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Marjane’s Homecoming

This section of the novel was very jarring for me. It was painful for me to watch Satrapi fall in love only to have her heart broken after investing everything in Markus. It was especially painful to see her become homeless after seemingly finding her place in the world. Watching her literally digging out of trash cans and sleeping on benches was sad but seemingly had a purpose. It is clear that Marjane never fully adapted to the culture in Europe, and despite her thinking she was fitting in there was always that voice in the back of her head that she didn’t belong. This was never more clear than when she found herself alone and homeless.

All of this said, it was sort of bittersweet when she made the choice to return home to Iran after all these years. Watching her don the veil again with a somewhat sad look in her eyes gave me mixed feelings. On the one hand, she was finally returning to her home with her culture and family. But on the other hand she was returning to an oppressed fundamentalist Iran. Her brief moment of freedom was now being rescinded. However, in many ways this part of the story is representing a “coming of age” story for Marjane. She realizes that she flew too close to the sun during her time abroad and has hit rock bottom. Now it is time to see how she rebounds from this and how her time at home in Iran impacts her further.

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  1. Nora Apt Nora Apt

    The illustrations that correspond with Marji’s time homeless are predominately dark images. As you mentioned, this period of time reflects that Marji is an outsider in Europe. Satrapi effectively conveys this as the individuals who pass by Marji sleeping on the bench are drawn as solid, white figures while Marji is outlined in white to differentiate her from the background.

  2. Emma Joaquin Emma Joaquin

    I agree with the mixed feelings of Marji’s homecoming, as well as for a lot of other events during the section of the story. Marji’s life went on many different paths she didn’t expect but it all led her back to going back home to be where she grew up and with her family.

  3. Rachel Nugent Rachel Nugent

    What you said about Marji coming home to a fundamentalist Iran really resonated with me in the sense that it’s like choosing between the evil that you know and the evil that you don’t. In this section I think it’s pretty clear that Marji is finding out that she doesn’t really know either place. She never managed to fully understand Europe but coming back to Iran shows her that she doesn’t understand her home anymore either. I think the section ended on a hopeful note but other than that, this ambiguity of where she belongs is profoundly sad for the reader to witness.

  4. Michael Paul Michael Paul

    I wonder if her experiences directly before deciding to return to Iran were a sign. Marji believed that she has a strong connection to god and it seems like Austria was really trying to pushing out. Perhaps she is destined for greater things, such as spreading her story and ideas through cool mediums like graphic novels. I anticipate that although her return to Iran might be tough to start, it will result in a fruitful conclusion.

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