1) When Marji was inventing torture games, she was merely a product of the war environment. Marji lived in an environment surrounded by violence, anger, and most importantly war.
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She heard about war tactics from her Uncle Anouche, she saw the violence on the streets, and she even saw dead bodies. Most young children only see those things on movies and video games, and even then they can be negatively affected. However, for a child to see these things daily she can only assume it is the norm. Marji was psychologically affected by the war and her environment, which led her to believe the terrible things she saw were normal, and thus it resulted in her being a product of her environment. 2) Marji chases and wants to attack Ramine.
Ramine symbolizes the war, and Marji attacking him symbolizes Marji wanting to put an end to war. To Marji, Ramine symbolized the war, the evil, and all the conflicts in her country. Marji discovered that Ramine’s father killed people, which lead Marji into a rage. Marji chased after Ramine with nails between her fingers wanting to hurt him for what his father had done. She had no reason to be mad at Ramine because he had not killed anyone. However, she began to realize that the war was constantly showing up in her life and affecting her life.
She was filled with anger, and she longed for the war and violence to be over. When she was trying to put an end to Ramine, symbolically she was trying to put an end to the war. 3) The torture game Marji invents shows her strong desire for power. In a country where no one has any power, Marji longs to have power. She devises a game at school where the loser gets punished with torture methods like the “mouth filled with garbage” method and the twisted arm method. She comes up with this idea because she sees the people in the war who have power use violence to gain that power.
Although it is wrong to gain power that way, Marji has such a strong desire for power that she doesn’t care what she has to do to earn it. Marji ends up feeling so powerful that after school she stares at herself in the mirror and her reflection shows herself with devil horns. This demonstrates that not only does Marji want power, but she doesn’t care if the power comes with being evil. 4) By attempting to attack Ramine with nails, Marji believes violence is the way to obtain justice for what Ramine’s father did. When Marji found out that Ramine’s father killed people, she immediately wanted to obtain justice.
She wanted the evil people to face the consequences and be punished. She rallied up her friends and they all put nails between their fingers and chased after Ramine. Marji could have gained justice a different way. She could have talked to Ramine’s father, but instead she chose violence. Marji chose this method because throughout the war they try to gain justice through violence. She heard of war tactics like the twisted arm method, and she knew those methods caused pain. She knew those tactics caused so much pain that they eventually caused regret in a person whose done wrong.
Since Marji believed Ramine and his family had done wrong, she believed to gain justice she needed violence to do so. 5) Marji chasing after Ramine is simply a way for Marji to distract herself from her self-conflicting battles. Marji chases after Ramine with nails between her fingers. Although she claims she does it because Ramine’s father was evil, the true reason she did it is because she needed a distraction from her own conflicting battles. Marji struggles daily with who she is, how she identifies herself, and where she wants to be in life.
Ramine, although young and highly affected by his father’s opinions, he knows who he wants to be, and he defends his father even though Marji and her friends are threatening him. Marji, on the other hand, doesn’t know where she wants to be, and she doesn’t know where she belongs. She fights battles with herself and that causes a lot of built up anger and frustration
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