In this section of Persepolis, we see Marji return to Iran after living in Europe for four years. However, this return came at a very high cost after what she endured towards the end of her time there. Marji invested everything into Markus; her whole life would revolve around a relationship with a guy that she had only just met and Marji was in in no way prepared for when she eventually finds him in bed with another woman. She had spend much of her savings on him and had no plan outside of spending her life with him. This fairytale is completely shattered when their relationship ends, and Marji quickly finds herself homeless after she runs out of money. After she is forced to leave the buses and trains that she initially spends her nights in, she is relegated to sleeping on the streets in the middle of winter, greatly jeopardizing her health. Luckily, Marji is eventually hospitalized, but then has nowhere else to go. As a result, she collects money from Zozo and returns to Iran to live with her parents.
The chapter where Marji makes this major decision is a callback to the first volume of Persepolis; both chapters are titled “The Veil.” In both chapters, Marji goes from living without having to wear the veil to then transitioning into a culture where it is imposed upon her. However, this time, Marji is voluntarily returning to this culture because she has nowhere else to go. In this case, the veil is a last resort, and Marji is sacrificing her freedom of personal expression. Her personal expression was the reason why she initially left Iran, and now it is what she much sacrifice in order to survive after what happened to her in Europe. It’s interesting to see how much Marji has changed and come into herself since the start of her memoir, so I look forward to further reading how reentering the fundamentalist culture of Iran will personally affect her.