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Life of Pi

English 12 H-Independent Reading Project
by

Zeyda Medina Teran

on 19 November 2012

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Transcript of Life of Pi

Life of Pi Yann Martel Life and Career Author's Style Themes Reception
& Critiques Critical Essays Rhetoric Devices Martel uses Pathos in his novel frequently to show us that Pi is just a boy like any other.
This allows us to feel sympathy for Pi through all his hardships. Belief in God Hyperbole Born June 25, 1963
Salamanca, Spain Family traveled a lot because his father
was a Professor and a Diplomat Recieved a degree in Philosophy from
Trent University in Ontario in 1981 Kept small jobs to keep up his writing and
Travels He traveled to; India, Iran, and Turkey He wrote a collection of short stories , The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios, 1993
It won the Journey Prize Self, first novel published in 1996 Took him 13 months to research
his book the Life of Pi.
Two years to write the novel which
was published in 2001
It won Canada’s Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction in 2001 and the 2002 Man Booker Prize At the start of the book Martel tells the story through facts and like an imformation book, but half way through the style changes to a more Diary like feel.Martel also uses the length of his chapters and dialouge to convey moods in the novel.
Some chapters convey Pi's mood through thier length and dialouge. Sometimes they are long and at other times they are short. Ex: When Pi is on the boat the chapters are as long as 10 pages, showing that Pi has strength, to as short as one sentence; showing his weakness. In the novel, Pi's belief in a higher being is very contraversial. Pi tells us in the first chapters of the book that he is Hindu, Muslim, and Christian.
To Pi religion isnt about different doctrines but about having a love for God. He even respects the athiest because to him, that is also a belief, regardless of what it is to.
And what makes the theme even more contraversial is that Pi becomes a scientist when he gets older. We then come to question Pi even more; why would someone choose to study religion and science as majors whend they so often contradict each other? because to Pi, religion is the science of belief.
Although it is the biggest theme in the novel, the belief in God and love, it wavers most in the time that Pi spends in the boat. While in the boat, Pi's spiritual needs fade as his physical needs step in. This underlines the second biggest theme in the book. Survival. Survival Survival comes in as the second theme in the novel. This theme comes in when Pi finds himself stranded in the ocean on a boat. Although it does not completely overshadow the main theme of believing in God, it is strong enough to move it away from our attention, if only for a moment.
The time at seea for Pi is all about survival. We see him do things that he said he never would. he takes life and he eats meat, which go against all that he is.
We learn that the will to survive triumphs everything we find moral. Even in those of us who are so spiritually rooted; whether its in one religion or three. Freedom Although freedom is not one of the main themes in the novel it is still a progressive theme. In the beginning of the novel Pi questions whether the world really understands the definition of freedom. He gives us the example of an animal at the Zoo. To us, animals in zoos are not free, but to Pi they are. an animal in the wild is governed by its instincts to what it needs. If they are hungry they go hunt and kill to eat. Does this really mean freedom? Or are they more free in a zoo that provides all they need and allows them to spend thier time doing other things that they did not have the time for in the wild?
This becomes clearer to Pi in the boat. He is no longer responsible for anyone or anything, he is free to do what he wants, but at the same time he is not free. he, like the animal in the wild, is governed by what he needs to do to survive.
A good example is when he has to eat meat in order to survive. Redford, Lilly. Book Review. 3 December 2007http://www.helium.com/items/729126-book-reviews-life-of-pi-by-yann-martel http://www.enotes.com/life-pi/biography http://marenasblog-marena.blogspot.com/2010/12/10-literary-devices-from-life-of-pi.html Flashbacks Imagery http://pioflife.blogspot.com/2010/05/quotes-and-literary-devices-in-life-of.html Martel uses imagery to describe to us the views of Pi. We see things through his eyes and this makes the novel more believable. We are able to feel his fears and emotions as our own. When describing the animals and the sea we feel as if we are also there. Martel uses flashbacks to give the illusion that the story is real. He narrates to us, the times when he has met Pi in real life and how he helped him discover his own story. These chapters and flashbacks feed into the style of Metafiction. Symbolism http://www.haaretz.com/weekend/magazine/life-of-yann-1.336989 "Although the book reverberates with echoes from sources as disparate at Robinson Crusoe and Aesop's fables, the work it most strongly recalls is Ernest Hemingway's own foray into existentialist parable, The Old Man and the Sea."
-The New York Times Book Review "Fantastic in nearly every sense of the word, Life of Pi is a gripping adventure story, a parable about the place of human beings in the universe and a tantalizing work of metafiction...Laced with wit, spiced with terror, it's a book by an extraordinary talent."
-St. Paul Pioneer-Press http://web.ncf.ca/ck762/essays/ACS100_essay_one.pdf http://www.bookrags.com/studyguide-life-of-pi/essay1.html By;Zeyda Medina-Teran "Think: comiv strip 'Calvin and Hobbes' with an overt religious theme."
-Wall Street Journal (Editor's Pick) "A work of wonder...Martel is a limpid stylist with a flair for the poetic. Mainly, however, he's a storyteller-and a brilliant one."
