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Life of Pi---Yann Martel
Transcript of Life of Pi---Yann Martel
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