Ms. Wicker Persepolis Web Quest Answer Key

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Ms. Wicker Persepolis Web Quest Answer Key

The questions on this WebQuest should be completed in DETAIL and turned in on Edmodo on the “TURN IN TAB” for “Persepolis Webquest.” Use your time wisely & provide detailed responses for each question, definition and response.

(40 points)


Part biography, part history, Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi, is the tale of growing up during the Islamic Revolution . Her world is filled with war, culture and class differences, torture, execution, and Michael Jackson buttons. Set against the backdrop of daily life in Iran, the tale, which is represented in the form of a graphic novel, shows the world through the eyes of a young girl trying to make sense of her two conflicting worlds. At home, she is free in both body and mind, but the public demands both obedience and tradition. This is a story of innocence, of coming of age, and most importantly seeing the world around you ravaged and having the heart to move forward

About the Author: Marjane Satrapi

  • Born November 22nd, 1969, in Rasht, Iran

  • Is a graphic novelist, illustrator and children's book author

  • Sent to Vienna by her parents, to flee the Iranian regime in 1984, she later returned to Tehran for college.

  • Marjane studied illustration at the Strasburg School of Decorative Arts. Much of her work is influenced by French comic artists.

  • She writes an illustrated column in "The New York Times"

  • She lives in the Marais district of Paris with her husband.

To understand much of what is going on in the graphic novel Persepolis, complete the following Web Quest. You will be responsible for this information (aka, need to know it for a test). The information you learn today will also help you understand Persepolis.
Part 1: Maps and Geography/History of Persia (present day Iran)

Where is Persia? Search the web and find two maps of Persia (present day Iran) --- one that shows its relationship to the world, and one that zooms in on the country itself.

Part 2: Timeline: Look at the following timeline & fill in the dates IN YOUR OWN WORDS.

330: Alexander the Great of Macedon conquers the Persian Empire, founding a short-lived empire before dying in Babylon in 323.

636: Arab invasion brings end of Sassanid dynasty and start of Islamic rule.

1828: Iran cedes control of Caucasus to Russia after second Russo-Persian war

1907: Introduction of constitution which limits the absolutist powers of rulers.

1914-1918: Iran declares neutrality but is scene of heavy fighting during World War I.

1921-1926 (summarize what happens in these five years): Military leader Reza Kahn seizes power and becomes prime minister 1926 April - Reza Khan crowned Reza Shah Pahlavi. Mohammad Reza, the Shah's eldest son, is proclaimed Crown Prince.

1935: Formerly known as Persia, Iran is adopted as the country's official name.

1951: Parliament votes to nationalize the oil industry, which is dominated by the British-owned Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. Britain imposes an embargo and a blockade, halting oil exports and hitting the economy. A power struggle between the Shah and Mossadeq ensues

1953: The Shah flees the country in August; Mossadeq is overthrown in a coup engineered by the British and American intelligence services. General Fazlollah Zahedi is proclaimed as prime minister and then later the Shah returns

1963: The Shah embarks on a campaign to modernise and westernise the country. He launches the 'White Revolution', a programme of land reform and social and economic modernisation. During the late 1960's the Shah became increasingly dependent on the secret police (SAVAK) in controlling those opposition movements critical of his reforms.

1979: As the political situation deteriorates, the Shah and his family are forced into exile.

1980: The exiled Shah dies of cancer in Egypt.
Part 3: Iran Revolution: go to the following website:

Click through the pictures on this site and explore the history of the Iran Revolution. Answer the following questions that coincide with this page.

  1. Before the revolution, who was Iran ruled by? What created distrust of the Shah?

        • Formerly ruled by Shah Reza Pahlavi, power was clustered among a close network of the Shah’s relatives and friends

        • 1970’s - gap between rich and poor grew and people distrusted the economic policy and autocratic (self-ruling) style of ruling

  1. Who did the people that opposed the Shah rally behind and why?

        • Rallied around Ayotollah Ruhollah Kehomeini, a shia cleric living in exile in Paris (shia: 1 of the 2 main branches of the Islam religion, especially followed in Iran); he promised social and economic reform and a return to traditional religious values which many Iranians liked

  1. What type of violence took place in 1970 and why?

        • Large scale violence, strikes, fires, bombings etc - took place b/c of violent anti- shah protests across Iran - this hurt Iran’s economy

  1. What happened in 1979?

        • The Shah left Tehran for an “extended vacation” and never returned

        • Statues of the Shah were torn down across Iran by people who supported Kehomeini

  1. Who did the Shah appoint to Prime Minister before fleeing? What did this individual try to do?

        • He appointed Prime Minister Shahpur Bakhtiar as head of a regency council to run the country while he was gone - Bakhtiar tried to prevent the growing opposition to his rule and he refusted to allow Khomeini to form a new government

  1. Why did violence erupt on February 1, 1979?

    • Khomeini made a dramatic return from exile, and political and social instability increased. Street battles took place between those who were for Khomeini and those who were against him

  1. Who declares an Islamic republic and is appointed Iran’s political and religious leader for life when a “new era begins”?

