Life of Pi

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Life Of PI

Summative Assessment

Martel introduces and interesting sets and settings

Displays the content of story interesting tones of surrealism, comedy and reflection. Provides an escape from the social acceptance of sex and violence by placing the reader in a world filled with allegorical representation with animals and religion.

Idea: Martel suggests through the allegorical representation of Richard Parker’s instincts and Pi’s spirituality, that humankind can not survive without the other. We as people need reasonable doubt, but also must venture our imaginations into the unknown. This in itself provides the spark of life for mankind. A sense of belonging with the world through faith and God and the need to know more ensure the survival of the human race.

Martel’s “Life of Pi”. A furry tale that will make any cynic or pessimist put a smile on their face. A novel whose limits span the Pacific Ocean and reach towards God. A story that encompasses life in itself and celebrates it with elements of nature and survival. Yann Martel, the author of Life of Pi provides a set and setting that brings us out of our familiar surroundings of skyscrapers, concrete, and subways, to the vast pacific ocean. He brings into the story a strong presence of the main character’s spirituality towards god and a rich and diverse zoo in the town of Pondicherry. Above this Martel brings in a larger than life curious cat named Richard Parker, who isn’t so much a cat, but a man-eating tiger whose premise is to light a figurative fire under the bottom of our protagonist Piscine Patel, better know as Pi. All these physical and religious elements of Pi’s journey of survival add a thick richness that allows for a sense of adventure, beauty, and diverse story telling. But beyond giving us interesting settings, Martel has succeeded even more in the tones of his writing. Funny, surreal, and reflective, Life Of Pi always keeps his readers in awe and wonder. But besides the main themes and interesting settings, Martel succeeds the most by representing the story through the allegorical representation of Richard Parker and Pi through the main topics of Faith and Reason. It is interesting to see how these two belief systems drove the book to success, without including many of the popular topics of sex and violence that fill the media in today’s fast paced world. By depending on these two timeless themes, Martel has succeeded in also creating a timeless novel. It is easy to see how faith and reason has accounted for the much deserved popularity that this inspiring story has gained in the last few years.

One of the main needs of readers today, in such a fast paced world, is ever changing settings rich with descriptions that fill the senses. By moving the setting from the flower filled Pondicherry Zoo, to the vast expanses of the Pacific Ocean, not a second is lost in describing Pi's physical surroundings and the effects they have on him. By creating these different locations and environments, the reader is taken on a journey of the visual senses that is one of the reasons why this novel is so easy to fall in love with. The story begins with the narrator traveling to the small town of Pondicherry, “a tiny self-governing Union Territory south of Madras” in India. From here, the story actually begins. Martel instantly hooks the readers into a colourful world of animals at the Pondicherry Zoo and describes them playfully; “ What can you expect beyond a low wall? Certainly not a pit with two mighty Indian Rhinoceroses...And when you turn your head you see the elephant that was there all along.” and also describes the landscape; “It was a huge zoo, spread over numberless acres, big enough to require a train to explore it...You must imagine a hot and humid place, bathed in sunshine and bright colors.” From here the reader is personally immersed with the animals and physically absorbed into his descriptions of the Pondicherry Zoo. From...
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