A study of trauma in the select novels of Sahar Khalifeh’s The Inheritance and Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis


  • Shivanand Bande Assistant Professor Department of English, Seshadripuram Academy of Business Studies,K S Town, Bengaluru -560060.


Inheritance, Trauma, Subjugation, Post-Oslo picture, Patriarchy, Exile life, Identity.


This paper examines the exile existence of an individual in their own land in Sahar Khalifeh's
novel The Inheritance. Fact and fiction coexist as a post-Oslo portrait of life in Ghaza is painted,
with a particular emphasis on the lives of four Palestinian women. The limitation on their lives
caused by the Israeli occupation is akin to the outmoded social demands on them. Khalifeh
condemns both colonial military forces and the similarly oppressive patriarchal rules that
Palestinian women are subjected to twice: first as women in patriarchal societies, and then as
politically colonised women. The study aims to dissect Khalifeh's portrayal of political realities
and the ways in which they intersect with the characters' personal journeys and Persepolis
portrayal of a captivating glimpse into the tumultuous period of the Islamic Revolution in Iran
during the late 1970s and early 1980s. The narrative revolves around Marjane, a spirited and
modern girl, navigating the profound impact of war, religious extremism, and societal
transformations on the Iranian populace, with a particular focus on women. Marjane's coming-
of-age story unfolds against the backdrop of the toppling of the Shah of Iran, the rise of an
authoritarian fundamentalist dictatorship, and the tragic Iran-Iraq war.
The trauma has been visualized as aiming to unravel the intricate relationship between politics
and personal identity in both the novels of Sahar Khalifeh’s The Inheritance and Marjane
Satrapi’s Persepolis, shedding light on the broader socio-political landscape of the Palestinian
experience and experiences growing up during the Islamic rebellion in Iran and the effects of
conflict and religious fundamentalism on Iranians, particularly women.


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