Life of Pi - Religion

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Food and hunger are recurring motifs in the novel. How does Martel use these elements and what is he trying to tell us.

“Life of Pi”, a novel written by Yann Martel, allows the reader to choose to believe or not about a story of survival, having faith in something beyond what is seen. Martel raises issues concerning humans innate need for hunger and this is reflected through Pi’s hunger not only for food physically but also hunger emotionally and spiritually. Martel uses Pi’s story of survival to show us the conflicts that may occur when the higher things in life that humans aspire to (like pi’s religion and salvation) are set against our own basic animal needs (Pi’s hunger) this allows us to discover the truths about our actions in the lows of human condition and the need for something more, like faith in something unseen, religion and god in order to survive.

As humans we have a need for something more, something out of this world to sustain us. This is evident in the beginning of the story with Pi’s search for religion and god. Pi‘s interest for religion enabled him to embraced three religions and see the similarities in each. “Hindus, in their capacity for love, are indeed hairless Christians, just as Muslims, in the way they see God in everything, are bearded Hindus, and Christians, in their devotion to God, are hat-wearing Muslims. Martel allows us to see that Pi is pleased with the spirituality he has gained “ the presence of god is the finest of rewards”. Pi closeness to god is fulfilling his hunger spiritually and emotionally. “I hunger for Prasad, that sugary offering to God that comes back to us as a sanctified treat”. Pi’s burning hunger is fed through his faith in religion and Pi feels satisfied. Martel demonstrates the importance of human’s innate need for something more, to have faith in things unseen in order for survival in everyday life, emotionally and spiritually.

Some of life circumstances put us in suffering which can...
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