Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood

Why is the Iranian government so strict about letting people out of the country, even if they are gravely ill like uncle Taher? Why is it ironic that his passport finally arrives on the day of his funeral?


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“The Passport" introduces Uncle Taher who is literally dying from both the cigarettes that he smokes and the stress of war going on all around him. Taher had sent his son away to Europe in order to escape the persecution of the Islamic regime. The strain of this situation, however, is slowly killing him. Taher’s own act of rebellion against the regime and against his country eventually costs him his life when he is unable to obtain a passport to leave Iran and seek medical care. Freedom as it is represented by the cigarette, Satrapi suggests, does not come without a price. A cigarette becomes the symbol of freedom but also a path of destruction.