Life of Pi by Yann Martel
The story is of a sixteen-year-old boy whom is involved in a maritime accident and ends up on a lifeboat with a zebra a hyena an orangutang and a tiger. The story is of Pi surviving on a boat for 227 days trying to find out why the god he praises to would put him in this situation. He prays for compassion and love but is unanswered until he washes up on the Mexican shore. The story is of Pi becoming a man by learning to understand the tiger that he is stranded on the boat with, if not for this the story would be a lot shorter. Yann Martel uses the narrative approach of Pi to convey to the reader that Pi sees storytelling as pointless without substance and meaning, the thing which the modern day reader similarly searches for in their everyday life. He goes on to say that he believes the best way to find this meaning is through believing in god (many Gods in Pi’s case. I believe that although this story was set in the 1970s when people had different priorities, beliefs, and a different lifestyle the values and messages of this story appeal towards the current day’s reader.
Pi is taught as a child that Richard Parker the tiger is a wild animal and that he can never trust him or be close to him, and now after the shipwreck Pi is stuck on the same boat as the beast he feares. As time passes both Richard Parker and Pi’s similarities arise. mutual hunger, in the end, is what creates a bond between man and beast.” it is simple and brutal: a person can get used to anything even killing.”It’s something that Richard Parker had been doing all his life that Pi believed against, but the power of hunger and survivalist instinct drives him to kill in order to survive. I believe the audience connects with this because the situation creates such a vivid image of man vs beast.
The algae island is originally seen as a hallucination but both the length of time Pi spends on the island and his descriptive realism convince the reader that it is in fact a real island. The problem now in Pi’s journey is that the island is carnivorous the pools it encloses are freshwater by day and acid by night, and so Pi quickly realizes that he needs to leave and make his way back to civilization.” I preferred to set off and perish in search of my own kind than to live a lonely half-life.”It seems that Pi believes that he won’t be able to live the rest of his life without human contact, so hed rather leave the island in search of civilization the drive himself crazy living on the algae island.
Pi’s story of survival is like no other the challenges he has to face and the sites he sees push through the boundaries of reality and into the realm of imagination, it is not surprising then that some people do not believe in his story. I believe that Pis story is not so much of a story but more an experience and if your mind is limited to reality I can see why you might see that its fantasy.