Life of Pi
The Religious Symbolism and Metaphors in The Life of Pi
Religious Allegories in Life of Pi
Religion is a subject that has always been prevalent in literature. The most popular book of all time, and the first ever printed, is the Bible, which is comprised of many stories of faith. In Life of Pi, Pi is an Indian boy whose faith is his life. He is lost at sea after his family’s ship to Canada sinks. He is alone on a lifeboat in the Pacific ocean , save for a Bengal tiger. The story of his survival is a story of perseverance by faith in the face of overwhelming adversity. Authors have always used religious allusions and metaphors to hint at the overall allegorical meaning of their story, and in Life of Pi, Yann Martel does just that. Martel symbolizes the ocean and the island to represent life with and without religion, and he uses Pi’s experiences to draw contrasts between them.
Yann Martel uses Pi’s journey as an allegory for the spiritual journey of finding faith, and his encounter with the island represents the doubt that one must overcome. Before Pi comes to the island, he is alone with Richard Parker on the Pacific ocean, and he has only his faith to motivate him. Once he’s been on the island for a while, he believes that he has all the essentials for a happy life. “What reason could I have to leave the island? Were my physical needs not met here? Was there not more fresh water than i could drink in my entire lifetime? More algae than i could eat? And when I yearned for variety, more meerkats and fish than I could ever desire? If the island floated and moved, might it not move in the right direction? Might it not turn out to be a vegetable ship that brought me to land? In the meantime, did I not have these delightful meerkats to keep me company?” (Martel 279). This quote is used to illustrate how the island meets all the requirements for a healthy life exceptionally. While Pi is at the island, he makes no mention of God, but once he decides to leave the island in search of humanity, he returns to his faith. Earlier in the book, Pi says that doubt is necessary for everyone, and in order for your faith to be strong, at some point you must question it. Pi looks to the meerkats for company while on the island, in place of the humans he longs for. Later, Pi decides to leave the island in search of humankind again. “By the time the morning came, my grim decision was taken. I preferred to set off and perish in search of my own kind than to live a lonely half-life of physical comfort and spiritual death on this murderous island.” (Martel 283). The quote embodies the thesis. Yann Martel uses it to demonstrate the atheistic qualities of the island, and show that Pi has realized that life on the island would not be a life worth living. While he has all the necessities on the island to sustain his life (the physical comfort) , is it worth living without any human interaction (the spiritual death) ? Is it worth living a life with no higher purpose whatsoever, save survival? Yann Martel uses this doubt to compare Pi’s lonely life on the island to atheism, and life without religion.
Yann Martel uses Pi’s descension from human to animal while on the island to prove that the only real difference between humans and animals is religion. When Pi first encounters the meerkats on the island, he sees Richard Parker running through the crowds of meerkats and killing as many as he could. Pi remarks that this is the very definition of animals, killing without necessity. “He killed without need. He killed meerkats that he did not eat. In animals, the urge to kill is separate from the urge to eat. To go so long without prey and suddenly have so many- his pent-up hunting instinct was lashing out with a vengeance. He was far away. There was no danger to me.” (Martel 269). Before the ship sunk, Pi was a vegetarian. Once necessity in the form of hunger drove him to compromise that particular moral value, he could hardly bring himself to kill the fish that he had caught, and once he had, he was beside himself with guilt. Now he witnesses Richard Parker killing all of these meerkats, and his only thought is of his own safety. This shows the psychological progression of Pi’s descension from man to animal. A few weeks later, after Pi has been living on the island for a considerable amount of time, he kills meerkats to attempt to ease the pain of his foot, which was burned by the acidic island. “I took the knife and killed two meerkats and tried to soothe the pain with their blood and innards.” (Martel 281). Yann Martel uses this quote to demonstrate that Pi has become an animal by his own definition. He kills without need for nourishment, but simply to attempt to ease the pain of his foot. These quotes lend credence to the observation because as Pi lives longer on the island, he loses his religion and moral character, and becomes more and more animalistic by the day. In this way, Yann Martel contrasts the versions of Pi on the ocean and on the island, and proves that religion is what separates humans from becoming animals. Without a higher purpose to live for, man becomes predator.
In Life of Pi, Yann Martel uses Pi’s experiences with the ocean and the island to represent life with faith, and life without faith. Pi’s experience with the island is an allegory to the inner struggle with doubt on the spiritual journey of finding religion, and the ocean represents life with religion, where Pi is only able to persevere by faith alone. The island takes away Pi’s humanity, and with it he loses his faith. Without these defining traits, Pi descends into an animalistic existence. Yann Martel makes this particular theme of the book abundantly clear: without religion, we are no more than animals. If you take away all of the technological advances that we have made, all of the governments, societies, and communities that we have made for ourselves, we are just animals without faith.
Life of Pi: the Contrast Between Words and Visuals
Uniqueness is a struggle to find throughout literature, especially within recreations of previously published stories. Once a story is told, the originality begins to dissipate and the audience skews the story. Popular novels transforming into films can be altered as well. This is specifically noticeable in the critically acclaimed story, Life of Pi, originally written by Yann Martel and then produced into a film by Ang Lee. Life of Pi focuses on the life of an intelligent and charismatic man named Piscine Molitor Patel, however, he goes by the nickname of Pi. His family and himself owned a zoo, but sold it to move to Canada, they traveled through a freighter and brought along a few of their animals; however, a storm had hit the sea and the only survivors were Pi and a Bengal tiger, known as Richard Parker. After the devastating storm, Pi and Richard began to learn about survival. The transformation of the novel being produced as a film has minor similarities and significant differences, hence Ang Lee’s theatrical version of Life of Pi does not reflect Yann Martel’s original artistic vision well. For instance, the film includes a lover associating with Pi, excludes a distinctive introduction to his life, the tone set, and his discovery of a new religious study.
To begin, Yann Martel avoids introducing a character that is infatuated with Pi, although the expression of love still exists in his life. Throughout the entire novel, it is evident Pi has love to share, but not towards a female figure. He expresses love towards his family, with respect, also to animals, with interacting, and of curiosity, by taking all opportunities to learn. For example, in the introduction Pi confesses his opinion of life, “Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it, a jealous, possessive love that grabs at what it can” (Martel, 6). He acknowledges that life is extremely desirable that even a horrid matter, such as death, wants it. Thus, the only love clearly shown in the novel is Pi’s admiration for what is in his life.
