Life of pi literary analysis essay

Analysis, of The, life, of, pi, english

For instance, pi's mother wants to buy cigarettes before traveling to canada, for fear that she won't be able to find her particular brand in Winnipeg. And pi is able to survive his oceanic ordeal largely because he creates a series of daily rituals to sustain him. Without rituals, routines, and habits, the novel implies, people feel uneasy and unmoored. Rituals give structure to abstract ideas and emotions-in other words, ritual is an alternate form of storytelling. Symbols, pi, piscine molitor Patel's preferred moniker is more than just a shortened version of his given name. Indeed, the word Pi carries a host of relevant associations.

Pi help constantly struggles to land a fish or pull a turtle up over the side of the craft, just as he must steadily and consistently collect fresh drinking water using the solar stills. The repeated struggles against hunger and thirst illustrate the sharp difference between pi's former life and his current one on the boat. In urban towns such as Pondicherry, people are fed like animals in a zoo-they never have to expend essay much effort to obtain their sustenance. But on the open ocean, it is up to pi to fend for himself. His transition from modern civilization to the more primitive existence on the open sea is marked by his attitudes toward fish: initially pi, a vegetarian, is reluctant to kill and eat an animal. Only once the fish is lifeless, looking as it might in a market, does pi feel better. As time goes on, pi's increasing comfort with eating meat signals his embrace of his new life. Ritual, throughout the novel, characters achieve comfort through the practice of rituals. Animals are creatures of habit, as pi establishes early on when he notes that zookeepers can tell if something is wrong with their animals just by noticing changes in their daily routines. People, too, become wedded to their routines, even to the point of predictability, and grow troubled during times of change. While religious traditions are a prime example of ritual in this novel, there are numerous others.

life of pi literary analysis essay

Essay about, literary, analysis of, life of, pi - 2648 Words

To master Richard Parker, pi must establish his control over certain zones in the dissertation lifeboat. He pours his urine over the tarp to designate a portion of the lifeboat as his territory, and he uses his whistle to ensure that Richard Parker stays within his designated space. The small size of the lifeboat and the relatively large size of its inhabitants make for a crowded vessel. In such a confined space, the demarcation of territory ensures a relatively peaceful relationship between man and beast. If Richard Parker is seen as an aspect of pi's own personality, the notion that a distinct boundary can be erected between the two represents pi's need to disavow the violent, animalistic side of his nature. Hunger and Thirst, unsurprisingly in a novel about a shipwrecked castaway, the characters in Life of Pi are continually fixated on food and water. Ironically, the lifeboat is surrounded by food and water; however, the salty water is undrinkable and the food is difficult to catch.

life of pi literary analysis essay

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Pi sees this as evidence of a shameful lack of imagination. To him, agnostics who cannot make a leap of faith in either direction are like listeners beauty who cannot appreciate the non-literal truth a fictional story might provide. Though Martel's text deals with the seemingly boundless nature of the sea, it also studies the strictness of boundaries, borders, and demarcations. The careful way in which pi marks off his territory and differentiates it from Richard Parker's is necessary for pi's survival. Animals are territorial creatures, as pi notes: a family dog, for example, will guard its bed from intruders as if it were a lair. Tigers, as we learn from Richard Parker, are similarly territorial. They mark their space and define its boundaries carefully, establishing absolute dominance over every square inch of their area.

He believes that the tiger-like aspect of his nature and the civilized, human aspect stand in tense opposition and occasional partnership with one another, just as the boy pi and the tiger Richard Parker are both enemies and allies. The nature of Religious Belief, life of Pi begins with an old man in Pondicherry who tells the narrator, "I have a story that will make you believe in God." Storytelling and religious belief are two closely linked ideas in the novel. On a literal level, each of pi's three religions, hinduism, Christianity, and Islam, come with its own set of tales and fables, which are used to spread the teachings and illustrate the beliefs of the faith. Pi enjoys the wealth of stories, but he also senses that, as Father Martin assured him was true of Christianity, each of these stories might simply be aspects of a greater, universal story about ories and religious beliefs are also linked in Life of Pi because. Surprisingly for such a religious boy, pi admires atheists. To him, the important thing is to believe insomething, and pi can appreciate an atheist's ability to believe in the absence of God with no concrete proof of that absence. Pi has nothing but disdain, however, for agnostics, who claim that it is impossible to know either way, and who therefore refrain from making a definitive statement on the question of God.

