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Analysis of Life of Pi

Analysis of Life of Pi

The baseline of the novel revolves around the narrator, who is also the author, that relates captivating stories of his stay in India. The novelist describes the ordeal that arose during his attempt to avoid the failure of his second publication, which could subsequently lead to the loss of the third novel. He had been travelling to India while of working on his book on Portugal. There he met Francis Adirubasamy, who then introduced him to Pi Patel – a very a religious man and a storyteller. After hearing the remarkable stories of Pi, he makes up his mind to write about the encounter, as a novel. In this particular review of Life of Pi, it is evident that it is a magical tale that tends to unearth the feeling of a fairytale that is told to toddlers. In the processes of narration, the story appears to focus on the theme of religion. This tale can influence the perception of the atheist and critical readers and cause them to want to believe in God. At the same time, they enjoy the recitation as it unfolds, rather than criticizing it or over-interpreting the story.

In this novel, the author sought to address his readers, in the opening scenes of the book, before proceeding to the main text. It appears as a surprise to readers who believed that the voice of the note belonged the character of Yann Martel.

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This book was born as I was hungry. Let me explain. In the spring of 1996, my second book, a novel, came out in Canada. It didn’t fare well. Reviewers were puzzled, or damned it with faint praise. Then readers ignored it. Despite my best efforts at playing the clown or the trapeze artist, the media circus made no difference. The book did not move. Books lined the shelves of bookstores like kids standing in a row to play baseball or soccer, and mine was the gangly, unathletic kid that no one wanted on their team. It vanished quickly and quietly (Author’s Note).

However, as the novel progresses in the subsequent chapters, it becomes evident that the author of the book is slowly involved in the narration, as one of the characters in the novel, as exhibited in the note. He intrudes into conversations, with both brief and lengthy passages, as he seeks to explain his relationship and thoughts on Pi and his story. At this point, it becomes apparent to readers that the author of the book is, in essence, a fictional character relating to a fictional experience. This twist, earlier in the write-up, seeks to set the tempo for a thrilling experience. The author’s note plays a big role in defining the tone of the entire book.

Aesthetically, the fictional tale that turns out to exhibit truth, by explicating sermons rather than drawing conclusions from the relationships and events it narrates, achieves its purpose among the readers. Martel states that,

We are all born like Catholics, aren’t we—in limbo, without religion, until some figure introduces us to God? After that meeting the matter ends for most of us. If there is a change, it is usually for the lesser rather than the greater; many people seem to lose God along life’s way. That was not my case (Martel 33).

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In essence, Yann Martel gives his readers the mandate to choose the desire to believe, rather than the focus on the beliefs. The narration, in a way, triggers his readers’ desire to agree on the ideology in the story, by invoking the spirit of a fairy tale. The significance of associating the story to a fairy tale lies on the fact that tales are usually simple narrations, yet are very profound in teaching morals lessons. On the other hand, they are considered to be virtues and ethics of a given society and are created primarily for the children. Martel’s story is equally entertaining and is portrayed in a magical version that is essentially very instrumental in invoking active imagination among the readers, as a fairytale does. After capturing the attention of his readers, Martel delivers his core message in timely manner, hence achieving the purpose of the literature write-up.

Martel evades many critics, who might have wanted to water down the narration, by establishing a very captivating narrative that keeps the readers engaged in the story as events unfold, rather than delivering didactic write-up on the contemporary society. Such an approach usually attracts criticism, as the critical readers have time to concentrate on disapproving the author’s assertions and opinions throughout the novel. Martel’s approach to the story is unique in the sense that he portrays, in the beginning of the story, that the narration to follow is what he had heard and is not a creation of his own. Martel acts as one who translates the story of Pi and not one who generates it, hence evading from critics. As construed in the novel:

As an aside, story of sole survivor, Mr. Piscine Molitor Patel, Indian citizen, is an astounding story of courage and endurance in the face of extraordinarily difficult and tragic circumstances. In the experience of this investigator, his story is unparalleled in the history (Martel, 180).

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However, the art of having a first-person narration, as a literature stylistic plan, is usually unreliable, as in writing rules. This owes to the fact that when one recounts of their experiences, there is a tendency for one to be biased in their judgment, exaggerate some stories, or even misremember events. With such perception already created in the minds of the readers, it tends to reduce their urgency and anxiety to read the novel. Also, it tends to be more critical and judgmental, hence missing out on many aspects from the novel. The presence of an author who is narrating a story that had be told to them then, turns the storyline into a novel, which is, in most instances, more appealing and intriguing. It creates a coat of fallibility. Such stylistic approach elevates the novel to a fairy tale, allowing the literal work to flow as directed by the core character. When this proceeds coherently, without the intervention of the author, it seeks to increase the credibility of the story.

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In conclusion, Life of Pie is a narration that involves fictional encounters with reference to Pi’s experiences, resulting to a heroic, fascinating and unique literal piece. Martel’s sense of humor and the unfolding revelations of things that are not what they appear, makes the story captivating and enables the author to control and influence his readers minds unconsciously, hence achieving his ultimate purpose.

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