-Book "Life of Pi is a terrific book. It's fresh, original, smart, devious, and crammed with absorbing lore.'
-Margaret Atwood, The Sunday TImes (London) Symbolism is used in the novel when the Japanese Police find Pi. Pi tells them a story about how he survived in a life boat with 4 different animals. But the Police dont believe him and he changes the story to one with actual human beings. The Police decide the original story is better and take that one. The time on the boat represents the journey we all take through life The Hyena represents the hard cold logic that Pi has to face on his trip in the ocean. The Zebra represents the ties that Pi still has to his family. When the Hyena kills the Zebra, Pi finally acknowledges that his family is lost to him forever. The Orangutan, who shows human emotions, shows the bridge between the human world and the animal kingdom. When she dies, Pi sees that he must let go of all human ties in order to survive the company of these two dangerous predators. When Pi first sees the Tiger out in the water, he calls to him and throws him the life saver, But then Pi realizes that this Tiger is not one he wants in his company. He then tries to push him away but only succeeds in bringing him closer. We see that through Pi's imagination and reality, rationality and religion, The Tiger represents God. Martel tells his story using Metafiction. He tells us that all he says is true, the Pi is real and he even gives him a family, a house, and a present day life, but in reality there is no Pi. Martel uses this allegory to tell us of his own search. The seach for the Better Story. The Better Story The entire novel is a search for the better story. Martel uses the story of Pi's life to tell us of his own life. Martel's first two novels weren't well recieved and he went to India to find a perfect story. Its here where he started to research his story.
When Pi gets rescued he tells the Police one version of his story and then another, the Police choose what they believe is the better story.
We are told that it doesnt matter what happened as long as its a good story. It can be real or simple fiction. All that matters is the better story. "This ending weakened the power of the book for me. I find it hard to read this story any other way then to assume that the horrific story of murder and cannibalism is the actual story of what physically happened. What the author seems to be saying is that God is a better story. That religion is a tool to see life in a new light. That all things being equal isn’t it better to believe in the mystery and beauty of a wonderful story? Like a great deal of post-modernist thinking there is kernel of truth in this view. People of faith know that a cold materialist view of life fails to explain what it means to be human. It fails to explain art and beauty, love and wisdom, a meaning beyond ourselves." I agree with this article in it saying that the truth to the novel was the better story of Faith. The Novel to me was of a boy lost who needed to have faith, in something, anything, to find his way back to humanity. The article goes on to also tell us that faith allows us to see the world for what it is, just as Pi saw it. He never followed the beliefs of his religions, he simply experienced them all with his senses. http://blogcritics.org/books/article/the-life-of-pi-by-yann/page-4/ The main flaw of The Life of Pi is obvious to anyone who's read the book, regardless of whether they want to admit it or not. There simply isn’t enough story, character or idea to fill a novel. The novel is based on one gimmick, and has only one developed character. And despite an overlong beginning that tries to flesh things out, it's all too clear that you're only reading the novel for its final third. The rest is filler and, while sometimes interesting (the parts on animal behaviour and zoos are fun to read), seems to be there only because, well, other books have beginnings, and no one will buy a sixty-page novel. In a cruel twist, the best-written and most rewarding part of the first half of the book is the prologue, in the neat form of an author’s note. I would also have to agree with this article. I think that the story lacked in character development. Martel never goes into depth about Pi and his life. We learn only what we need in order to read the story and get to the end. I would have liked more of a connection to Pi and his life and his religious views. The Life of Pi recieved mixed reviews from the Public. Most saw it as a great story with an author who knew to storytell. Others deemed it to be, as the author himself writes, "dry, yeastless, factuality." Lacking in character development, but exploding with imagery. "Is that so? Well, a whole lot of good it did God to be with you--you tried to kill him! You banged him to a cross with great big nails."
(Page 74) Martel uses hyperboles often in his novel.
Many of them are used in dialogues with Pi and they often have to do with religion. I think Martel was trying to tell us that although others do not agree with all we do, most of what they say should not be taken seriously. Allegory The whole story is told from an allegory. This form allows for the believability of the Metafiction. The novel itself is an allegory to the search for the better story that the author searches for. Book Summary The story is about an indian boy named Pi Patel.
His family owns a zoo in India and they have to take it over seas to Canada.
On the way there the ship sinks and Pi ends up in a boat with a wounded Zebra, Hyena, Orangutan, and a Bengal Tiger.
The tiger soon kills off the rest and its just him and Pi.
They spend 229 days stranded at sea and a strange island.
The tiger leaves once they find land and then Pi is found by authorities. Sources
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