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life of pi literary analysis essay

Literary, analysis of, life of, pi, eduCheer!

At the end of the novel, when pi raises the possibility that the fierce tiger, richard Parker, is actually an aspect of his own personality, and that pi himself is responsible for some of the horrific events he has narrated, the reader is forced. The write Importance of Storytelling. Life of Pi is a story within a story within a story. The novel is framed by a (fictional) note from the author, yann Martel, who describes how he first came to hear the fantastic hidup tale of Piscine molitor Patel. Within the framework of Martel's narration is pi's fantastical first-person account of life on the open sea, which forms the bulk of the book. At the end of the novel, a transcript taken from an interrogation of pi reveals the possible "true" story within that story: that there were no animals at all, and that pi had spent those 227 days with other human survivors who all eventually perished, leaving only himself.

Pi, however, is not a liar: to him, the various versions of his story each contain a different kind of truth. One version may be factually true, but the other has an emotional or thematic truth that the other cannot approach. Throughout the novel, pi expresses disdain for rationalists who only put their faith in "dry, yeastless factuality when stories-which can amaze and inspire listeners, and are bound to linger longer in the imagination-are, to him, infinitely orytelling is also a means of survival. The "true" events of pi's sea voyage are too horrible to contemplate directly: any young boy would go insane if faced with the kinds of acts pi (indirectly) tells his integrators he has witnessed. By recasting his account as an incredible tale about humanlike animals, pi doesn't have to face the true cruelty human beings are actually capable. Similarly, by creating the character of Richard Parker, pi can disavow the ferocious, violent side of his personality that allowed him to survive on the ocean. Even this is not, technically, a lie in pi's eyes.

The vessels shattered, causing the sparks of light to sink into matter. God reordered them into five figures, which became the dimensions of our created reality. This seemingly unimportant detail actually foreshadows the main event to come: the sinking of the ship, the Tsimtsum, which gives pi the room to create his own version of the events that follow. Interestingly, like the five figures that make up reality for Luria, five characters on the lifeboat (including pi himself) shape pi's story. The will to live, life of Pi is a story about struggling to survive through seemingly insurmountable odds.

The shipwrecked inhabitants of the little lifeboat don't simply acquiesce to their fate: they actively fight against. Pi abandons his lifelong vegetarianism and eats fish to sustain himself. Orange juice, the peaceful orangutan, fights ferociously against the hyena. Even the severely wounded zebra battles to stay alive; his slow, painful struggle vividly illustrates the sheer strength of his life force. As Martel makes clear in his novel, living creatures will often do extraordinary, unexpected, and sometimes heroic things to survive. However, they will also do shameful and barbaric things if pressed. The hyena's treachery and the blind Frenchman's turn toward cannibalism show just how far creatures will go when faced with the possibility of extinction.

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The answer. On one level, martel is just doing what fiction writers do: creating an imaginary scenario to delight and entice his readers. But on another level, these opening six pages deftly lay the foundation for the novel's central theme, which is that storytelling is a way to get around telling the boring or upsetting or uninteresting truth. Martel doesn't want to say that this novel was created by painstakingly researching zoos and religions and oceanic survival guides, getting up early every morning, and writing for several hours a day. Such an explanation would poke a hole in the balloon of fantasy that pi's account inflates over the course of the next three hundred pages; so, paper instead, he invents a different origin e author's Note is balanced structurally by part Three, another short section that. These bookends do not really fool the reader, of course, but they give us the ability to suspend our disbelief and invest ourselves more fully in the story we are about to ough given only a brief mention, pi's reference of his thesis on sixteenth-century. In essence, luria's theory of creation states that God contracted to make room for the universe. This contraction, called Tsimstum, was followed by light, carried in five vessels.

