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 Her brief moment of freedom was now being rescinded.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.