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Life of Pi

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Michael Nguyen

on 1 October 2013

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Transcript of Life of Pi

Life of Pi:
Narrative Technique
Life of Pi Seminar
Natalie Pinchin
Michael Nguyen
designed by Péter Puklus for Prezi
- Pi's diary, newspaper clippings, Japanese Ministry of Transport and acknowledgments at the end of the Author's Note all serve one purpose: to make the story more realistic.

- All of this is made up to give us the ability to push away our doubts and dive into what we are about to read.

- The authorial interjection and commentary in italics gives us another point of view.

- Author's Note lays down the foundation for one of the novel's central theme which is the importance of storytelling.
Lengthy Digressions
- The literary purpose served by these lengthy digressions is foreshadowing.

- Escaped zoo animals

- Animal behavior

- Zoo or wild?

- Dangers of a tiger

- All of these discussions are related to Richard Parker and Pi and the upcoming shipwreck. It explains how Pi is able to co-exist with a tiger on a boat for 227 days.
Allegory and Fable
Allegory is a work of art that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning
Fable is a short story that conveys a moral, usually with animals as characters
Unlike most fables, Life of Pi does not have anthropomorphized animals
Instead of animals taking on human characteristics, humans take on animal characteristics
Part 3
- When the Japanese investigators state that they think the story with animals is the better story, Pi answers, "Thank you. And so it goes with God."

- What is meant by this?

- How does it make you believe in God?

- What is the implied relationship between religion and storytelling?
It is a work of literature that draws attention to the fact that it is a work of art
It still exposes the 'truth' of a story
Yann Martel creates a piece of metafiction two ways
He interrupts the narrative at the beginning and end of the novel
He also comments on the nature of fiction
Author's Note
The author's note adds an element of realism to the novel
Also, the characterization of the author, and the author's note being fiction is part of what makes the novel metafiction
Including Mr. Adirubasamy also adds to the suspension of disbelief
Point of View
The majority of the novel is written in first person
There are two different narrators, Pi Patel and a characterization of Yann Martel
The novel is mostly narrated by Pi, but Yann Martel interrupts the first part with commentary about writing the novel
The final section of the book is a transcript
Criteria for a Good Story
- Theme: Important, relevant, implied
- Structure: Polished, professional, well thought out
- Characters: Realistic, emotion, overcome a flaw
- Plot: Basic steps: Conflict begins, things go right, then go wrong, final victory, wrap up
- Research: Well-acquainted, mix facts with fiction, passionate topic
- Dialogue: Short and sweet, simple dialogue tags, conveys emotion
- Descriptions: Creates images
- Emotion: Most important, like a person, puts book over the top

"That's what fiction is about, isn't it, the selective transforming of reality? The twisting of it to bring out its essence?"
Full transcript