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Life of Pi---Yann Martel

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Rabbit Hobbit

on 10 February 2013

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Transcript of Life of Pi---Yann Martel

Author: Yann Martel Life of Pi Motifs Main Idea Trailer Yann Martel was born on June 25, 1963, in Salamanca, Spain, to Canadian parents. When Martel was a young boy, his parents joined the Canadian Foreign Services, and the family moved frequently, living in Alaska, France, Costa Rica, Ontario, and British Columbia. Martel went on to study philosophy at Trent University in Ontario, where he discovered a love for writing. After graduating in 1985, Martel lived with his parents and worked a number of odd jobs while continuing to write fiction. He published a collection of short stories, The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios, in 1993 and a novel, Self, in 1996, but neither book received much critical or commercial attention. In 2002, however, Martel’s international literary reputation was sealed with the publication of Life of Pi, a runaway bestseller that went on to win the prestigious Man Booker Prize (awarded each year to the best English-language novel written by a Commonwealth or Irish author) and had since been translated into thirty languages. Yann's original idea was to make this a fiction novel but, then included the genre of adventure as well. Fox 2000 pictures bought the screen rights to Martel’s novel, and a feature film is expected in 2008. Connection The overall message of the chapter is that although religion (organized faith) can aid us and stabilize us and nourish us spiritually in the short term, it is not a viable long-term answer to our spiritual questions, and will ultimately kill us mentally and spiritually. Rather than the novel itself, the movie gives a better image of this because, in the movie it shows how Pi's lifeboat = faith, Island = Religion, Sea and Sun = harsh realities of real life, scrutinizing your faith, Trees = clergy /priests /rabbis /imams, Meerkats=followers of the religion. Let's also take the example of "Pi". Piscine Molitor Patel’s preferred moniker is more than just a shortened version of his given name. Indeed, the word Pi carries a host of relevant associations. It is a letter in the Greek alphabet that also contains alpha and omega, terms used in the book to denote dominant and submissive creatures. Pi is also an irrational mathematical number, used to calculate distance in a circle. Often shortened to 3.14, pi has so many decimal places that the human mind can’t accurately comprehend it, just as, the book argues, some realities are too difficult or troubling to face. These associations establish the character Pi as more than just a realistic protagonist; he also is an allegorical figure with multiple layers of meaning Trent U. which Yann Martel studied in. Life of Pi did not only come out in the form of a novel but also came out in the form of a movie on November 21st. Here's the movie trailer. Themes The Will to Live Life of Pi is a story about struggling to survive through seemingly insurmountable odds. The shipwrecked inhabitants of the little lifeboat don’t simply acquiesce to their fate: they actively fight against it. Pi abandons his lifelong vegetarianism and eats fish to sustain himself. Orange Juice, the peaceful orangutan, fights ferociously against the hyena. Even the severely wounded zebra battles to stay alive; his slow, painful struggle vividly illustrates the sheer strength of his life force. As Martel makes clear in his novel, living creatures will often do extraordinary, unexpected, and sometimes heroic things to survive. However, they will also do shameful and barbaric things if pressed. The hyena’s treachery and the blind Frenchman’s turn toward cannibalism show just how far creatures will go when faced with the possibility of extinction. At the end of the novel, when Pi raises the possibility that the fierce tiger, Richard Parker, is actually an aspect of his own personality, and that Pi himself is responsible for some of the horrific events he has narrated, the reader is forced to decide just what kinds of actions are acceptable in a life-or-death situation. The Nature of Religious Beliefs Life of Pi begins with an old man in Pondicherry who tells the narrator, “I have a story that will make you believe in God.” Storytelling and religious belief are two closely linked ideas in the novel. On a literal level, each of Pi’s three religions, Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam, come with its own set of tales and fables, which are used to spread the teachings and illustrate the beliefs of the faith. Pi enjoys the wealth of stories, but he also senses that, as Father Martin assured him was true of Christianity, each of these stories might simply be aspects of a greater, universal story about love.
Stories and religious beliefs are also linked in Life of Pi because Pi asserts that both require faith on the part of the listener or devotee. Surprisingly for such a religious boy, Pi admires atheists. To him, the important thing is to believe in something, and Pi can appreciate an atheist’s ability to believe in the absence of God with no concrete proof of that absence. Pi has nothing but disdain, however, for agnostics, who claim that it is impossible to know either way, and who therefore refrain from making a definitive statement on the question of God. Pi sees this as evidence of a shameful lack of imagination. To him, agnostics who cannot make a leap of faith in either direction are like listeners who cannot appreciate the non-literal truth a fictional story might provide. Hunger and Thirst Unsurprisingly in a novel about a shipwrecked castaway, the characters in Life of Pi are continually fixated on food and water. Ironically, the lifeboat is surrounded by food and water; however, the salty water is undrinkable and the food is difficult to catch. Pi constantly struggles to land a fish or pull a turtle up over the side of the craft, just as he must steadily and consistently collect fresh drinking water using the solar stills. The repeated struggles against hunger and thirst illustrate the sharp difference between Pi’s former life and his current one on the boat. In urban towns such as Pondicherry, people are fed like animals in a zoo—they never have to expend much effort to obtain their sustenance. But on the open ocean, it is up to Pi to fend for himself. His transition from modern civilization to the more primitive existence on the open sea is marked by his attitudes toward fish: initially Pi, a vegetarian, is reluctant to kill and eat an animal. Only once the fish is lifeless, looking as it might in a market, does Pi feel better. As time goes on, Pi’s increasing comfort with eating meat signals his embrace of his new life. Symbols The Colour Orange In Life of Pi, the color orange symbolizes hope and survival. Just before the scene in which the Tsimtsum sinks, the narrator describes visiting the adult Pi at his home in Canada and meeting