        • Prime Minster Bakhtiar resigned; and two months late Khomeini won a landslide victory vote - he declared Islamic republic and was appointed Iran’s political and religious leader for life

Part 4: Iran Revolution Continued: go to the following website:\

(Note: copy and paste link if clicking on it takes you to wrong page)

Scroll down through the page under “The 1979 Iranian Revolution in Pictures.” Look at the pictures and read about the revolution. Answer the following questions that coincide with this page.

  1. Fill in the blanks:

Shah Reza Pahlavi ruled as emperor of Iran for nearly ___40_______ years before the events of 1979 forced him from power, eventually driving him to death through ill health.

His overly ambitious economic programs had only served to ___widen______ the gap between Iran's ____rich__ and ______poor____.

  1. What type of lifestyle did Shah Reza Pahlavi live? Did society like this?

          • There was widespread distrust of his brutal autocratic (self-serving) style, his extravagant lifestyle and what was commonly perceived as a gradual westernizing and secularizing of Iran presided over by Pahlavi.

  1. Fill in the blanks:

Opposition voices rallied around ______Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomein____________, a Shia cleric living in exile in Paris after challenging the Shah in the early _____1960s_____. _________Khomeini _____ promised social and economic reform, as well as a return to traditional religious values and a state where Islam formed both the sole religion and dominant political ideology (under strictly enforced law) - a platform that struck a chord with disenfranchised ____Iranians___.

As the __1970s___drew to a close a series of large-scale, increasingly violent anti-Shah protests swept Iran. __Instability __ continued throughout the year, including a wave of strikes which crippled the country's economy, and as the frequency of __demonstrations__’s grew, so the brutality by which the government quashed them increased. The numbers killed by the Shah's army mounted, fueling __further outrage________, which in turn led to more __deaths___ and larger and more violent demonstrations.

  1. Who in the US voiced support for the Shah?

        • The US Carter administration pledged full support for the Shah

  1. What burned to the ground in August 1978? How many were killed due to this?

        • In August 1978 the Cinema Rex in Abadan burned to the ground, killing over 400 - and although cinemas were common targets for anti-West demonstrators, such was the distrust of the Shah that the public believed the government had started the fire in order to frame the protestors. Weeks later an event that was to completely kill any hope of compromise would go down in history as the notorious 'Black Friday'.

  1. How many people took part in the anti-Shah demonstrations on the 10th and 11th of December 1978?

        • 6 - 9 million

  1. Fill in the blanks: (scroll down toward end of page for this section): Western notions of human rights have undoubtedly deteriorated under the new Islamic republic - ____stricter_____ control of women, ___lower_____ rates of literacy and ___oppresive____control of the media have all characterized Iran since the revolution. But to many these imperfections are forgiven as necessities of an Islamic state, especially when viewed in the context of the _Shah’s___ excesses. This to-ing and fro-ing between moderate and strict religious observance, between a state respectful of or enslaved by Islam, is perhaps symptomatic of Iran's, and indeed much of the Middle East's, political difficulties.

Part 5: Iran Culture. Visit the following website and explore the culture of Iran:

At the TOP barcode scroll to “Culture” or “Persian Cuisine” or “National Celebration of Iran.” Pick some articles of your choice to read and then list four things you learned about Iran culture that you did not previously know. (2 sentences for each new thing you learned)

- answers will vary
Part 7: Islam Religion: go to the following website and read about the Islam Religion:

Then, answer the following questions.

  1. What does the word “Islam” mean?

          • submission to the will of God

  1. Islam is the world’s second largest followed language. How many followers does the religion have?

          • 1 billion followers

  1. What are followers of Islam called?

          • Muslims

  1. How many God’s are there in the Islam religion?

          • One

  1. What is the Islam word for God?

          • Allah

  1. What holy book do Muslims base their practices on?

          • Qur’an (The Koran)

  1. What are the five basic Pillars of Islam?

          • The declaration of faith, praying five times a day, giving money to charity, fasting and taking atleast one pilgrimage to Mecca.