Dissimilar to the text, Ang Lee’s film creates a character that infatuates with Pi for a short period. During one of his drumming lessons, there is a dance class occurring as well and he meets a young female. They form an intimate relationship with each other, yet he breaks up with her before he leaves India with his family. However, Ang Lee kept the presence of Pi’s admiration towards Richard because their relationship is the most significant one in the story. Despite the inclusion of Pi’s love that is noticeable within the text, the inclusion of a romantic aspect was not necessary. The moral of the story regards Pi and his interaction with life, specifically with the environment and animals. Therefore, the addition of a romantic aspect does not reflect the original story of Life of Pi since it is irrelevant to the moral.
Furthermore, Yann Martel incorporates a descriptive introduction to Pi’s life, which is entitled as part one. Within part one, his childhood is brought upon and the life of him that occurred prior to the family’s flee. In particular, the narration includes details of his study of three-toed sloths, the teasing of his name, the zoo his family took care of, his arrival in Canada, and his religious studies. Hence, part one is to describe his life in Pondicherry, India and Toronto, Canada. The details support who Pi Patel is as a person, such as his characteristic traits, beliefs, and facts. It helps to build the character of Pi. Yet, this was not taken into consideration by Ang Lee.
The film’s introduction of Pi’s life is too vague and consists of unnecessary detail. For instance, the film excludes the details of Pi’s study of the three-toed sloths that is significant evidence of his intelligence, yet the film only includes the scene of a class teasing his name to show the life of education in reference to Pi. With the lack of detail of his education, the audience is absent to his brilliance and determination. In addition, an unnecessary detail that was mentioned previously, such as the romantic aspect of Pi having a girlfriend, is not definite to express his childhood in India. Thus, Ang Lee’s in consideration of major details did not positively influence the original story.
Moreover, the tone of the book and movie were very dissimilar to each other. The tone is the representing mood within a story, and the tone of the book is quite sad because of the numerous experiences of suffering, specifically when the storm hits and he loses the lives of his family members. The dialogue in the book includes the thoughts of Pi, which creates a stronger acknowledgment of his suffering and feelings towards what occurs in his life. Despite the film having minor similarities in scenes, it did not set the same tone.
The movie sets a tone of glory and beauty, regardless of the suffering that Pi experiences. The tone is positive because the Pi’s thoughts are not in consideration and the special effects, such as the hallucinated whale that jumps out of the water at night. The involvement of modern technology enlightens the mood of the audience, especially with the whale because it is astonishing graphics and helps the audience to disregard the bitter moments. Therefore, the tone enlightens as well. Due to the tone having disparity from the original tone set in the book, it clearly does not display Life of Pi correctly.
Finally, a significant discovery is found by Pi, which is his acceptance of the Catholicism, religion; however, it is found differently in the novel and the film. For instance, in the text, Pi, and his family travel to Munnar and visit the Catholic Church. Pi is exposed to Jesus Christ and continues to have sessions with the priest, Father Martin, to increase his knowledge of the religion. Pi respectively considers the religion and learns of it with an open mind; this reveals positive personal attributes of him, such as tolerant and charitable.
Contradicting to the text, the film acknowledges Pi’s Christianity from his brother daring him to trespass into the Catholic Church and to drink the holy water, which he does. He then meets with the priest and learns about Jesus Christ. Hence, there is a significant dissimilarity and Ang Lee’s version forms a negative image of Pi, such as being a foolish and quite repulsive person for trespassing and accepting a childish dare from his brother. Considering Pi was a scholar and a prestigious man, the scene did not express the life of him from the novel appropriately.
Overall, Ang Lee’s abstract version of Life of Pi did not display the authentic written version created by Yann Martel. This is due to the differences that occur between the two literary works, which is evident throughout an addition of a romantic element, the description of Pi’s life before and after the incident, the general attitude that the audiences can create, and lastly, Pi’s approach towards the religious study of Catholicism. Hence, the creation of visuals can ruin the authenticity of the words.
Faith as the Way of Coping with Tragedy in The Life of Pi
In the novel Life of Pi by Yann Martel, Pi Patel too uses his faith in God as a vital coping mechanism to survive in the vast Pacific Ocean. His faith in God proves to be a crucial part in Pi’s survival as it guides him through his ordeal. Pi, a religious individual uses his knowledge of religion to cope being stranded alone on a lifeboat with no other sign of human life. Therefore, Pi uses his faith in God to obtain the strength and willpower to survive, for companionship and to seek important answers.
Pi Patel uses his special faith in God to obtain the necessary strength and willpower to survive independently in the vast Pacific Ocean. For example, when Pi is stranded alone in the limitless ocean without any significant help at hand, he turns to a being much more powerful and resourceful than himself in order to cope with the situation at hand. When Pi creates an orderly list of the things which are available to him for survival purposes such as the 12 solar stills, 1 survival manual and 1 signalling mirror, he includes “ 1 God” (Martel 145-146) into this list. Adding the term ‘1 God’ into a list of survival essentials which are present with Pi throughout his journey clearly shows that Pi finds it a necessity to have God with him at all times in order to survive.
Like the other items on the list which keeps Pi alive throughout his ordeal, God also keeps Pi alive by giving the continuous supply of strength and willpower for Pi to carry on. Furthermore, Pi says, “Even when God seemed to have abandoned me, he was watching. Even when he seemed indifferent to my suffering, he was watching. And when I was beyond all hope of saving, he gave me rest. Then he gave me a sign to continue my journey” (Martel 184). This proves the fact that God was always present in Pi’s heart and mind throughout his journey. Pi uses God’s presence to gain physical and mental strength as well as the willpower to continue in his horrific journey. In Pi’s mind, not only was God present with him, but God also saved his life by giving Pi inner peace and indications to continue his journey. When Pi was at his breaking point, God gave him the strength and willpower to continue towards his survival.
In addition, Pi says, “Mindful practice of religion slowly brought me back to life” (Martel 3). Pi explains how his constant but careful practice of religion slowly revived him during his time at sea. While at sea, Pi still carried out religious rituals which were essential to Pi’s survival as he obtained the confidence and strength to continue. Pi also states that, “ Religion will save us” (Martel 27). Pi emphasizes on the fact that religion will ultimately be the deciding factor between life and death. Without his staunch faith in God, Pi would not have gained the willpower required to prevent him from meeting his demise at sea. Research suggests that 43% of US citizens use prayer for health concerns (Wachholtz and Sambamoorthi 69). These people used the power of prayer to gain the strength and willpower to regain their health. Therefore, Pi’s strong faith in God gave him strong will to survive as he prays during his ordeal to gain in strength because he believes that God is with him.
