Marji arrives in Vienna and has a few obstacles to overcome immediately. first, the family she is supposed to stay with bumps her out, due to lack of space (and obvious relational conflicts). she bounces from place to place, fitting in marginally here and there, trying to balance who she is and who she wants to become.
as she begins to grow older, she tries to assimilate into her surroundings. this prompts a guilty conscience and a challenging existence while she is away from Iran. in addition to attempts of fitting in socially, Marji is confronted with all the other joys of awkward adolescence without her family support system, or friends who truly care about her.
Marji consistently sells herself short during her time in Vienna. she left at age 14 to a country she didn't know, leaving behind her entire family and social system, and has a difficult time adjusting. in addition to the cultural shifts, she's dealing with body issues and searching for meaning.
something i loved about Persepolis 2 was reading about Marji's relationships with boys. her first heartbreak was something i could easily relate to, but ultimately i appreciated her reflections after the fact. i wish that girls could be self aware and take care of themselves first...but it's so easy to see how Marji (and the rest of us) fall in love and forget ourselves.
ultimately, Persepolis 2 asks the question 'where and how do we find attachment and meaning while being totally authentic to who we are'? Marji was stuck in a cycle of associating self worth with her identity. if she could only know who she really is, she would feel happy about herself. however, she doesn't feel worthy of who she was raised to be, and so is trying to find a new identity. the cycle stews her in confusion, shame, and a strong desire to become happy and whole.
staying true to herself was always at the core of Marji's struggle. while it's painful at times to read her journey through her confusion and frustration and heartbreak, i loved Marji's voice and her honesty with everything. you really get a sense of who she becomes by reading about who she was before she got there. i typically detest memoirs and try to avoid them...but this one slipped through. probably because i'd seen the movie first, i figured i'd at least enjoy the read. and while i did enjoy the movie, i loved reading about Marjane so much more than i expected.
fave quote: "The harder I tried to assimilate, the more I had the feeling that I was distancing myself from my culture, betraying my parents and my origins, that I was playing a game by somebody else's rules" (193)
fix er up: i would like to know what happens to Marjane after the conclusion of the read...but i suppose there's the internet for that sort of thing. Persepolis was more about her childhood and growth into adulthood, and not so much her confidence in adulthood.
title: Persepolis 2 (read from The Complete Persepolis)
author: Marjane Satrapi
genre: Coming of Age, Memoir, Graphic Novel