Life of Pi: Humor
Mark Twain once said that, “Humor is mankind’s greatest blessing.” This could not be more true in Yann Martel’s novel, Life of Pi. In the novel, Pi, a sixteen year old Indian boy is shipwrecked in the Pacific Ocean. Pi is cast overboard into a lifeboat along with a tiger, orangutan, hyena, and a zebra. Pi is left to survive for two hundred and twenty seven days with his companion, a four hundred and fifty pound Bengal tiger. Humor is used throughout the whole novel to help Pi get through his ordeal. Humor breaks up tension and gives the novel a less serious tone. There are many examples of humor throughout the novel. One example is in towards the beginning of the novel when Pi discusses his childhood. Pi’s real name is Piscine Molitor Patel, but all the kids pronounce his name “pissing.” He finally gets rid of his horrible nickname by announcing that his name is “Pi” during role call at school. This example shows how the author uses humor to create a less serious tone. Also, towards the middle of the novel, while Pi is stranded out in the Pacific, he attempts to train Richard Parker. Pi humorously says, “Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, without further ado, it is my pleasure and honour to present to you: The Pi Patel, Indo-Canadian, Trans-Pacific, Floating Circuuusss!!!”(165). Humor is used in this example to show that Pi still has hope and is trying to make the most out of his horrible situation. Furthermore, the author uses humor in the very last chapter of the novel when Pi is being interviewed by Japanese officials. For example, when Pi is done telling the officials his story, they think that Pi is making it all up, so Pi makes up another story replacing all of the animals with humans. This is yet another example of how the author uses humor to help create a less serious tone in the novel. In conclusion, the use of humor in Life of Pi is prevalent throughout the novel and it is used to help break up tension and create a less serious...
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