Faith, Reason, and a Slice of Pi

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Faith and Reason with a Slice of Life of Pi
Life overflows with many kinds of distracting ideas, objects, and forms for the mind to wonder about. Humans made it their goal in life to determine which of these things have value and supply a meaning to this life. In Life of Pi, Yann Martel uses Pi stranded on a lifeboat, as a metaphor for life to show that reason alone cannot give meaning to life, and that survival is more than just living but living a better story. Martel uses many different characters to embody the two underlining factors, reason and faith, which establish this better story. Throughout Life of Pi, Pi is in conflict over which of these two notions will create the better story. Although not thought of as a religious novel, Life of Pi bursts with countless references to multiple religions and creates a debate within the reader’s mind of what truly is the better story between religion of a God and atheism. Gregory Stephens quotes Charlotte Innes as describing Life of Pi as "a religious book that makes sense to a nonreligious person” (Stephens, "Feeding Tiger, Finding God: Science, Religion, and 'the better story ' in Life of Pi"). Both religion and atheism can relate to Pi’s struggles with living life based on faith or reason. The following will be an analytical review of quotes from Life of Pi and other sources, which will attest that Martel establishes a representation of Pi’s journey as proof that life lived based off reason or faith alone will produce a story, but life based off faith and reason balanced creates the better story.
To begin, it is best to have an understanding of the overall plot of Life of Pi. As stated by Linda Morra, “The book is broken down into three distinct parts, his adult life in Canada where he meets the narrator and divulges his life-story; his childhood in India followed by a traumatic experience at sea; and his rescue and recovery in Mexico” (Morra, Life of Pi). All three parts take the reader with the main character,



Cited: Cloeste, Elsie. "Tigers, Humans, and Animots." (2007.) Journal of Literary Studies. Web. 13 Nov. 2012. Duncan, Rebecca. "Life of Pi as Postmadern Survivor Narrative." Mosaic: A Journal for the Interdisciplinary Study of Literature (2008). ProQuest. Web. 12 Nov. 2012. Martel, Yann. Life of Pi. New York: Harcourt, 2001. Print. Morra, Linda M. "Life of Pi." Canadian Literature (2003). ProQuest. Web. 12 Nov. 2012. Shmoop Editorial Team. "Life of Pi." Shmoop.com. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 7 Dec. 2012. Stephens, Gregory. "Feeding Tiger, Finding God: Science, Religion, and 'the better story ' in Life of Pi." (2010). Literature Resource Center. Web. 13 Nov. 2012. "Yann Martel (1963-)." Contemporary Literary Criticism. Ed. Jeffrey W. Hunter. Vol. 315. Detroit: Gale, Cengage Learning, 2012. 232-287. Literature Criticism Online. Gale. 13 Nov. 2012

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