Secondly, Pi uses his belief in God as a form of companionship during his 227 days in the Pacific Ocean. When Pi is left surrounded with nothing but endless water, he seeks to find companionship in order to stay alive as companionship plays a significant role in human survival. When Pi talks about his experience with the Virgin Mary, he says, “The presence of God is the finest of rewards” (Martel 63). Pi is saying that the mere presence of God with him provides him with the companionship that he desperately needed during his ordeal. Pi also says, “ I practised religious rituals that I adapted to the circumstances and they brought me comfort that was certain” (Martel 208). Pi practises and improvises religious rituals to adapt to his situation and pull God closer to himself so that God could be his much needed companion. Because he practices three religions simultaneously, Pi is able to be in the companionship of more than one God. He says, “I feel at home in a Hindu temple” (Martel 48). This clearly explains the fact that Pi is at his highest level of comfort when he is in the presence of God – thus his lifeboat itself becomes a place of worship and thereby a place of comfort.
Lastly, Pi uses his faith in God to seek answers for important questions. When Pi is left alone in the middle of the ocean, he is left with many unanswered questions such as the whereabouts of his family. When Pi is talking to Mr. Kumar about the existence of God, he argues, “To choose doubt as a philosophy is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation” (Martel 28). Pi argues that religion gives the answers that a person seeks. He shows his frustration at agnostics who do not have a definite answer on whether God actually exists or not. This proves that Pi believes that his faith in God will give him the answers that he needs. Pi also says, ““God, I give myself to you. I am your vessel. Whatever comes, I want to know. Show me” (Martel 285). Pi is surrendering himself to God to end his misery. Pi is seeking an answer to where God would take him hoping that he would be brought back to his family to end his misery in the ocean. Pi also asks Father Martin, “What kind of a god is that” (Martel 56). Pi seeks answers to the origins of Christianity and facts about Jesus. Pi is curious about the fact that a God is willing to sacrifice his own son for the sins of other people. With knowledge of Christianity at hand, Pi uses this knowledge to gain answers by asking God for help during his ordeal.
In conclusion, Pi Patel makes full use of his religious and spiritual beliefs to help him in many various ways throughout his 227 day ordeal in the ocean. Pi uses his beliefs to gain the raw strength and mental willpower to survive, to use God as his companion and guide.
Wachholtz, Amy and Usha Sambamoorthi. National Trends in Prayer Use as a Coping Mechanism for Health. research thesis. Massachusetts: American Psychological Association, 2011.
“Life of Pi”: an extraordinary story
Life of Pi is a story of the survival of the Indian boy “Pi” at sea for 277days. He has been raised up with Hindu religion, and then later he discovered Christianity and Islam. The believability of God is one of themes in Life of Pi. Pi practices three religions at once he pursues studying religion and zoology in university and respects atheists because they take a leap of faith, he dislikes agnostics because they truly never fit. The believability of the presence of god is seen majorly in the third part of the novel when Pi is interrogated and he narrates two stories. One with animals, the other with humans and then asks the question which is more believable. The other majorly dominant theme is the part two of the book, survival at sea. Yann Martel uses his two major themes religion and survival to make his stories and the believability of his stories. Orange – Hindu colour, the boat the life jackets and the tiger were all orange. How did this give him the hope?
In the story of pi we can see that Hinduism is the first religion where he raised up. Orange is the major colour of Hinduism as its symbol. In Hindu flag there is a wheel in the centre of flag. Which is also called Hindu chakra. This chakra are said to be force centre form a point of the body and this is also connected to water, identity of emotional and ability to accept and change(genders).The colour orange as represent in 2nd of Hindu chakra which represent water. It give them to movement come out of shelters and create(chakras).In the novel of life of pi water is also represented by 2nd chakra can related to the whole story.“My God! The Tsimtsum has sunk!” His survival in the Pacific Ocean with the animals after the sinking of their ship named Tsimtsum. (Martel 113). The colour orange represent survival and also Hindu chakra play very main role for Piscine Patel in his survival while he is in the life boat with the animals in the centre of Pacific Ocean.
Only Richard pacer, as is only hope to survive when you lost everything even his family in the ship wreck. The only thing is, he had a good quantity was a believability of god. There were only animals in life boat. Then he tried to spend his time with animals as a family but soon he realized they were wild and could not be part of family members The holy book of Christianity is Bible. It is mixture of Quran. But Bible comes to only one meaning love. In the age of fourteen pi went to family trip to munnar, which is located in south India, a hill station for tea plantations, wild, forest and valley. Lord Krishna led him to Jesus Christ. In the first morning of munnar he saw 3 hills in every hill there was a temple. In one hill there is mosque second hill there is crunch and in third there is Hindu temple. Pi never had been inside a crunch. He wants to go inside a crunch. Pi like any other child of his age has very interest and curios. Therefore when he went first day and something which he does not understand. He goes second day to discover that.pi finally reaches that there is no answer and there is no stories and the entire stories link to one message which is love. Similar Islam has many stories in its Quran of sacrifice and love, just like chiristanity.in the novel pi tell how he come to this religion when he is exploring his home he come to Muslim street and he found a bread of piece on floor. He picks it up and tries to taste it when there is no body on street. as he pick it he listen one call from his who introduced him Mr. Kumar and he lads to his bakery to show him to make them.
During the time of prayers. When pi saw Mr. Kumar to prying he becomes very curiosity to know about Muslim religions. And everyday he asked Mr. Kumar to teach him about Muslim prayer. When Mr. Kumar taught about Muslim. He really like that and he become fan of Muslim prayer. Pi request his father that he want pray like Christian but in Muslim rug. Father refused pi request and told them this is childish. in the novel life of pi Richard parker is the one who stranded on the lifeboat with pi when the ship sinks. Richard parker lived on the lifeboat just for pi. pi gives him hopes, food and water .Richard Parker develops a love relationship with pi and survive on lifeboat he needs food pi started to kill fishes and turtles for his survival but he had good relation with Richard parker before he eats, he always asks Richard parker first. When pi almost find his land. He has landed in México and he was greeted by two local Japanese who asked him to introduced him and what really happened to ship, Pi told stories with animals, how wild animals kill each other and survive but the two Japanese reject to believe because it seemed unbelievable but after pi tell them the second story which includes humans. This story is similar to the one he told them before. the Japanese people leave him cause they do not get any thing from pi how their ship sank. Pi ask them which of story they believe they told pi that they believe in first rather than second because it is less hurtful and horrible. After that pi said to them that this story is belong to god. because very religious has it own stories he telling his the story because he find the truth what happen to him that makes belief in love of God clear by practicing three religious: islam, hindu and Christian and every religion has its own stories and that is the backbone of religion. In conclusion the yann martel make person to see animals in another way, as human rather than seeing in useful way like vehicles.
