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Much of the novel's first half is a recounting of the author's loss of naivety and faith. As a child, Marjane sees herself as a prophet in the line of Zarathustra, Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed. Her imaginary friend is her vision of God as an old man with a long flowing beard. In these scenes from childhood, God encourages Marjane to become a prophet and to stand up for love and justice.
As Marjane begins to confront the political and social realities of her world, the reader sees her slowly detaching from her faith. As she hears stories of political imprisonment and torture, she finds that God no longer gives her comfort. As the Islamic regime comes into power, she feels that she cannot defend a faith represented by such fundamentalism. The imprisonment and execution of her Uncle Anoosh causes a break in her faith and she describes herself as lost and alone in the universe.