life sentence," would you view it differently

5. What passages strike you as insightful, even profound?

I hope you are all enjoying this as much as me! If you are, I'd recommend Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi or The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood if you haven't read either of those!  Enjoy your weekend!

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