Reading Lolita in Tehran
A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi
Then from pages 72-74 one of Nafisi's students, Sanaz, tells of a vacation she and some of her friends took to visit her friend's fiancé. They were all visiting and Revolutionary Guards suddenly jumped over the low walls and claimed they'd received a report of illegal activity. They found nothing illegal and had no legitimate reason to bring them in but arrested them anyway. "They were held in that room for forty-eight hours. Despite their repeated requests, they were denied the right to call their parents." Once their parents found them, the court forced the girls to sign confessions and "subjected them to 25 lashes." "Sanaz, who was very thin, was wearing a tshirt under her robe. Her jailers jokingly suggested that since she was wearing an extra garment, she might not feel the pain, so they gave her more." This is one of many examples of how women were harassed simply because they were women; they were degraded, humiliated, and constantly controlled.
Really Cool Fact About This Book
Lolita; The Stealing of Life
Nafisi goes on to talk about how this compare with Lolita. She says that the story of Lolita isn't just the rape of a 12 year old girl, it's the "confiscation of one individual's life by another (Nafisi, 33)." She discusses how in Humbert's attempt to make Lolita into his own dream; he destroys her. This is the same with Iran; by trying to force their dreams onto the citizens, they are totally destroying them.
Gatsby; Death by Dream
Reading Lolita in Tehran is a memoir about an Iranian woman teaching at the University of Tehran during the revolution from 1978-1981. It discusses the secret class she taught in her home and the 7 women who attended it. In the book, you gain insight on the lives of these women and how they felt about the laws forced on them. You learn a lot about how cruelly the women were treated based on the discussions they have in their class. Nafisi (the author) relates the books they read in class to life in Iran. She does a lot of dissecting and analyzing of these books to map out how they are similar. One of the major themes is how the government destroyed the lives of those living in Iran by trying to force their dreams on Iran’s citizens. You see the extreme extent to which the government controls its people; especially the women. Nafisi shows the reader how, by making the women nearly invisible, it affects the men negatively as well; resulting in essentially the whole dynamics of the nation being obstructed. The book talks about the tension between the students of different political parties, the protests, sit ins, and the escalation of violence. It informs the reader of the purging of faculty and students from the university and how eventually even those who were asked to stay were victims of violence from the government.