Life of Pi and Religion

Topics: Truth, Religion, Yann Martel Pages: 3 (929 words) Published: April 3, 2011
In the first part of Life of Pi, Pi Patel tells the reader about important memories from his childhood before the ship accident and his adventure as a castaway at sea. It is from these memories that we see a real development of Pi's character; we come to better understand his thoughts and standings on life, religion, and the knowledge he gained from his family and others. One of his many musings about religion and the integration of it into our lives appears in Chapter 22, where he describes the end of two individuals lives.

Both see a white light overtaking them. One person recognizes that it is God, in one form or another, overtaking them and drawing them in from their moral life, and they become believers. The other stays stubborn in his scientific reasoning, and dismisses the white light as a visual phenomenon that is caused by a lack of oxygen to his central nervous system. Pi does not necessarily dismiss either as false, but claims that the scientific person "lack(ed) imagination and miss(ed) the better part of the story." This is precisely one of the major ideas of Life of Pi, that despite what life throws at you, you can choose how you perceive reality and make a better story out of it, should you choose to do so. Pi sees religion as one of the greatest ways to engage the human imagination and take full advantage of life. It would appear as though Pi is claiming that even if religion isn't true, it is more exciting to live your life as though it were than to live with the mind of an atheist, that there is a "better story" through a life of religion.

And this may well be true, that belief in a higher purpose is more fulfilling than belief in our existence being a natural phenomenon devoid of God. But if you choose religion to be your "story," then does it truly become reality? In the case of Pi, he tells us that we can shape our reality. But to truly analyze this statement, we must define reality. Though Pi suggests that reality is a truth based on...
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