Today I read chapters fourteen through eighteen of Reading Lolita in Tehran. I just have to say, I really admired Nassrin’s bravery in revealing her dark past to Azar. As the book progresses, I can start to see that the seven girls are starting to trust Azar. At the beginning of chapater 15 on page forty-eight, Nassrin reveals that “her youngest uncle, had sexually abused her when she was barely eleven years old…she encountered how…he was her tutor and as they sat side by side, his hands wandered over her legs, her whole body…” Throughout the chapters I started to notice how Azar’s main intention now was to get the girls to get along with each other. There was a bit of tension towards the end of chapter 15. “I knew that Azin’s outrageousness was partly defensive, that it was her way of overcoming Mahshid’s and Manna’s defenses…Mahshid was a formidable enemy. Did she and Manna know how their obstinate silences, their cold, immaculate disapproval, affected Azin, made her defenseless?” Azar wanted to put this aside and persuade them into taking positive actions. That these girls whether they liked it or not, were their only “true” family. All eight (Azar included) shared the similarities of wanting to escape reality and this was only possible in Azar’s classroom. “I have said that we were in that room to protect ourselves from the reality outside…it created and shaped our intimacies, throwing us into unexpected complicity.”(Pg.59) Azar wanted to defend what these seven girls had all agreed to come do. Azar wanted to urge these girls to come in and embrace literature and through that learn to cope with one another because they were the only girls who understood what each other felt. Azar’s message does indeed fulfill her intentions! The girls decide to go on gossiping about life and bring up personal experiences. They all had a like for literature in common, so they started to see that they could enjoy conversating with one another. “We ended up making desultory conversation, mainly gossiping about our experiences at the university, until we broke up.”(Pg.54) Her message fits exactly to the circumstances and times of her classroom! Even though at times they could side track away from literature, they would regain confidence with one another and forget that some did not like others. They started to discuss Madame Bovary, and through all the details in the book they continued class past an hour! “but this time no one wanted to leave…initially our class hours were from nine to twelve, but gradually they were prolonged into afternoon.”(Pg.57) The fact that Azar’s form and style of writing is through events that occur in this classroom which makes it content with religion and society. Towards the end of chapter 17 Azar talks about her daughter rushing in the classroom crying and terrified of what had happened at her school. The way her American friend was deprived of liberties she had in America just because that is the way religion overpowered society. “She kept saying, Mom, she just doesn’t know about our rules and regulations; you know, she just came back from America — how do you think she feels when they force us to trample the American flag and shout, Death to America?” It also shows how Azar talks about her own child, to show the reader that Negar is also witnessing the horrors of the Islamic Republic and even putting herself down by saying “I hate myself, I hate myself.”(Pg.59) This could possible have a long lasting effect on her child’s life. By only making it harder for Azar’s intentions to reach Negar.
- What is his/her intention in speaking?
- Does the message/speech/text succeed in fulfilling the author’s or speaker’s intentions?
- How do form and content correspond?