After finishing this section of Persepolis, I was truly surprised to see how different Satrapi’s early teenage years were from my own. I made me realize how much I took for granted all of the freedoms that I was able to enjoy because I am fortunate enough to come from an affluent family in the United States. While I was able to grow up experimenting with new clothes and was pretty much free to dress however I wanted, Satrapi was ridiculed and scrutinized for wearing western clothing, and was even threatened with being sent to “the committee.”
What struck me the most, though, was how much I take for granted the medical care available to us in the United States. Because of Iran’s closed borders, Satrapi’s uncle needed special permission from the government in order to be allowed to leave the country and go to England for his life-saving surgery. Because the hospital director used to be Satrapi’s aunt and uncle’s social subordinate, instead of taking the measures necessary to help her uncle, he leaves the situation up to “God’s will.” This is incredibly hypocritical. He says that Taher will get medical help if God wants him to, but he does not act in accordance with God’s will, which would be to help Taher. While the healthcare system in the United States is not perfect, life and death situations such as this are not dependent on arbitrary decisions like in this case. Living in the United States, we are incredibly fortunate to have access to such good medical care and whether or not we have access to certain care is not simply left up to someone who maybe used to wash our windows.