Life of Pi: the Correlation Between Science and Religion

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Sharmeel Bhatti

Ms. Ciufo


Wednesday, April, 28, 2010

Life of Pi: Correlation between Science and Religion

One of the most important dichotomies that exist amongst today is Science versus Religion. A dichotomy that started in the renaissance era, a period when people started questioning, looking to other horizons, other than religion and truly began to comprehend reality. The theme of Science versus Religion is portrayed in a great deal in the novel Life of Pi. In Life of Pi, Yann Martle utilizes the protagonist Piscine “Pi” Molitor Patel’s to suggest that humans require both Science and Religion to attain their full potential. Pi’s experiences prior to arriving in the Lifeboat , in attendance of the Lifeboat and following Pi’s ordeal on the Lifeboat, all reveal Pi’s enormous interest in science and religion.

Even before the introduction of the Lifeboat the character Pi illustrates his extensive passion for Religion and Science. He develops the interest of science and religion primarily through Mr. and Mr. Kumar, Pi’s childhood teachers. Pi expresses his opinion about Mr. and Mr. Kumar after he embraces Islam. Pi says, “Mr. and Mr. Kumar were the prophets of my Indian Youth” (Martle, 61). Imagery is used within this quote to illustrate the most important teachers of Pi’s childhood. The quote explains that significance of both Mr. Kumar the biologist teacher, who happens to be an Atheist and the Mr. Kumar the Sufi, the Islamic teacher. Mr. Kumar the biologist teacher is expressed as noticeable geometric physic which corresponds to his scientism and his logical self. He represents a prophet in Pi’s life because he ignites the flame of reason within Pi. Mr. Kumar the biologist teacher develops the importance of reason, which proves immensely useful to Pi’s ordeal on the Pacific Sea. On the other hand, Mr. Kumar the Sufi lacks any sort of physical distinction which corresponds to his spirituality. Mr. Kumar the Sufi assists Pi in...
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