Every one can live with animal’s whole life they are also same like human being if you treated them like humans being. It is not necessary that love feeling is just for human. We can love wild animals and animals also love you if love them but people said that animals have no sense and they don’t know what is love. on other hand human have also no sense if a new born child grow on juggle it will also act like animal. In that same way if you teach them .in this novel Yann Martel tell us about pi who spent 227 days in life boat with animals. And also you can survive if you belief in god as pi survive 227 days in life boat without having any food and shelters. It show us that we can do anything if belief in god.
Believe in Yourself In “The Life Of Pi” By Yann Martel
Yann Martel the author of the book “The white tiger” introduces us to a different world where everything we think is unbelievable happens. This is a story about religion, animals, survival and most importantly maturity. From a boy who didn’t know how to treat the animals to a man who is living with a tiger. Even if Pi believes in many gods, and the goal through this journey is to survive in every possible way, Pi succeeds because he never stopped believing in himself, the fear which overwhelmed him from the beginning of his journey, he used that and converted into a weapon. That weapon will help him to survive many situations and think in advance. One storm changes his life forever, the only survived where the animals and him. He lost his family but never stops believing that one day he will find the way to his home.
“Coming of age” frequently means a progression from childhood to adulthood and usually takes place during adolescence. It can refer to sexual maturity, the age of self-awareness and responsibility or it is marked by some ritual or life event. Pi coming of age is not a typical process from a child to becoming an adult. Pi begins this process when he chooses a new nickname, but has a long and agonising journey from there. His name in his childhood was a target of humiliation but that stopped the day when he stands up and tells everyone that his name isn’t any more “Piscine” from that moment he becomes” Pi”, that’s the moment when he stands by his dignity, moment where he defended himself. ”My name is Piscine Molitor Patel know to all as Pi=3.14”
The turning point in this novel starts when Pi and his family decide to move on with their lives in Canada their boat “Tsimtsum” sinks, Pi initially places all his hope in being rescued by a marine search. “I had to stop hoping so much that a ship would rescue me.” The journey of Pi begins on the lifeboat, Pi discovered that he is sharing the 26-foot vessel with female orangutang, hyena injured zebra and three years old Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. “I was alone and orphaned, in the middle of the Pacific, hanging on to an oar, an adult tiger in front of me, sharks beneath me, a storm raging above me.” He is shocked and traumatised everything he thinks of at that moment is to survive and hope that his family is well. However, Pi soon realises he’ll have to fend for himself. Putting aside his grief and fear, he takes inventory of his supplies. He also takes control of that situation in his hands, declaring: “I will not die. I will refuse it. I will make it through this nightmare… I have survived so far, miraculously. Now I will turn miracle into routine.” He begins by building a raft in order to create a space away from Richard Parker and takes other measures to become self-sufficient.
Whole the time Pi is aware of the situations and that every moment the situation can change, even he is aware that he can be eaten and die every moment. But he decides to live with a tiger, both Richard and Parker starts to depend on one another. At that moment the only family to Pi was Richard Parker. But first Pi wanted to become an “alpha figure”, or the dominant figure in the relationship in order to survive. They start to gain each other’s respect and share their minuscule living quarters. “Without Richard Parker, I wouldn’t be alive today to tell you my story.” His concentrated effort on training, feeding, providing for, avoiding, and working with Richard Parker is the main reason Pi remains vigilant and focused, which is what eventually saves his life. “Richard Parker was tougher than I was in the face of these fish and far more efficient.” The moment when he becomes sure that he is “alpha figure” he pronounces Richard Parker for his partner in an imaginary circus performance.
“The life of Pi” is a journey which is showing that everything that seems unbelievable is possible. Our fear can be converted into our most powerful weapon, something that will keep us alive, and a wild animal a tiger can be our only family and friend. Yes in this story everything is possible, the interesting part is that whole the time while was reading as much as I was caring for Pi I was caring also for Richard Parker as I was part of their journey. “Yes. The story with animals is the better story.” You can become an adult even if you are just a child if our life depends on adultness we will become everything we must be to save our lives the same as Pi did. He becomes an adult the moment when the boat sinks, 227 days spent with wild animals, it is not simple but at that moment you understand that not just people can become your family wild animal Richard Parker can be part of you and your family too.
Reflection On The Novel Life Of Pi
Life of Pi is a novel telling the story of a teenage boy named ‘Pi’ and his survival through 227 days living in a lifeboat with a male, adult Bengal Tiger named Richard Parker in the Pacific Ocean. Pi’s original home is in India where his family owns a zoo and so Pi has always grown up around animals and feels extremely comfortable when he is accompanied by an animal of any breed or size. During his teenage years his family makes the decision to move to Canada and sell all of the animals that the family has always known and loved. During the voyage by ship to Canada, the ship carrying the family and the animals comes into contact with a severe storm which causes the ship to sink. This leaves Pi, an orangutan, hyena, a zebra, and a tiger, stranded on a life raft in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. After many brawls and difficulties, only Pi and the tiger named Richard Parker remain on the raft. The pair make it through many difficulties and dangers that come about while on the raft to eventually, after months of being stranded in the middle of the ocean, find a small island where the only life on the island is meerkats. Richard Parker vanishes into the forest and was never to be seen again. Sometime later Pi washes up on a beach in Mexico and is rescued by 2 of the locals. Pi then is interviewed by 2 Police staff who does not believe the story that Pi has told them. Life of Pi is a story of self-belief and faith, as well as religion.
This novel life of Pi evolves strongly around the main character Pi’s (whose full name is Piscine Molitor Patel) mental state. Throughout the story, Pi is faced with many difficulties that may well have broken or disrupted him. However he has grown up around a very religious culture with Pi being brought up around 3 main religions, these being Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam. This has allowed Pi to grow up as a very strong willed character with a very strong personality and was never one to simply give up when this became tough. One example of this in the text is when Pi said, “You must take life the way it comes at you and make the best of it”. Because of this personality that Pi has developed, he was able to remain mentally strong and have belief in himself that he will be able to survive the difficult time at sea, without knowing when it will end or whether he will die at sea on the life raft. I personally believe that Pi’s mentality relates to that of mine. This is because I often try to get through things even if I think I may not be able to succeed in it. An example of this is when I gained an excellence in a P.E test we had at school. P.E is not usually where I succeed most at school but I remained positive and got through the challenge and ended up succeeding. Another aspect of the main character Pi that I can personally relate to is his love for animals. Throughout my life I have always had a love for animals and never liked to see them neglected or treated poorly, much the same as Pi’s attitude towards animals.
