Persepolis

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Bread Swan Symbol Icon
Marjane receives her two bread swans from Anoosh, her uncle who spends much of his life hiding in Moscow from the regime of the Shah or imprisoned by it, and who, shortly after his release from prison after the success of the Revolution, gets arrested and executed. Anoosh is a man who spent so much of his life hiding or imprisoned, and yet the bread swan represents his ability to maintain his humanity in dreadful situations. Having few materials to work with, he creates a sculpture of a swan from the bread he receives in jail. Despite its modesty, its splendor comes from the fact that Anoosh has been able to find whatever good remains in his situation and create a work of art. He has not become embittered or angry, but instead focused his energies on his sculpture. The bread swan indicates the redeeming quality of art, and suggests that Marjane’s book functions in a similar sense of redemption after all the trauma and suffering she experiences.
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Bread Swan Symbol Timeline in Persepolis

The timeline below shows where the symbol Bread Swan appears in Persepolis. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Moscow
Nationalism, Heroism, and Martyrdom Theme Icon
Violence, Forgiveness, and Justice Theme Icon
Children, War, and Growing Up Theme Icon
The Personal vs. the Political Theme Icon
...for you, even if you don’t understand it all.” Before bed, Anoosh gives Marjane a bread swan —a small figurine he made out of bread while in prison. Later, Marjane tells her... (full context)
The Sheep
Religion, Repression, and Modernity Theme Icon
Nationalism, Heroism, and Martyrdom Theme Icon
Violence, Forgiveness, and Justice Theme Icon
Children, War, and Growing Up Theme Icon
The Personal vs. the Political Theme Icon
Gender Theme Icon
...Marjane, “you are the little girl I always wanted to have” and gives her another bread swan , which he calls “the uncle of the first one.” The next day, the newspapers... (full context)