The Life of Pi
With such a close proximity to the character, the reader comes to love Pi by the time his ship sinks. Due to this love every terrifying bloody struggle he faces is fraught with tension and an emotional connection. The book creates a unique world of home, zoo, school and various houses of various gods. It’s the interlocking examination of the Catholic, Hindu and Muslim faiths that faces both Pi and the reader to examine the horrors that will later come at sea and recognize the animalness of human nature.
Written by Yann Martel, the Life of Pi chronicles the life of a man with the innocent faith of a child but the wisdom of an elder. The adventure of Pi is depicted from the memory of an older him. An older man documenting his life to an eager narrator and reader, depicted in retrospect, but breathtakingly vivid. This vivacity is what employs the emotion status that while inflicted in childhood can live forever.
In mays ways the book is divided between the backgrounds of an investigative young child who comes to find himself and the understatement of the complexity of the world; then the application of such an understanding as a young man on a treacherous voyage of internal reflection. The story is more than a child’s relationship with a tiger, an orangutan, and even the broken-legged zebra and the bold thirsty hyena; it’s instead a child’s relationship with reality and self-identity.
Every character, even those of the animals, come to represent a deeper meaning. At the end of the journey, Richard Parker is more than a Bengal tiger. He’s instead a unique character full of empathetic emotional attachments with the reader, pared with a distasteful and utter thanks for his presence on the lifeboat.
While the book may be most identifiable for the boy on a lifeboat with a tiger, this relationship would not be as emotionally fruitful without the first understanding of his relationship with multiple religions and with other humans who Pi loved. It is a mirroring of these relationships that emerges on a lifeboat in the presents of a tiger, in the presents of what humans can achieve with will, intellect and an immense amount of faith.
I give it: 5/5 stars.
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