Throughout the novel Life of Pi the setting becomes a very important part of the story. In the early stages of the book the characters live in a village in India. However as the book goes on, the main setting on the novel becomes the life raft in the middle of the Pacific Ocean where Pi and Richard Parker survive the 227 days out at sea stranded after their ship sinks. The narrator (Pi) often gets frustrated by the ocean as it is the one thing standing between his survival and death. Throughout the novel he speaks about the difficulties that the ocean brings such as large storms and tides, as well as sharks and other dangerous sea creatures surrounding him. Although he often talks about the negative aspects of the ocean surrounding him, Pi often talks about the beautiful aspects of this ocean that appears to be trying to kill him slowly. An example of this is on page ‘124’ where he talks about the beautiful sunset around him. The words he uses to describe this amazing sight is “The sun was beginning to pull the curtains on the day. It was a placid explosion of orange and red, a great chromatic symphony, a colour canvas of supernatural proportions, truly a splendid Pacific sunset” I personally find this interesting as he has such a strong hate for the ocean beneath him as it is slowly killing him with no chance of giving up, but at the same time views it as such a beautiful and magnificent masterpiece. I think that I could benefit from thinking more like Pi in real life situations such as focusing more on the good things in any situation rather than always thinking about the negative things that I can see.
As this text is written in first person it allows me to feel connected to the main character and feel the same emotions as them. The themes in this novel Life of Pi relate to many situations in life for people of all cultures and upbringings. There are many elements in this text that the author has deliberately added to make the reader think deeply about to truly understand, I believe that this is a good element of the text to add in as I enjoy books that allow me to think deeply and more creatively about.
Review Of The Life Of Pi By Yann Martel
The Life of Pi is a story about survival, and how a belief in God can make a boy into a man and how facing life and death in the Pacific Ocean can lead to either utter despair or having an unwavering faith in God that can lead to survival The entire novel showcases, Pi and his belief about God clear and it is very clear as shown in the very beginning of the story basically starts off when an old man in Pondicherry tells the narrator, “I have a story that will make you believe in God.”
The true story begins as the protagonist explores the different religions and spirituality from an early age and is somehow able to what he learned from the world’s biggest religions and somehow survive a staggering 227 days shipwrecked in the Pacific Ocean alone with nothing but a Bengal tiger on his side. The key part of all the religions shown in the novel are the storytelling and religious beliefs that are constantly being linked to ideas in the novel. The three religions that he studies are, Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam, come with its own set of tales and hymns. The main character of the book Pi is constantly growing as a religious person as stated in the early part of the shipwreck in which he survives and thanks God and try to survive and when he is constantly surviving from drowning or cannibals he thanks God every time and it becomes imprinted into his lifestyle. The main thing about Pi is that he is always trying to survive on sea by doing what Muslims do by doing a daily thing each day to help himself as giving himself a routine and try to accomplish everyday on his schedule with either a prayer or something he needs to do. The story of Pi is about him and his family in India and his father teaching him how to be a man and allows him to study all of his religions even though he does not know why he cares about the non-Hindu ones. The story of Pi is one of a boy going on a journey in which he has no choice but to believe in a God due to him still being alive and how it is keeping him sane due to Richard Parker not killing him and saving him and just allowing him to survive and delivering him from death door to safety a plethora of times.
The Life of Pi is an amazing story due to the journey of Pi. The only way Pi could have survived something like this is through a belief in something and that something was what he studied all three of his religions. The religions of Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam allowed Pi to believe ina higher power thanks in part of his imagination and his unquestionable love of God. The biggest problem most people face that the book showed was the fact that not only would someone be lonely but they would most likely go insane due to constant isolation they would face. The only problem the book showed was that Richard Parker somehow did not kill Pi or that he actually survived for almost a year on a raft from a year ago and the reason for that is due to the fact the raft should not last that long and it is supposed to only be used in emergency for at most three months but he does not question this and shows a faith in Richard Parker and God like in Christianity that a Christian chooses to have faith over just doing like in Judaism.
The biggest thing Pi said that shows his faith and the reason why is “To me, religion is about our dignity, not our depravity”, that quote shows why he is so accepting of other religions due to the fact that we are all made in God’s image and that we should respect one another as Pi does with actually learning the different religions. The reason Pi is able to live throughout the entire Pacific Ocean alone is due to his belief in God that can be shown after he lost everything and he accepts that he does not know exactly which religion is right but he can appreciate them all as when he saw Richard Parker after the boat sinking and said “ Jesus, Mary, Muhammad and Vishnu how good to see you Richard Parker”, that quote shows that he believes in all of their messages and that in class that the most important people name in each religion is stated in this quote due to Pi moment of happiness of not losing everyone and everything he knew. In the class we learned that in Hinduism that Vishnu is probably the most important God of all of them due to his impact and that the rest of the people he named were the messengers of their religions.
The story of Pi can be summed in the final part of the book in which he asked the Japanese officials “Which story do you prefer? Which is the better story?” he asked them this after giving them a series of questions saying how their is basically no difference in the story itself but the people or animals involved even though the actions were the same and with that he proved that people will pick the story they prefer even though Pi story with humans sound more plausible than the one with Richard Parker being a tiger they cannot deny the fact that in the end his family and everything else that mattered happened and they have no way to prove it but to believe his word as do the people of faith when they read their religious text and showcase their faith by just believing or practicing their sacred ceremonies.
Self-Perception In The Life Of Pi By Yann Martel
The novel Life of Pi demonstrates throughout the book the conflict of reconciling between illusion and reality. Self-perception is one’s ability to hear, see or become aware of things from their senses. This is demonstrated through the main character of the story Pi who goes through conflicts and expectations but shortly realizes the reality of certain situations. Pi from beginning to end of the book shows how self- perception helped him reconcile his conflicts between illusion and reality by overcoming adversity and tribulations. This essay will discuss how Pi expects to be Richard Parker but rather they build a relationship between one another. It will discuss faith and how Pi was exploring different religions but his parents did not accept which made it harder for him. In the novel Life of Pi, the author Yann Martel demonstrates the role self-perception plays through Pi, by having his faith tested and accepting his trails and tribulations that he encountered with Richard Parker better known as the tiger.
