Lolita


What people and situations in the memoir remind you of people and situations in your own life? How are they similar and how are they different?

In the first part of the memoir Reading Lolita in Tehran titled Lolita, Nafisi introduces many "real-life characters" who were important to her in some way. As a young Muslim girl, I found myself able to connect to many of these characters profoundly but most especially, I found myself connecting to the character Yassi the most. When Yassi is first introduced in the memoir, Nafisi describes her as "...shy by nature" but that "...certain things excited her and made her lose her inhibitions" (Nafisi, 4). Throughout the memoir, Yassi is portrayed as a sweet, intelligent girl who holds her own values and beliefs above conformity.


I felt that I connected well with Yassi until Nafisi explores the issue of her insecurity, Nafisi writes, “she felt secure only in her own terrible sense of insecurity”. I came to wonder what Nafisi meant by this, was she describing Yassi as an insecure person, or was there more to be read in this quote. It was because I connected so well with Yassi up until this moment in the memoir that this quote affected me so much. I have always prided myself on knowing myself best, in knowing my limits, my talents and my flaws. Was this insecurity Nafisi described just Yassi’s ability to know herself well? I believe that it was. It is impossible to be secure in one’s own insecurity because to be insecure is to be insecure overall. Throughout the memoir Nafisi describes as an out-going, risk taking and, overall, confident girl. I felt that she was not secure in her own insecurity but just secure in that Yassi knows her limits.


I don’t think I could have ever known this if I hadn’t connected with Yassi. This quote would have never stood out to me and I would not have interpreted it in this way. It was my similarities to Yassi that made me feel that this was an unfair testament to hair character and thus caused me to so strongly disagree with Nafisi. Yassi is not an insecure girl, but exactly the opposite.