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Multimedia Essay

A Comparative Essay of the poem "The Panther" by Rainer Maria Rilke and novel, "The Life of Pi" by Yann Martel
by

Jan Christine Balde

on 17 June 2013

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Transcript of Multimedia Essay

introduction
Comparative Multimedia Essay
by: Christine Balde


Close Reading of
The Panther by Rainer Maria Rilke
Supporting Arguments
ENG4U1
The Panther

Rainer Maria Rilke
The Panther

His vision, from the constantly passing bars,
has grown so weary that it cannot hold
anything else. It seems to him there are
a thousand bars; and behind the bars, no world. 4

As he paces in cramped circles, over and over,
the movement of his powerful soft strides
is like a ritual dance around a center
in which a mighty will stands paralyzed. 8

Only at times, the curtain of the pupils
lifts, quietly--. An image enters in,
rushes down through the tensed, arrested muscles,
plunges into the heart and is gone. 12

Rainer Maria Rilke
Rainer Maria Rilke
Auguste Rodin

A zoo
meaning
Conclusion
INTRODUCTION

Topic Sentence:
When certain individuals undergo a change in their environment, inevitably they are subject to change.

Elaboration:
In the novel, The Life of Pi, by Yann Martel, its main protagonists, Pi Patel and Richard Parker, tackle a journey of survival in the middle of the ocean, while in the poem, The Panther, by Rainer Maria Rilke, the panther is placed in a cage.The effect of a new environment in the novel and the poem are portrayed differently.

Thesis:
In the novel, the characters change for the better while in the poem, the panther changes in a negative way.

Blueprint:
Through deliberately assessing the difference in transition of personalities, beliefs and priorities between the characters in the novel and the poem this will become more evident.



Comparative Essay: Life of Pi and The Panther
Personality
Beliefs
Point:
In the novel, Pi is raised respecting every living being which is provided by the evidence that he is a vegetarian. However, as he tackles a journey in the middle of the ocean, he is forced to kill a fish in order save himself from hunger.

Proof:
"I wept heartily over this poor little deceased soul. It was the first sentient being I had ever killed. I was now as guilty as Cain... All sentient life is sacred. I never forget to include this fish in my prayers. " (Martel 203)


Explanation:
Pi's survival in the middle of the ocean completely depends on his physical ability. This forces Pi to change his beliefs in order to continue his journey of survival.
Point:
The isolation and entrapment the panther feels from the cage changes his personality from being fierce and aggressive to someone who is full of sadness and depression.

Proof:
"His vision, from the constantly passing bars,/has grown so weary that it cannot hold
/anything else."( Rilke, Lines 1-3)

Explanation:
As an animal used to having an infinite freedom, the reaction of the panther of being depressed does not come as a surprise. The depression consumes him and leads him on being pessimistic about his future.
Priorities
Point:
The panther is used of being a predator, the one who does not want to be controlled nor given any limitation of freedom. He tries to accept the fact that he is now under someone's control but eventually fails to do so:

Proof:
"As he paces in cramped circles, over and over,/the movement of his powerful soft strides,/is like a ritual dance around a center/in which a mighty will stands paralyzed." ( Rilke 8-12)

Explanation:
The panther's need on having his old life back just brings him into great sadness after realizing that he will not be able to do so due to the limitation set by the cage.
Topic Sentence:
The panther has focused all of his attention on getting back to his old habitat that leaves him in great sadness.

Evidence:
Only at times, the curtain of the pupils/lifts, quietly--. An image enters in,
/rushes down through the tensed, arrested muscles,/plunges into the heart and is gone. (Rilke 9-12)

Explanation:
By not prioritizing the current situation, the panther is consumed by sadness by wanting his old life back. It only brings him into a worse situation than what he believes is good.
Point:
Rather than focusing on the probability of the chances of not surviving in the middle of the ocean, Pi gathers all of his strength to fight the odds.

Evidence:
"We fight no matter the cost of the battle, the looses we take, the improbability of success. We fight to the very end. It's not a question of courage. It's something constitutional, an inability to let go..." (Martel 164)

Explanation:
The focus Pi gives to survival allows him become optimistic about the future and conquer all the challenges given to him.
Works Cited
imagery
structure
conclusion
poetic devices

"The Panther" is written by famous lyric poet Reiner Maria Rilke. The poem is originally written in German but later translated in English. It is believed that Rilke wrote the poem in 1905 during his time as a secretary for his friend and sculptor, August Rodin. In Rilke's first novel, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge, Rilke noted that he has been going through a hard time when he wrote the poem citing family problems and career crisis as a writer. Rilke's predicament is reflected on his poem, which has the themes of entrapment and depression.
The poem is about a male Panther that has been placed in a prison like space. The nature of the setting is completely distanced from the panther's usual habitat of having no limitation. This brings the panther into great sadness and conclude that there is no world within the cage. The panther tries his best to adapt in his new environment by pacing around the constrained area. There is still a part of him that believes there is hope behind all of his sadness but it is immediately replaced by the feeling of entrapment.
The Panther has three stanzas, each with four lines and an ABAB rhyming scheme. Each stanza conveys its own description of the panther portraying different images of its actions in the prison like space. In the first stanza, the panther is introduced in a melancholic aura which brings him in a worry.