his family. Pi’s daughter, Usha, carries an orange cat. This moment assures the reader that the end of the story, if not happy, will not be a complete tragedy, since Pi is guaranteed to survive the catastrophe and father children of his own. The little orange cat recalls the big orange cat, Richard Parker, who helps Pi survive during his 227 days at sea. As the Tsimtsum sinks, Chinese crewmen give Pi a life jacket with an orange whistle; on the boat, he finds an orange lifebuoy. The whistle, buoy, and tiger all help Pi survive, just as Orange Juice the orangutan provides a measure of emotional support that helps the boy maintain hope in the face of horrific tragedy. Though only a relatively brief section of Life of Pi is actually set in India, the country’s eclectic makeup is reflected throughout the novel. Pi is raised as a Hindu but as a young boy discovers both Christianity and Islam and decides to practice all three religions simultaneously. In the Author’s Note, an elderly Indian man describes the story of Pi as “a story that will make you believe in God,” and Life of Pi continuously grapples with questions of faith; as an adherent to the three most prominent religions in India, Pi provides a unique perspective on issues of Indian spirituality. India’s diverse culture is further reflected in Martel’s choice of Pondicherry as a setting. India was a British colony for nearly two hundred years, and consequently most of the nation has been deeply influenced by British culture. However, Pondicherry, a tiny city in southern India, was once the capital of French India and as such has retained a uniquely French flavor that sets it apart from the rest of the nation. Perhaps reflecting Yann Martel’s own nomadic childhood, Pi Patel pointedly begins his life in a diverse cultural setting before encountering French, Mexican, Japanese, and Canadian characters along his journey. Pondicherry, India Pi sitting on a piece of wood hungry and thirsty Pi’s father. He once owned a Madras hotel, but because of his deep interest in animals decided to run the Pondicherry Zoo. A worrier by nature, he teaches his sons not only to care for and control wild animals, but to fear them. Though raised a Hindu, he is not religious and is puzzled by Pi’s adoption of numerous religions. The difficult conditions in India lead him to move his family to Canada. Pi’s beloved mother and protector. A book lover, she encourages Pi to read widely. Raised Hindu with a Baptist education, she does not subscribe to any religion and questions Pi’s religious declarations. She speaks her mind, letting her husband know when she disagrees with his parenting techniques. When Pi relates another version of his story to his rescuers, she takes the place of Orange Juice on the lifeboat. First of all, I must admit that it has been a while since I have read the book. Even so, the novel was quite unique so I have to say that I have retained much of it. Some people have expressed that they didn't really like the book. I would have to say that although it isn't like the usual drivel that I like to read, I still enjoyed the text. While some things like the graphic animal violence weren't as fun to read, I realize that they are important to the story. Anthropomorphism is a key component to Pi Patel's story in Life of Pi by Yann Martel. It was so important because it helped to describe the characters that were part of Pi's journey in a convincing way. After hearing his second story, where we learn that the animals from the first story had most likely been people, we understand the connection between the behaviours of the corresponding characters. I thought the use of anthropomorphism really solidified the essence of Pi's fellow castaways. Such as the similarity between the oragutan and Pi's mother. They both had nurturing and gentle qualities, but when threatened turned out to be capable of quite a bit of aggression. The orangutan was described with human traits like "her eyes expressed fear in such a human-like way" (Martel 145). The use of anthropomorphism made Pi's story more interesting and unique. There have been many tales of survival where people were able to beat the odds and get rescued. However, the twist to a survival story by having Pi share the lifeboat with only animals instead of humans (the second story), specifically a large tiger, was intriguing. In my everyday life, as well as many other people's, I come across anthropomorphism. For example, I have watched television shows and read books where animals and objects have taken on human personas. I have also been through this with my pet kitten Felix. We were treating him like family and in the long run it was fun. But, when we had to get rid of him the attachment was still there. Recommendations I would recommend children 10+ read this novel due to the fact that parents need to know that Life of Pi is an intense, emotional story of survival and triumph against the odds, with themes of faith, friendship, and perseverance. Although it's rated PG, and there's virtually no strong language, sexual content, or blood, this adaptation of Yann Martel's bestselling novel has several very harrowing (especially in 3-D) scenes of storms, shipwrecks, and zoo animals confronting, killing, and eating each other -- all of which are likely to be too much for younger children. Pi is in near-constant peril throughout the story (though it's told as a flashback, so you know he'll survive) and, after losing his whole family, he must negotiate sharing a very small space with a large, unpredictable tiger (one of Pi's tactics involves peeing on part of the lifeboat they share). But through it all, he remains determined and optimistic, relying on his strong faith to see him through every challenge he must face.

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The Bucket List Background Information Summary Main Characters Piscine Molitor Patel(Pi) Piscine Molitor Patel (Pi) - The protagonist of the story. Piscine is the narrator for most of the novel, and his account of his seven months at sea forms the bulk of the story. He gets his unusual name from the French word for pool—and, more specifically, from a pool in Paris in which a close family friend, Francis Adirubasamy, loved to swim. A student of zoology and religion, Pi is deeply intrigued by the habits and characteristics of animals and people Richard Parker Richard Parker - The Royal Bengal tiger with whom Pi shares his lifeboat. His captor, Richard Parker, named him Thirsty, but a shipping clerk made a mistake and reversed their names. From then on, at the Pondicherry Zoo, he was known as Richard Parker. Weighing 450 pounds and about nine feet long, he kills the hyena on the lifeboat and the blind cannibal. With Pi, however, Richard Parker acts as an omega, or submissive, animal, respecting Pi’s dominance. Ravi Ravi - Pi’s older brother. Ravi prefers sports to schoolwork and is quite popular. He teases his younger brother mercilessly over his devotion to three religions. Santosh Patel Gita Patel
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