Analysis of “Hollow at the core”:
Deconstructing Yann Martel’s Life of Pi
The author Florence Stratton’s main purpose of this analysis is to deconstruct Yann Martel's Life of Pi. She argues various points attempting to dissect and make reason of Martel's choices in the novel. Stratton also discusses the strengths and weaknesses of the novel's claims.
Stratton’s major claim is that Martel's treatment of religion in the novel is not persuasive in making all its readers believe in God. It will, however, justify the beliefs of those who do believe in God. She states, “He [Martel] is not out to prove the existence of God, but rather to justify a belief in God’s existence” (Stratton, 3). Stratton quotes Peter Whittaker, “This wonderful book did not make me believe in God but it did reinforce my faith in the considerable redemptive powers of fiction” (3). Stratton puts a huge emphasis from the beginning of her essay on storytelling. She believes Martel is a master storyteller, but questions the effectiveness of storytelling on convincing the reader of believing in God. Rather, the reader must decide from his or her own reality which of the stories to believe. As evidence, she quotes Pi explaining to Mr. Okamoto, “Isn’t telling about something – using words, English or Japanese – al- ready something of an invention? Isn’t just looking upon this world al- ready something of an invention” (4)? In relation to the use of storytelling she quotes Pi responding to the Japanese investigators, “So tell me, since it makes no factual difference to you and you can’t prove the question either way, which story do you prefer? Which is the better story, the story with animals or the story without animals” (3)? Stratton further states, “Agnostics, Pi tells us, ‘lack imagination and miss the better story.’ God’s existence, in other words, is a matter neither of fact nor of faith, but rather is a better story than the one told by those who doubt or deny God’s...
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