“How does the organizational structure of Life of Pi affect the meaning of the overall work?”
The author of Life of Pi, Yann Martel, uses a lucid and vibrant language to tell his gripping tale of the survival of a young, shipwrecked boy. This allegoric story is split up into three distinct parts, each with its own purpose. At first, these parts just seem to be a way to spilt up the book: The first tells of Pi’s background, the second tells the story of his survival, and the last explains Pi’s rescue and includes a recount of interviews with Pi on the cause of the shipwreck. It is not until the very end that the reader finally notices how the parts interrelate and tie the whole book together. Once the reader is aware of the book’s delicate balance the true meaning of the work is revealed: is there such thing as truth? Does our unique way of viewing the world affect what we believe to be the truth?
Part One is the story of Pi’s up-bringing, and a way to suspend the reader’s disbelief. It tells of Pi’s knowledge of animals (he’s grown-up on a zoo), it reveals Pi’s love of religion and God (he actively practices three), and it gives a glimpse into Pi’s life after the shipwreck (he is alive and well, living in Canada). Part One is also the section that introduces a narrator into the story, whose purpose is to have Pi’s story told. It also adds documentary realism into this fictional story, making the reader further believe the stories told by Pi. By interspersing the narration and Pi’s first person accounts, the story becomes one of fiction and non-fiction, because it is Pi’s story, but as told through the narrator. This relates to the true meaning because we realize that Pi’s story was told as how the narrator interprets it and believes it to be true; especially when Pi tells him, “Now it is your story to tell.”
Part Two is the first-person account of Pi’s survival after the shipwreck, which takes up the majority of the book....