Life of Pi Storytelling and Religion
Monday, November 01, 2009
In Yann Martel’s Life of Pi, the theme of storytelling is implemented from the very beginning of the novel with the Author's Note. It also foreshadows that there is a close link between storytelling and religion when Adriubasamy says "I have a story that will make you believe in God." (VIII). Stories and symbols of Hinduism, Christianity and Islam are prominent throughout the novel and religion is what ends up saving Pi. By tying in storytelling and religion, Martel has created a book that is hard to believe and realistic at the same time. In Life of Pi, there is a story within a story. Yann Martel has written the Author's Note to lead the reader to believe that this is a non-fiction novel. He makes Life of Pi a framed narrative, where Martel is the author of the novel, but within the novel there is a fictitious author who is telling the story of Pi within the book. The narration of Pi's life in the beginning is also very real. At the end of the novel, a transcript taken from the interrogation of Pi also seems true. Each story that Pi tells is not really a lie because there is a different kind of truth in each story. The story with Richard Parker is most likely a story that Pi made up to deal with the real tragedy. And the story with humans may have been the real horrific story. But the reader is never told which story is true. Throughout Life of Pi, Pi makes multiple references to the ways in which zoos are like religion "I know zoos are no longer in people’s good graces. Religion faces the same problem. Certain illusions about freedom plague them both.” (21). This quote can have many different meanings. Pi has heard many people say negative things about zoos, mostly that they take away noble, wild animals of their freedom and trap them in boring, domesticated lives, but he disagrees. He believes that wild animals in their natural surroundings come to deal with fear,...
Bibliography: Martel, Yann. Life of Pi. Toronto: Vintage Canada, 2001.
Word Count: 1,205 words
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