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The Big Move

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.

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3 Comments

  1. Nicolette Romley Nicolette Romley

    It is interesting, as readers, how we got used to the sheltered life Marjane was living which made the lives that people in Austria were living seem out of control when, really, their lives were seemingly normal Western lives. Marjane seemed rebellious in the context of the Iranian culture, but upon moving to Austria she realizes how dissimilar she really is to those in Europe and how her rebellious nature does not seem very rebellious in her new setting.

  2. David Ataide David Ataide

    I actually really enjoyed this section of the book as it offered a chance for Marjane to enjoy normal teenage years. In many ways the first part of the book that we read was all about Marji growing up too quickly and being surrounded by war and revolution so much that she had no choice but to grow up. However, this section jumped back as Marjane now adapted back to normal life. It was a good change of pace for the reader.

  3. Katherine Fell Katherine Fell

    I thought that the comments that you made on Marji’s high school experience were very interesting. When I was reading this section, I was definitely noticing the fact that this was the part of the book that would be most familiar to us as western readers. Our high school experiences were probably not super different from Marji’s, however this was the part of the story that was the most foreign for Marji. This difference in perspectives was especially interesting to read as we continue with her memoir.

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