His vision, from the constantly passing bars,
has grown so
weary
that it cannot hold
anything else. It seems to him there are
a thousand bars; and behind the bars,
no world
.

Then, the feeling changes in the second stanza where the panther is seen trying to be homely.

As he paces in cramped circles, over and over,
the movement of his powerful soft strides
is like a
ritual dance

around a center
in which a mighty will stands paralyzed.


The third and concluding stanza mixes the two previous stanzas by firstly having a light of hope to ending it with sadness.

Only at times, the curtain of the pupils
lifts, quietly
--. An image enters in,
rushes down through the tensed, arrested muscles,
plunges into the heart and is
gone.

All in all, the separation of stanzas plays a purposeful part on portraying the image of the panther of being disturbed and incapability to be complacent about his new location. The ABAB pattern does its part to tie all the stanzas together allowing a clearer picture of the panther.

The use of imagery throughout the poem creates a more vivid picture of the situation and emotions of the panther. Firstly, the image of unlimited bars immediately allows the audience to comprehend the feeling of being trapped. By placing it in the first stanza, it notifies readers of the setting of the whole poem. As the audience reads through the second and third stanzas, they begin to understand the reason behind the panther's actions. Secondly, the infinite cycle of movement by the panther illustrates a sense of boredom as repeated actions are done. It adds to the effect of the panther being uncomfortable of his situation even though he tries his best to adapt to his new life Lastly, the use of heart to describe the panther's reaction about optimism for freedom allows readers to realize the predicament of the panther.
There are also a number of poetic devices used in The Panther. The device used most frequently is repetition. In the first stanza, the word "bars" is used by Rilke to place emphasis on entrapment. By repeating, it allows readers to realize that the main focus of the poem is closely related to it. "Over" is also repeated in the second stanza. It is used to describe the movement of the panther and creates a sense of boredom. Similes are also used in the poem. For example, the movement of the panther is compared to ritual dance in the second stanza, which gives a clear picture of the movement of the panther and allows us to understand that the panther is limited in his actions.
By closely reading the poem, readers are welcomed to a learn a new lesson. The structure and the use of words that were used to compose the poem allow an easier transition of the message. People are reminded about the importance of liberation and its role as a right to an individual. Overall, it gives a clear message that people must be given freedom in accordance with their personal preferences.

Restatement of Thesis:
The change in environment has caused the characters in the novel, Life of Pi, to change for the better while in the poem, The Panther, it has cause caused a negative effect to the panther.

Review of Key Points:
This is is proven by looking at the different adjustments characters in Life of Pi and The Panther make in their personality, beliefs and priorities.

Clincher:
Overall, one can see that an introduction to a new environment comes with the force of reconstructing one's identity, which is subjective for every individual.
Point:
In Life of Pi, Richard Parker's attitude as a dominant one diminishes later on as an obedient individual under Pi Patel's control.

Proof:

"Richard Parker licked his nose, groaned and turned away. He angrily batted a flying fish. I had won. I gasped with disbelief, heaved the dorado into my hands and hurried away to the raft... From that day onwards I felt my mastery was no longer in question..." ( Martel 247)

Explanation:
If Richard Parker did not become obedient to Pi, he would not been able to surpass the rest of his time in the middle of the ocean. Pi would not have consider his presence and let him die of hunger. The change allows him to survive the tragedy and come back to his old life.
12

Topic Sentence:
The personality of an individual changes due to the influence of their current situation.
Concluding Statement:
The change in habitat caused both the tiger and the panther to change their personalities. The tiger is able to do so from wanting to survive while the change of the panther is inspired by sadness.
Topic Sentence:
Beliefs is one of the fundamental parts of one's identity. Its possibility to be disaggregated takes a significant influence from one's situation in order to happen.
Conclusion:
Pi is able to neglect his beliefs for the betterment of the situation while the panther's reminiscence about his traditional beliefs causes an emotional difficulty on his behalf.
Topic Sentence:
The new events given by the new environment shifts the priorities of an individual.
Conclusion:
The setting of priorities by Pi and the panther has affected them differently. Pi is for the better of his current situation while the panther is for the worse.
  Rilke, Rainer Maria. "Rainer Maria Rilke." 
PoemHunter.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 June 2013.
< http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/the-panther/>
Martel, Yann. Life of Pi. Toronto: Vintage Canada,
2001.
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