Study Guide

Uncle Anoosh in Persepolis

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Uncle Anoosh

Back in the U.S.S.R.

Marji's Uncle Anoosh has had a crazy life. His uncle helped Azerbaijan declare its independence, and he himself was a revolutionary who escaped Iran for the Soviet Union.

His personal life was always in turmoil, too. Although he married and had two kids with a woman in the U.S.S.R., it wasn't a happy marriage, and he's scratched her face out in the family pictures he still has. That's some deep-seeded resentment there. Normally you don't see someone's face blurred out in photos unless it's the girl from The Ring, but Anoosh is very angry about his marriage. He never says why, only saying that Russians "aren't like us. It's hearts they don't have. They don't know how to love" (8.45-8.46).

His Russian bride was such a terrible experience in fact, that being imprisoned in Iran for nine years is an upgrade for him. "What my wife made me suffer was much worse" (8.52), he says. Ouch.

When Marji's dad tells her that Anoosh left to go back to Russia, she knows this isn't true. Being "on a trip" is code for dead. It turns out that Anoosh isn't dead—yet—he's just in prison, and she gets to visit him one last time before he dies. She's the one he wants to see, and he calls her the "star of my life" (9.55).

Once Marjane finds out Uncle Anoosh is dead, she feels lost. She draws a picture of herself floating through space. Anoosh grounded her—to her family, to the revolution—and once he's gone, she has nothing to hold onto. His death even causes her to question her faith, and this is when she tells God "get out of my life!!! I never want to see you again" (9.59). Those three exclamation points tell us that she really means it.

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