Part 8: Allusions in the text: In the text, there are several allusions made to people and historical events. You will not be able to understand what is referenced in the text without some background knowledge of these events/people. Look up the following people, events, etc., and provide a minimum of a 3 sentences explanation IN YOUR OWN WORDS --- DO NOT COPY AND PASTE. Pick out the most important information that you find on each person/event.

Fidel Castro: a Cuban communist revolutionary and politician who was Prime Minister of Cuba from 1959 to 1976, and President from 1976 to 2008; Communism (from Latin communis – common, universal) is a revolutionary socialist movement to create a classless, moneyless,[1][2] and stateless social order structured upon common ownership of the means of production, as well as a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of this social order.[3] This movement, in its Marxist–Leninist interpretations, significantly influenced the history of the 20th century, which saw intense rivalry between the "socialist world" (socialist states ruled by communist parties) and the "Western world" (countries with capitalist economies).[4]

Che Guevara: Guevara became part of Fidel Castro's efforts to overthrow the Batista government in Cuba. Since his death, Guevara has become a legendary political figure. His name is often equated with rebellion, revolution and socialism. Others, however, still remember that he could be ruthless and ordered prisoners executed without trial in Cuba.

Trotsky: Leon Trotsky was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and theorist, Soviet politician, and the founder and first leader of the Red Army. He was a Communist theorist, prolific writer, leader in the 1917 Russian Revolution, the people's commissar for foreign affairs under Lenin. Was a leader in the 1917 Russian Revolution. He officially joined the Bolshevik Party in August and allied himself with Lenin 

Karl Marx: A revolutionary communist, whose works inspired the foundation of many communist regimes in the twentieth century; trained as a philosopher, Marx turned away from philosophy in his mid-twenties, towards economics and politics. Historical materialism — Marx's theory of history — focuses on the idea that society’s rise and fall depending on how well they are able to develop human productive power. Marx sees the historical process as something that occurs through different modes of production, class struggle, and communism.

Descartes: He was a creative mathematician of the first order, an important scientific thinker, and an original metaphysician. During the course of his life, he was a mathematician first, a natural scientist or “natural philosopher” second, and a metaphysician third. In mathematics, he developed the techniques that made possible algebraic (or “analytic”) geometry. He offered a new vision of the natural world that continues to shape our thought today: a world of matter possessing a few fundamental properties and interacting according to a few universal laws. This natural world included an immaterial mind that, in human beings, was directly related to the brain; in this way, Descartes formulated the modern version of the mind–body problem. In metaphysics, he provided arguments for the existence of God, to show that the essence of matter is extension, and that the essence of mind is thought. Descartes claimed early on to possess a special method, which was variously exhibited in mathematics, natural philosophy, and metaphysics, and which, in the latter part of his life, included, or was supplemented by, a method of doubt.

Part 9: Definitions. Use the internet (, google search, etc., to find the definitions for the following words. Provide a definition for each word/term. I have page numbers listed next to each word, this is the page number that corresponds to where the word is found in Persepolis. This will be useful once we start reading.

Fundamentalism (ii)

a movement in American Protestantism that arose in the early part of the 20th century in reaction to modernism and that stresses the infallibility of the Bible not only in matters of faith and morals but also as a literal historical record, holding as essential to Christian faith belief in such doctrines as the creation of the world, the virgin birth, physical resurrection, atonement by the sacrificial death of Christ, and the Second Coming.

Fanaticism (ii)

a belief or behavior involving uncritical zeal, particularly for a religious or political cause or in some cases sports, or with an obsessive enthusiasm for a pastime or hobby

Terrorism (ii)

the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.

Capitalism (4)

an economic system in which investment in and ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange of wealth is made and maintained chiefly by private individuals or corporations, especially as contrasted to cooperatively or state-owned means of wealth.

Tyranny (11)

arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power; despotic abuse of authority.Imperialism (11)

Decadence (11)

the act or process of falling into an inferior condition or state; deterioration; decay:

Putsch (19)

a plotted revolt or attempt to overthrow a government, especially one that depends upon suddenness and speed.

Royalist (34)

a supporter or adherent of a king or royal government, especially in times of rebellion or civil war.

Savak (44)

was the secret police, domestic security and intelligence service established by Iran's Mohammad Reza Shah with the help of the United States

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