The Life of Pi revolves around the tiger and Pi and the journey on a boat to Canada from India, and on the boat was plenty of animals but because of starvation the last to remain was Richard Parker. When Pi wakes up on the boat he notices the tiger sleeping and automatically gets worried and begins to contemplate many emotions. One, which is death where Pi says, “Only death consistently excites your emotions, whether contemplating it when life is safe and stale, or fleeing it when life is threatened and precious”, Pi immediately thinks this idea after he mentions the feelings of being scared and boredom. Death almost becomes an idea when the water is calm. Pi already thinks he is going to be killed by the tiger eventually because Richard Parker will get hungry. However, instead of being scared and worried, Richard Parker and Pi build a co-dependent bond with each other, where Richard Parker relies on Pi feed him by fishing and Richard parker will maintain Pi’s will to stay alive with his presence. A good example that has popped out in the story is when an intruder comes on the boat and tries to kill both Pi and the tiger. Richard Parker kills the intruder saving Pi. This scene in the story goes back to show the feelings Richard Parker has developed towards Pi and how the conflict was reconciled by illusion verses reality where Pi expected to be killed by the tiger but rather built a relationship and protected each other.
In Life of Pi, there is a continuous brawl for Pi between the illusion of faith and the reality of it. In the beginning of the novel Pi tells the audience that he wants to explore all religions he can learn about. Pi’s parents find out that Pi is practicing Hindu, Islam and Christianity from a priest they had ran into. This situation makes it harder for Pi to practice his religions because as people would watch him they would judge how he is practicing different cultures. Pi imagined this process of telling his parents of his different practices to be easy, he would learn all he needs too about all faiths and once he would approach his family about what he decided to be baptised too it would be simple. The reality of the moment is that his parents did not accept his beliefs and made it difficult to be baptised. As time went by and having to face trails and difficulties with his parents, Pi’s parents accept it and hand Pi a prayer mat and baptize him. Having a strong faith for Pi was key in the story, as after he was baptised and lost his family, the only thing left for him was faith and believing in God, which is why he chose Islam because God was always with him mentally which led to Pi keeping his head up. This demonstrated how illusion verses reality is crucial in life. Pi imagined of pickng a belief would be simple but the reality is that everything comes with trials and tribulations and at the end of the story; Islam helped Pi maintain his happiness.
The last part of Life of Pi, Yann Martel gives the setting of the characters Pi and Richard Parker on an island near the end of the book. At first, Pi thinks the island is a mirage, but was in need of resources such as food and water. As he explores the island and begins stepping foot on it he quickly contemplates whether the island is real. He notices that the floor is not soil rather algae and Pi could not be happier. Pi sets his worries aside and continues to explore the island; he discovers freshwater ponds, forests of trees and meerkats that go into the trees in night. Pi and Richard Parker return to the boat and get rest to be fully energized in the morning. However, Pi still cannot get ride of his worries about the island. Pi’s interest and doubt get the best of him, as he and Richard Parker do not take the island for granted. Upon examination of the island, Pi discovers a fruit a tree and is ambitious to taste something different for once. Pi climbs the tree to reach the top of it to grab fruit but he eventually reaches the top and peals on of the branches off, he realizes it is not fruit. He is horrified to find a human tooth under the top layer of the leaves, that moment is when Pi realized the truth. The night of the discovery of human teeth, Pi sets up a test of which he drops a meerkat from its perch and throwing it onto the floor. The meerkat immediately rushes into the branches. Pi discovers that at night the ground turns into a sulfurous floor and takes anything that touches it in and that the island will sooner or later digest him like it did to past living humans on the island. The illusion that Pi faced was that because the floor was algae he was in paradise and everything was right for him but the reality hit him quickly when he realized that the floor is sulfurous so it would eventually digest him.
The Idea of Survivalism in Yann Martel’s Life of Pi
American Historian of Science, Michael Brant Shermer once stated, “Mammals are sentient beings that want to live and are afraid to die. Evolution vouchsafed us all with an instinct to survive, reproduce and flourish.” Identical characteristics are shown in humans no matter what period of time they are from. In Yann Martel’s Fictional Drama Novel, Life of Pi, the protagonist, Piscine Molitor Patel is a boy battling for his life with minuscule resources while globetrotting the Pacific Ocean after he lost his family in a shipwreck on the way to Canada. Pi is stranded in an unfamiliar environment along with a Bengal tiger: Richard Parker, a hyena and a zebra from his father’s zoo. A more desirable tomorrow is what Pi hopes for. Pi holds onto the skill of survivalism through his belief in religion, breaking his morals and forming a relation with nature. The idea the author develops regarding the human will to survive and endure the destructive forces surrounding them is that humans will take extreme measures.
All throughout the novel, there is a consistent repeat of the subject of religion. Pi pursues three religions making him see religion uniquely in contrast to every other person. He was conceived in an entirely Hindu family and rehearsed Hinduism for the greater part of his life. At fourteen years old, he meets a Christian priest, Father Martin, amid his family outing to Munnar. Demonstrating negligible intrigue while chatting, Pi tuned in to Father Martin when he clarified how Christ’s blood was sacrificed for human sins. Pi was convinced to become a Christian after the engaging conversation. ‘I said, “Father, I would like to be a Christian, please.” He smiled. “You already are, Piscine – in your heart. Whoever meets Christ in good faith is a Christian. Here in Munnar, you met Christ.” Through this conversation, Pi takes in that the internal significance of religion is really about having a solid faith. After around a year, Pi had a comparable experience with the religion of Islam. We see proof of his enthusiasm for the religion when he says “I challenge anyone to understand Islam, its spirit, and not to love it. It is a beautiful religion of brotherhood and devotion.” After this, his genuine interest for God had started. Pi began to have faith in all three religions. To begin with, in view of his belief in Hinduism, he perceived the colour orange as an indication of survival. ‘It seems orange-such a Hindu colour, the colour of survival’. Furthermore, as a result of Pi’s belief in Christianity, he made a daily practice of praying each morning, midmorning, dusk and during the evening. ‘I kept myself busy. That was the key to my survival. Sunrise: wake up, prayers. Mid-morning: prayers, lunch. Sunset: prayers. Night: fitful sleeping, prayers.’ Lastly, as a result of Pi’s belief in Islam, it is what kept him from killing Richard Parker. ‘The words ‘Plan Number six, Plan Number six, Plan Number six, Plan Number six’ repeated themselves in my mind like a mantra and brought me a small measure of comfort.’ Pi used his comprehension of God to keep him inspired to remain alive in such brutal conditions. With no data about where he is, Pi remained full of faith amid his time on the life raft which helped him stay alive in an obscure situation for two-hundred and twenty-seven days.
