The Connection and Analyzation of Oppression

The Connection and Analyzation of Oppression
In the fall of 1995, Nafisi a university professor in Tehran, Iraq resigned from her
academic post and decided to fulfill a dream. Nafisi chose seven of her past most committed
female students to create a book club to discuss works of literature. Including male students to
the club would have been too much of a risk. The group riddled with oppression in their own
society, find power and a sense of truth through reading works of fiction. The group analyzes
Nabokov’s novels Lolita and Invitation to a Beheading. In doing so, the ladies evaluate how
oppression germinates and how the group can relate to oppression in their lives. The group also
uses the characters of the novels as an escape of the oppression that each member of the group
experience living in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
In both novels we see a continuity of the elements of oppression. The roles of the
oppressor and the oppressed can only be described as a vicious circle without a beginning or an
end in of themselves. One must have the other for the circle to gain life. This vicious circle
achieves conception with the oppressor and the oppressed each playing a significant role. The
oppressor dictates to the oppressed the identity they wish to place on the oppressed. The
oppressor removes the identity of the oppressed and dictates a new identity to the oppressed.
When the oppressed is forced to accept the new identity; the power taken from the oppressed
feeds the oppressor with more power. This is what fuels the vicious circle of oppression. “The
only way to leave the circle is to find a way to preserve ones individuality, that unique quality
which evades description, but differentiates one human being from another” (Nafisi 77). We see
this circle in the novel Invitation to a Beheading. Cincinnatus C. has been sentenced to death. He is
forced to lose his identity through the Jailer who dictates every aspect of his...