life of pi literary analysis essay

Because death and destruction are inevitable, both novels present life as a choice between only two options: defeat or endurance until destruction. Enduring against all odds elevates both human characters to the status help of heroes. Theme (story telling though just six pages long, the author's Note clues us into the book's origins even as it blurs the boundary between fact and fiction. The note claims the text is nonfiction, placing this book squarely in the tradition of picaresque novels likedon quixote, which masquerade as fact even though they are obviously works of imagination. In picaresque novels, the harsh realities of life-poverty, illness, and so on-are subject to wry, ironic, and even humorous treatment. In Life of pi, Martel uses his narrator to make serious commentary on everything from religion to politics, and the mock-journalistic introduction emphasizes the intersection of fact and fiction in his literary e author's Note blends facts and fictions about Yann Martel's own inspiration for the book. Martel really had written two not-so-successful books before this one and inspiration had struck him during a visit to India. But did he really meet Francis Adirubasamy in a coffee shop, and does pi patel really exist?

into doubt and the reader, like pi's Japanese interrogators, is forced to confront unsettling questions about the nature of truth itself. Theme (Life of pi-the Oldman and the sea). Many critics have noted the book's resemblance to Ernest Hemingway's novelThe Old Man and the sea. Both novels feature an epic struggle between man and beast. In The Old Man and the sea, a fisherman struggles to pull in a mighty marlin, while in Life of pi, pi and Richard Parker struggle for dominance on the lifeboat. Both the fisherman and pi learn to respect their animal counterparts; each pair is connected in their mutual suffering, strength, and resolve. Although they are opponents, they are also partners, allies, even doubles. Furthermore, both novels emphasize the importance of endurance.

India's diverse culture is further reflected in Martel's choice of Pondicherry as a setting. India was a british colony for nearly two hundred years, and consequently most of the nation has been deeply influenced by British culture. However, pondicherry, a tiny city in southern India, was once the capital of French India and as such has retained a uniquely French flavor that sets it apart from the rest of the fe of Pi can be characterized as a postcolonial novel, because of its. Like many postcolonial novels, such as those of Salman Rushdie and Gabriel García márquez, Life of Pi can also be classified as a work of magical realism, a literary genre in which fantastical elements-such as animals with human personalities or an island with cannibalistic trees-appear. Martel's novel could equally be described as a bildungsroman (a coming-of-age tale) or an adventure story. . Life of Pi even flirts with nonfiction genres. The author's Note, for example, claims that the story of Piscine molitor Patel is a true beauty story that the author, yann Martel, heard while backpacking through Pondicherry, and the novel, with its first-person narrator, is structured as a memoir.

SparkNotes: Life of pi : Suggested Essay topics

Life of Pi is set against the tumultuous period of Indian history known as the Emergency. In 1975, Prime minister Indira gandhi was found guilty of charges related to her 1971 election campaign and was ordered to resign. Instead-and in response to a rising tide of strikes and protests that were paralyzing the government-Gandhi declared a state of emergency, suspending constitutional rights and giving herself the power to rule by decree. The Emergency lasted for eighteen months and was officially ended in March 1977 when Gandhi called for a new round of elections. The historical legacy of the Emergency has been highly controversial: while civil liberties in this emerging democracy were severely curtailed and Gandhi's political opponents found themselves jailed, abused, and tortured, India's economy experienced a much-needed stabilization and growth. In Life of pi, Piscine (Pi) Molitor Patel's father, a zookeeper in Pondicherry, india, grows nervous about the current political situation. Speculating that Gandhi might try to take over his zoo and faced with depressing economic conditions, pi's father decides to sell off his zoo animals and move his family to canada, trunk thus setting the main action of the novel into ough only a relatively brief. Pi is raised as a hindu but as a young boy discovers both Christianity and Islam and decides to practice all three religions simultaneously. In the author's Note, an elderly Indian man describes the story of pi as "a story that will make you believe in God and Life of Pi continuously grapples with questions of faith; as an adherent to the three most prominent religions in India, pi provides.

life of pi literary analysis essay
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