Pi was on a life raft surrounded by the Pacific Ocean for a long time, so he needed to break his morals to support living. He needed to set his mind to a savage point of view in which he can get skills of survivalism and make it with a tiger while on the Ocean. Pi’s character was based on morality because of his association with the concept of religion. Pi was believed to be a vegetarian alongside the rest of his family. This was not shocking considering the fact that he lived in India where vegetarianism is ordinarily rehearsed because of the high strength of the Hindu religion. So as to make due on the life raft, Pi was compelled to break his vegetarianism and seek after carnivorism. “Lord, to think that I’m a strict vegetarian. To think that when I was a child I always shuddered when I snapped open a banana because it sounded to me like the breaking of an animal’s neck. I descended to a level of savagery I never imagined possible.” Pi explains how he viewed vegetarianism as an imperative good to himself and that even stripping a banana peel makes him feel that he has killed the banana, taking into account that it is just an organic fruit. Since he has such a significant number of challenges doing that, it is considerably harder for him to think about eating meat or fish. The main food source Pi had was ocean animals like fish and turtles. “Tears flowing down my cheeks, I egged myself on until I heard a cracking sound and I no longer felt any life-fighting in my hands. I pulled back the folds of the blanket. The flying fish was dead. It was split open and bloody on one side of its head, at the level of the gills.” While killing the fish, Pi was feeling horrible for it like it was somebody very dear to him. Through such extreme feelings, Pi demonstrates his regard towards life. Pi butchers a sea turtle by cutting the turtle’s neck and depleting the blood into a beaker, “bright red blood shot out. I grabbed the beaker and collected about three hundred milliliters”. Pi drinks the turtle’s blood and says: “I drank the blood to the last drop.” Pi can drink the turtle blood and scrape off the turtle’s shell with a knife. This can be seen when Pi states: “As confidently as if I had done it a thousand times, I jammed the knife just to the right of the turtle’s head, at an angle. I pushed the blade deep into the folds of skin and twisted it.” Pi needed to break his morals because he was practically choosing between life and demise. If he wanted to survive, he realized he needed to become accustomed to slaughtering animals so as to keep himself and Richard Parker alive. By breaking his morals, Pi gave himself more motivation to live since he has made survival less demanding for himself, however not ethically. His new feeling of survivalism convinces him to view another day since Pi realizes he has enough abilities to support himself and Richard Parker.
Zoomorphism, as characterized by Pi, is an animal seeing an alternate animal as one of its own for the purpose of companionship. Pi figures out how to interface with animals by contrasting animal identity qualities and his own and makes an association with them. He is applying personification to the animals to create a connection. If he doesn’t partake in this then he will go mentally insane so this is healthy for him. “The poor dear looked so humanly sick! It is a particularly funny thing to read human traits in animals, especially in apes and monkeys, where it is so easy.” Another instance is when Pi says “She came floating on an island of bananas in a halo of light, as lovely as the Virgin Mary. The rising sun behind her. Her flaming hair looked stunning…Let me say it plainly: I love you, I love you, I love you, I love, I love you…”. Pi was talking about the orangutan, Orange Juice. Orange juice was unaggressive and gentle with lovable qualities like a mother. The connections Pi made with his surroundings helped him appreciate them and was part of what gave him the will to survive.
Ultimately, Pi holds onto the skill of survivalism through the influences from his three notable religions, breaking morals and creating a sense of relationship with Mother Earth. The idea the author develops regarding the human will to survive and endure the destructive forces surrounding them is that humans will take extreme measures. Without such influences, Pi would not have survived. This is what got him through two-hundred and twenty-seven days on the Pacific Ocean. As American Dancer Twyla Tharp would say, “To survive, you’ve got to keep wheedling your way. You can’t just sit there and fight against odds when it’s not going to work. You have to turn a corner, dig a hole, go through a tunnel – and find a way to keep moving.”
The role of Religion and God in Yann Martel’s Life of Pi as influenced by Poe’s The Narrative of Arthur Grogon Pym of Nantucket Explicatory Essay
Yann Martel, a Canadian writer has published many literature works in course of his writing career. Life of Pi happens to be one of his literature works and was published in the year 2001. It is a fantasy novel focusing on adventure, spirituality as well as practicality.
Although there are many themes discussed in the novel, religion is a major theme. The main character or the protagonists known as Pi used to practice three religions during his childhood which were inclusive of Hinduism, Christianity as well as Islam. All religions that he practiced were important to him and none was inferior to the other.
However, the role of religion in the Life of Pi has been illuminated by Allan Poe in The Narrative of Arthur Grogon Pym of Nantucket. Based on that, this paper shall discuss the role of religion and God in Yann Martel’s Life of Pi as influenced by Poe’s The Narrative of Arthur Grogon Pym of Nantucket.
It is important to discuss the plot of the story before discussing the main idea. The story has been subdivided in to three different parts based on the life of the main character Pi (Piscine Molitor Patel). The main character is named after a swimming pool in France but changed latter to Pi during his secondary school life. He was brought in a well up family since his father not only owned but also used to run a zoo. Religion was introduced to him in his early childhood as he was born a Hindu.
However, when he was a teenager, he was introduced to other religions such as Christianity and Islam. Instead of choosing one, Pi was practicing all the three religions and used them to try and understand the nature of God. The second part illustrates the journey through the ocean while the last part focuses on the interaction of Pi and the two officials who wanted to know to more about his adventure.
The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket by Poe is also similar to the Life of Pi as it focuses on a story of a young person Pym. The main character in the story decides to go on a sea adventure where he encounters several issues like cannibalism, ship wreck as well as mutiny.
It is a strange and an adventurous story which features religious symbolism among other themes. The story also discusses the theory of the Hollow Earth as well as some of the life experiences of the author especially concerning the sea adventure. It is considered as one of the influential works in the field of literature especially as an adventurous story.
As highlighted in the in the introductory part, religion is one of the themes that stand out in the Life of Pi. Moreover, even at the beginning, the author points out that the story can make someone believe in God. One is left to wonder how a story of one human being with a number of animals can turn out to be spiritual or even religious. However, looking keenly at the life of Pi reveals the importance of God and religion as well.
Despite the fact that Pi grows up in a secularized society, he ends up becoming too religious. Apart from Hinduism which was his first religion, Pi goes to the extent of embracing Catholicism as well as Islam. Surprisingly, Pi chooses to practice the three religions at the same time but chooses to keep his spirituality as a secret, not only to his family but also to his three religious leaders. All the three religions were important in his life since he found something important in each (Greer).
According to Pi, Hinduism was an important religion as he was introduced to it early in life-it was part of him. He did not consider leaving Hinduism after discovering other religions because it formed the basis of his spirituality.
He embraced Christianity and Islam out of curiosity not out of dissatisfaction of the other religions. Despite the fact that he was comfortable with his three religious beliefs, his religious leaders were dissatisfied with his stand as they believed that it was impossible for him to practice all the three religions at the same time.
