In this section of Persepolis, Marjane moves abroad to Austria to finish her education in a safer and less oppressive environment. Prior to this move, she had been getting in trouble at school for acting out which was a huge issue in the Iranian school system that was extremely strict. Additionally, Iran was consistently under attack and it was safer for Marjane to leave the country. In Austria, the school system was much more liberal than in Iran. It is interesting to see how Marjane’s high school experience in Austria was not unlike what we consider to be the ‘typical’ high school experience. She had a roommate, the normal high school friend drama, and the kids acted very similarly to how American kids in high school act as well. Marjane finally had the experience of focusing on normal high school things like finding the perfect friend group, learning how to fit in, etc. It is a refreshing and lighter moment in the book talking about Marjane’s high school experience in Vienna versus the sadder and heavier stories of her experiences living in Iran prior to her move.
Before the big move, Marjane begins to experience death on a larger scale as Iran starts to be bombed. This is another moment the childlike/cartoonish drawings works in the book’s favor. If the story was only written as a novel, or also if the depictions of the bombings were real photos, this story would be too heavy and much harder to digest. Satrapi does an excellent job at making her harsh reality into a somewhat lighter story that more people are able to handle reading.