Canadian Identity

Topics: Yann Martel, Life of Pi, Canada Reads Pages: 6 (2348 words) Published: January 12, 2014


Kassidey Smale
December 16th, 2013
ELA A30

It is necessary that we as humans must face a variety of decisions throughout the course of our lives. Some minor and some major. Books can help us discover ourselves as well by placing us in a sea of ‘what- if’s. Such as, what if you were stranded in the middle of the ocean and you had to put aside your morals in order to survive? In The
 Life Of Pi, by Yann Martel, Pi endures this situation as result of conflicting factors that he and his family are forced to face. Many pieces of literature like Life of Pi involve a character that is stuck between cultures or conflicting factors. Pi is a young man who believes in three religions: Christianity, Hinduism and Islam. From these religions Pi develops a deep sense of morality and a kindness towards all living things. Symbolism plays a large role in Pi’s life. One of many examples was the color orange-it represents life; and symbolizes hope and survival. Although some may disagree, In The Life of Pi, Yann Martel uses Symbolism and the idea of religion, to create a vivid connection between Pi's mental personas and how it transforms as he continues to persevere on his demanding journey for survival. Followed by the impact of religion, symbolism and how it relates to Pi’s life as a whole. A sensitive topic that people tend to not understand is religion. Some do not believe in anything. Others just stick to one. Pi, though, is very curious and studies three extremely diverse religions, Islam, Christianity and Hinduism. Though there are multiple religions, they generally teach the same thing: to love each other and respect God. This idea is reinforced in chapter 23, where the priest, the pandit and the imam gather in a religious argument. They argue the same point “God is universal” and that “there is only one God” (Martel, 68). Pi goes even further with the idea of one God by saying “Bapu Gandhi said, ‘All religions are true.’ I just want to love God.” (Martel, 69) Pi says, during a meeting with all the leaders of the religions and his family. Nobody could actually give him a punishment because nobody knew if it was necessarily wrong or right. His parents said that he should choose one because they are complete opposites of each other and cannot connect together. Pi continues to stand by his own beliefs and practices multiple religions. Further Pi’s religions knowledge of God helps him survive the multiple obstacles he faces on the lifeboat. It is a long journey filled with danger, loneliness and doubt, but most of all an exploration of faith. Pi maintains his religious beliefs while on the lifeboat through his daily ritual prayers, which helps sustain him. Pi has trouble facing issues like physical difficulty, ranging from salt-water boils, to the threat of death by a tiger, to cold, to starvation, to dehydration and other difficulties. However, he continues to pray regularly, and must plead to God in order to survive his ordeal. He remembers the misery he felt after such a long time away from God, saying, "It was natural that, bereft and desperate as I was, in the throes of unremitting suffering, I should turn to God" (Martel 315). With Pi keeping his ritual prayers going, which helped him to survive. Pi is able to maintain somewhat the religious lifestyle that he has prior to the sinking of the Tsimtsum. Pi also makes many religious relationships throughout this journey. He made comparisons between Orange Juice and the Virgin Mary. "She came floating on an island of bananas in a halo of light, as lovely as the Virgin Mary" (Martel 111). Truly, Pi's religious faith remains strong throughout this journey on the Pacific Ocean. When Pi is in the midst of giving up, he turns to god for the answer, “I was giving up. I would have given up - if a voice hadn't made itself heard in my heart. The voice said ‘I will not die. I refuse it. I will make it...

Cited: Martel, yann. Life of Pi. 2006. 1-366. Web.
"Faith Quotes Life of Pi.” Good reads, n.d. Web. 15 Dec 2013. .
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