Life of Pi Wide Reading

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Wide Reading
Life of Pi is a novel written by Yann Martel, which has many remarkable aspects, some of which include the voice of Pi and religion. Martel exemplifies these aspects by utilizing linguistic and stylistic features. Firstly, the genre of the novel itself is an allegory/fable. This means that it can be interpreted to have a hidden meaning, typically a moral justification. In Life of Pi, the ‘meaning’ interpreted by readers is arguably a statement of how one can live a comfortable and unreflective life like the meerkats did. A linguistic feature that is most remarkable in Life of Pi is the literary quality of the voice of Pi whose characterization throughout the novel highlights an underlying message seen when Martel utilizes similes, visual imagery and metaphoric language in, “In that Greek letter that looks like a shack with a corrugated tin roof, in that elusive, irrational number with which scientists try to understand the universe, I found refuge.” Finally, Pi is also a religious believer, one whose faith is remarkably capacious and catholic in the general sense. He is Christian, Muslim and Hindu at once. Martel connects Pi’s capacity for belief directly to the literary value of imaginative truth when he has Pi make the following statement: “I can well imagine an atheist’s last words: ‘White, white! L-L-Love! My god!’—and the deathbed leap of faith.” Therefore, religious faith and literary suspension of disbelief are, for Martel, conjoined in his marvelous narrative. The fact that he leaves the ending open to interpretation in order to reflect the individual's choice of it, is a remarkable fact too. 210 words
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