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Art has the potential to liberate and empower a community and can serve as a threat to repressive societies such as the Islamic Republic in Azar Nafisis Reading Lolita in Tehran A Memoir in Books In Iran women are forced to wear chadors avoid conversation with men and are often punished for arbitrary actions As Nafisi and her students delve into various novels secretly in her home they make parallels to their own lives through works such as Madame Bovary and Nabokovs Lolita Nafisis Tehran is not a republic but a totalitarian regime that attacks individuality and strives for a uniform and subservient society Throughout the article Nafisi shows that art and literature are powerful tools that have the ability to challenge totalitarianism by empowering a persons individuality and by encouraging people to pursue their dreams and passions Literature makes the efforts of a totalitarian society futile by broadening horizons and liberating a human being while government continues to repress its citizens worlds To Nafisi a society that strips its citizens from their identity and forces them to become a certain character is a society that practices totalitarianism She writes Not just our reality but also our fiction had taken on this curious coloration in a world wherewe simultaneously invented ourselves and were figments of someone elses imagination Nafisi 263 The recipe for a totalitarian regime requires many ingredients It requires the dream of a dictator powerful enforcement such as the military and control over social media such as newspapers TV shows and radio The purpose of totalitarianism is to make a uniform society By controlling social media the government has the ability to oppress individuality In Tehran militias roam around with guns and machetes to evoke fear and enforce the harsh laws of the Islamic Republic and the views of Ayatollah The strict laws and customs of Iran make it almost impossible for Tehrans inhabitants especially females to think beyond what they are told
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