I have only one wish, and that's to see my son again one last time.
In life you'll meet a lot of jerks...because there is nothing worse than bitterness and vengeance, always keep your dignity and be true to yourself.
You've got to go now... Don't forget who you are and where you came from.
Uncle Taher dies of a heart attack caused by hearing a bomb. Uncle Taher was going to go visit his son one last time overseas. Sadly, he did not make it. "I have only one wish, and that's to see my son again one last time." (Satrapi 124)
When Marjane was 14 years old she became rebellious. Marjane was expelled from school and after another incident at another school her parents decided it would be best for her to leave the country. Marjane was leaving for Austria where she would finish school. The night before she left, Marjane slept in bed with her grandma who gave her helpful advice. "In life you'll meet a lot of jerks...because there is nothing worse than bitterness and vengeance, always keep your dignity and be true to yourself." (Satrapi 150)
The next day Marjane left Iran and she saw her parents for the last time. She turned around after saying goodbye, and she saw her mother fainted, and her father carrying her away. "You've got to go now. Don't forget who you are and where you came from. I turned around to see them one last time. It would have been better to just go." (Satrapi 152-153)
One of the themes of this graphic novel is Bildungsroman. In a bildungsroman the protagonist of the story experiences a coming-of-age and events throughout the novel shape the character into who they are at the end of the novel. Marjane starts the novel as a young naive girl and the tragedies she experiences through her life, the governmental oppression and her greater understanding of her country leads her to be outspoken, courageous, independent and thoughtful at the end of the novel.
Another theme is the relationship of Parents and their children. Marjane Satrapi uses her relationship with her parents as a metaphor for the relationship she feels she has with her country Iran. She has a loving relationship with her parents, but she also experiences tension and argues with her parents. At the final part of the novel, Marjane is seen leaving her parents. This event also represents how Marjane is also leaving her country.
Goodbye Iran... Goodbye parents...
The graphic novel itself is a symbol in this novel. The black and white and lack of colors symbolizes how the islamic regime ignored the cultural history of Iran and insulted the people. The novel is a graphic novel because in the religion of Islam it is against the rules to make an iconic representation of the religion. Marjane Satrapi's graphic novel in a way protests the Islamic regime but also expresses herself in a way that she would not be able to in words alone.
Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi