Coming back to the growing up process of the young monk, his crucial confrontation is with lust. His inadvertent killing of the snake, frog and the fish as a boy are easy to forgive. But his surrender to the forces of lust and possession as a young man commit him to a sequence of sins. Every time he yields to temptation, he becomes a sorrier human specimen. His brutal killing of his unfaithful wife and subsequent escape to the forests complete his unsuccessful attempts to find happiness through worldly pleasures. His emancipation and complete mastery of his frailties begin at the very moment he returns to his old master seeking refuge from police. His master doesn’t try to save him from police, but instead shows him the path by instructing him to sculpt Buddhist scriptures on the wooden quay. The young monk’s life from this point onwards is a stead journey toward emancipation.
Hence, though religion plays a key role in the coming of age of Marjane and the young monk, the oppressive nature of Iranian theocracy is far removed and in opposition to the serenity of the Buddhist monastery. The paths taken by Marjane and the young monk were full of dangers and challenges, but they both emerge stronger through the hard grind of their experiences.