LITERATURE AS A MEANS OF SOCIAL CHANGE IN IRAN BEFORE THE ISLAMIC REVOLUTION
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The Iranian society under Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (1941-1979) is a society in crisis, struggling to give birth to the man of modern times. A key factor in this process are the Iranian writers and intellectuals, who define justice and progress through the service to the people. They find in the Iranian society of that time alienation, exploitation, depression, lack of perspective and of sense. Some of their efforts go towards defining problems – e.g. through the notion of occidentosis, which characterises the relations between Iran and the colonial power, as well as by pointing out the uselessness of the Westernised Iranian intellectuals. At the same time, solutions are proposed by literature – social struggle, modernisation, the creation of a new subject of the Iranian society, which often happens through super effort. Consciously or not, those works prepare the soil for the groundbreaking event from 1979 – the Islamic Revolution.