He was unable or unwilling to choose a single religion. Although he was quick to embrace other religions, he found it quite hard to embrace atheism even if it was presented to him by his favorite teacher. He believed in the existence of a supernatural being and that is why he was afraid to explore or learn more about atheism. It is clear that that the religious life of Pi forms the basis of the whole story and can inspire the reader to believe in God as the author illustrates (Quilty).
Religion has been discussed in the beginning and the idea is revisited towards the end of the story when Pi asks the Japanese officials to choose the story they preferred. Pi concluded that it is the same case in life because human beings chose between religion and science or fantasy and reality.
The religious people chose to believe in the uplifting issues rather than in the believable issues which may be less entertaining. In that case, it is clear that the whole story is more on application of religion in the life of human beings. For instance, to illustrate the application of religion in various life circumstances, Pi gives an illustration of two men who give different interpretations after seeing white light before them.
While the religious person believes that the white light represents God in a different form, the other person who believes in science concludes that the light is a scientific phenomenon caused by lack of enough oxygen in the central nervous system. In that case, Pi does not oppose either of them but highlights that the only difference between them is how they take life. According to Pi, the scientific person only lacks imagination and therefore “misses the better part of the story” (Quilty).
As NikoRad illustrates, religion in the life of Pi is effectively used to pass the main idea of the story to the audience. The author illustrates that in every situation, human beings have got a choice on how to perceive reality.
According to Pi, human beings can chose to take the advantage of religion, engage their imagination and obtain the best out of it. In that case, even though religion may not be true, it is more exciting to believe in the same than to live as an atheist. Therefore, the protagonist has used the idea of religion in the whole story to effectively communicate his mind the audience.
Religion has also played a great role in developing the character of Pi. Right from an early age, the author introduces Pi as a religious person since he is able to observe three religions at the same time. More specifically, the author presents Pi as a person who has got a religion of his own based on the fact that he is able to embrace three religions at the same time.
The issue of religion in the life of Pi is very important as it makes him to have faith in himself. Consequently, due to the faith in self, Pi is able to carry out his role effectively through out the whole story. For instance, it is observable that Pi speaks so firmly not only concerning religious issues but also concerning other life issues like a person who has had a lot of experience in life.
The background information concerning Pi religious beliefs not only develops his character but helps the audience to accept and appreciate Pi as he is, bearing in mind that children can also see things in their own perspective. Most importantly, religious belief and the faith that Pi has makes the audience not to doubt his survival even after going through very dangerous circumstances during his journey through the ocean.
The story of Pi is one of the unbelievable tales in the field of literature. However, incorporating religion adds value to it. This is based on the fact that religion also contains a lot of stories which look fictional.
For instance, some of the biblical stories like the story of Jonah and the whale and the story of the fall of man can only be read by someone who is able to suspend disbelief and similarly, the story of the life of Pi can only be read by someone who can do away with disbelief and embrace some faith. Instead of having doubts, religion helps the reader to become eager to read a story that is supposed to make someone believe in God. Therefore, the issue of religion does not only create harmony in the story but also makes it interesting to read.
Similar to religion, God also plays major roles in the life of Pi. From the very beginning, the protagonist Pi is faced with a lot of challenges. Religion happens to be a major challenge in life since other people cannot understand how he can manage to practice the three religions at the same time. Surviving a shipwreck for two hundred and twenty seven days is also a major challenge.
His religious beliefs and believe in God enables him to overcome all the challenges that he goes through not only during his childhood but also during his journey through the Pacific Ocean. Pi is a believer because he states that “I just want to love God” (Martel pp. 69). In the view of the fact that the life of Pi is characterized by danger, loneliness and doubt or uncertainty, his belief in God helped him to overcome all the challenges. Through out his journey, Pi continued to perform his religious rituals such as prayer.
Yann Martel once indicated that it is natural to be influenced and inspired by other writers. In the life Pi, it is clear that the author has been greatly influenced by the Poe’s Narrative of Arthur Grogon Pym of Nantucket. To begin with, Martel names the tiger Richard Parker after a character in the Poe’s narrative. As much as there is a difference between the two characters, it is clear that Poe’s work was influential.
For instance, the issue of cannibalism features greatly in the two stories and may have influenced Martel in naming the Tigress ‘Richard Parker’. In the Poe’s narrative, Richard Parker is human being who becomes a victim of cannibalism since he is eaten by the captain and his two friends who survived a ship wreck for sixteen days. However, it is ironical since in the life of Pi, Richard Parker who represents the tigress ends up eating other animals like the zebra and the hyena.
According to the studies of Buchinger (pp. 73), the life of Pi is not just an adventurous journey but also a religious metaphor as ‘Tsimtsum’ which is the Japanese name for a cargo ship suggests. Further studies illustrate that the tzimtzum concept illustrates that God created the finite world by contracting himself and ended up leaving a space for human beings to develop. To reunite with God, Pi explains that human beings are supposed to live lives that are free from evil.
Although Pi often used to feel that God had forsaken him, the tigress Richard Parker helps him to overcome all the obstacles and is hence seen as a helper from God. Therefore, it is clear that the life of Pi illustrates the importance of religion, Faith and God as well. Similarly, the Work of Poe is also characterized by religious symbolism especially in the last chapters. Although both themes have been discussed differently, it is clear that Marten was influenced greatly by the work of Poe especially in discussing religion.
Poe’s Narrative of Arthur Grogon Pym of Nantucket and the Life of Pi are very similar since both of them are adventurous stories involving similar issues such as cannibalism and shipwreck. However, the main aim of the essay is not on the similarity of the main themes but on the influence that Poe had on Yann Martels work.
Nevertheless, the similarity of themes is one of the important factors that can illustrate how the work of Poe was influential. Although there are many issues such as ship wreck and cannibalism that are similar, religious symbolism is the most important factor in the whole story.
In the life of Pi, a supernatural being or God helped the main character to survive the difficult situations and to overcome all the obstacles. Religious symbolism in the Poe’s work which features greatly in the last chapters influenced the role played by God and religion in the life of Pi. Therefore, it cannot be an understatement to conclude that Poe greatly influenced Yann Martel in writing the life of Pi not only in bringing out the idea of God and religion, but also on the presentation of the whole story.
Buchinger, George. The Tiger in the Angolphone Literature. 2009. Web.
Greer, W. R. Life of Pi is a masterful story. 2002. Web.
Martel, Yann. Life of Pi. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2002.
NikoRad. Religion and spirituality in Life of Pi, by Yann Martel. 2009. Web.
Quilty, Susan. Religion and spirituality in Life of Pi, by Yann Martel. 2010. Web.