Rated of 5
I thought the Life Of Pi was a fascinating book, although it defies interpretation - being very open ended - I'm gonna add my 2c anyhow.......For me the thing about believing in God was to do with the two stories, one was a fabulous tale filled with animals and a mysterious island, the other dry and uninspiring - at the start of the book Pi talks at length about the stories associated with the various religions he becomes associated with and how non believers reduce these to dry factuality, so for me to believe in the first story represents a decision to believe in God(s) no matter how farfetched the story might seem, the second story represents athiesm and to doubt represents agnosticism. Whether you believe in the first or second story is besides the point as the result is the same (as Pi points out to the Japanese insurance investigators), the first story is obviously more fun to believe. Personally I feel the second story was probably 'true' but I enjoyed the first far more, however none of this really matters as its a work of fiction anyway so neither story is 'true' and it doesn't matter which story the author intended to be 'true' as the reader creates the reality of the story via their own interpretation. The island bit still has me thinking, I think its maybe a reference to the garden of Eden and forbidden fruit - maybe a metaphor for the consumption of human flesh?? Overall a great book that I'll be thinking about for a long time to come and will definitely read again.
Rated of 5
Interesting topic...writing style and technique is below par.
Rated of 5
This was a great story & I loved it.....I don't believe that it was a true story & here's why. - The island is scientifically impossible, from the fresh water to the man eating trees. - The blind man from the 2nd boat arrives at the same time that Pi was also blind.....big coincidence. - Only 1 life-boat out of many survives the ocean. - Tiger hiding in Mexico. That's all I can remember for now. Over all; it was a wonderful book & I would be reading it again.
Rated of 5
by Bateau Serré
Though this really seemed like a dumbed-down version of The Old Man and The Sea, I think Martel has successfully forced the trite metaphor of instinct vs. humanity or fear vs. morality down our throats again. If I wanted to digest another saline-bathed tale of murderous, melancholic (yet hopeful) metaphors, I'll just reread Lord of The Flies.
The journey left me wanting to follow in the footsteps of Richard Parker; fleeing without bothering to look back.
Rated of 5
Is it just me or is everyone missing the point of this book? It's a set up. As a wise friend of mine surmised, the clue lies in Pi's two names. Phoenetically, the name Piscine sounds remarkably close to pissing. Plus the fact that Piscine is French for swimming pool, and what do we do in swimming pools? Martel is 'pissing' all over us, and Pi (3.14....) which goes on forever, shows that the longer we try and rationalise the story(ies), the longer we'll be duped. There are clues all over the book. For instance, the three religions, the crazy meekrat part, and the absurdity of the final letter. It's not even that well hidden.
Rated of 5
(For those who have finished the book)
I also disagree with what seems to be the general consensus on the meaning behind Yann Martel's Life of Pi. I do not believe that Martel intended either story to be open to reader analyses, or for us to choose which story we believe to be the "truth". Nor do I believe that what Martel intended us to take away from the story is the idea that we "can choose our own reality". Indeed many reviews have questioned which of Pi's stories are true, yet it is neither of them that is the complete truth, neither fits completely, or is entirely credible. Take, for example, the meerkat bones left in the boat, they destroy the credibility of the story without animals- or the island. Infact, it is not a question of truth, but what is reality- what really happened in the ocean, and what really happened in Pi's mind.
Both stories are "true". The story without animals is mostly what physically happened. The story with animals is what spiritually happened for Pi. Both occured simultaneously, thus the story of Pi is not simply a tale of his journey across the Pacific, but the journey of his spirit also.
Many readers are caught up in thinking that Pi is deluded, that he consciously replaces each person on the lifeboat with an animal so that he can cope with the situation. However, Pi does not do this, as some may be led to believe, to cope, but because he is on a spiritual journey as well as a physical journey. Martel conveys to us that we are all on two journeys in our lives.
The spiritual journey, as I have already said, is the story with the animals, the story that holds truth in Pi's mind, while the people story is a physical reality. these two stories run parallel, and meet at the point where Pi meets the blind Frenchman. This is what tells us that both stories have an element of truth. Pi did talk to Richard Parker ( who represents the animal instinct in Pi) on his spiritual journey, and he also talked to the blind Frenchman (who is actually the cook). This is where his spiritual being meets his reality.
Life of Pi is also about the conflict between doubt and hope. The oil tanker represents Pi's hope, while the rubbish that floats past are his doubts. The part where Pi recovers from his blindness show all his doubts being washed away, indeed, from this point on he is able to tame Richard Parker with no trouble. He has tamed his doubts.
One reviewer on this site asked how this story makes you believe in God. It does it by comparing two highly unlikely stories, and showing us that we are all on two journeys, and at times our spiritual journey can save us from our reality. We do not "choose our own reality". It is not a matter of choice. We are all on two journeys.
If Martel has had but one success in writing this book it is that he has managed to confuse even the most logical of us, bring out the believing in the most rational of us. