The Revolution and the Defloration: Mirzade Eshghi's "Three Portraits of Maryam"

Three Portraits of Maryam or The Old Peasant’s Utopia by Mirzadeye Eshghi is one of the forerunning poetic and dramatic texts written in the following years of the constitutional revolution, and the closest experiment to Nima Yushij’s Afsaneh concerning the date of it’s composition as well as it’s literary style. The ballad which is inspired by the form of drama, is composed of “three portraits”, and tells the story of a country maid who is seduced by a young Tehranian man, sleeps with him, eventually faces disgrace and commits suicide at the end of the day. Throughout the narrative the seduced maid develops into a metaphor for the people who are mislead by false promises made by the leaders of the revolution.
This paper investigates how and why the poet has used sexual satisfaction and repression for depicting political defiance and oppression. Studying the elements and implications of the text, the author explains the implicit link emerging between the joy of political triumph and sexual satisfaction on one hand, and between the association of the overthrow of political supremacy and defloration on the other. Subsequently it describes some of the historical backgrounds and references in the context. It refers to the renowned research done by Afsaneh Najmabadi, “The Story of the daughters of Quchan”, and to the governor of Kerman, Asefoddoleh, who was the main figure in the big scandal - the abduction of the Quchani girls as tax dodge and selling them to the Turkmens and the Armenians of Ashgabat; the event which in spite of it’s media coverage at that point in time, has been overlooked prior to recent years by iranian patriarchal historiography, one way or another.
The paper while examining the, underlying binary concepts such as oppressor/oppressed, governor/governed, within the discourse of the constitutional revolution, and their deep roots in certain intellectual attitudes toward women , questions the fundamental contradiction between these underlying structures and the democratic and liberal surface of this discourse, and makes attempt to provide a different and comprehensive understanding of some challenges and crises arisen from politics and the intelligentsia in contemporary Iran.