“I have just finished reading The Life of Pi, and I would definitely give it a five-star rating. One of the most interesting aspects of this book is the main character, Pi Patel, himself. Throughout his voyage across the Pacific Ocean, the reader witnesses Pi emotionally evolve into a grown man although he is still only 16 years old. This is evident in the way he interacts with the tiger, Richard Parker, in the beginning of the novel in comparison to the conclusion. Pi’s reaction to his discovery that Richard Parker was onboard was (not surprisingly) one of fear and apprehension. This can be concluded from the fact that he was willing to live aboard a shoddy raft in order to avoid any contact with the tiger. Over time, Pi becomes appreciative and even bold in the manner in which he interacts with Richard Parker. This is displayed when Pi admits that if “[he] still had the will to live, it was thanks to Richard Parker,” (page 164). Although dangerous company, Richard Parker saved Pi from complete solitude, and as their delicate relationship continued to develop, Pi was even brave enough to stare down him down as a show of power during a dispute over food. Another intriguing theme in this novel is religion, which is perennially prominent throughout the book. Pi is an interesting character because he Muslim, Christian and Hindu, demonstrated by the various religious artifacts that he owns [i.e. a carpet inscribed with the word ‘Allah’, a bible and cross, and several Hindu shrines (page 46)]. I think this is because Yann Martel wanted to juxtapose three seemingly different religions in order to convey a message about peace between religions, and focus on their similarities rather than their differences.
I commend Yann Martel for having written a literary masterpiece by presenting Pi in a simplistic and cardinal manner that reveals the true beauty of human nature.
I am currently on page 100 of the Life of Pi, written by Yann Martel. So far, I think this book is going to be great because of Martel’s writing style. His language is thoroughly descriptive, stimulating every sense through his details and imagery. I was immediately intrigued by the end of the first chapter, which leaves the reader with a lot of questions that have yet to be answered. One of my favorite sentences in the Life of Pi is the following: “And so, in that Greek letter that looks like a shack with a corrugated tin roof, in that elusive, irrational number with which scientists try to understand the universe, I found refuge.” (Page 24). I like the way in which Yann describes something seemingly banal and personifies it as a ‘refuge’, giving the title of the book significance.”
To what extent do you feel Pi is attempting to understand the universe in sharing his experience?
The first sentence, the hook, of the first chapter begins with, "my suffering left me sad and gloomy." I think Pi begins by telling his story in this way because every human can relate to feelings of despondence. It is throughout his journey that he begins to understand what true happiness is, even though he has undergone more than any regular person. I think this is the way in which he tries to understand the universe, by explaining how one can be so depressed, yet grateful and in awe of life itself at the same time. Emotions are a universal language; they are the way in which Richard Parker and Pi connected and were able to communicate, and Richard Parker was the reason that Pi was able to mentally survive his shipwreck.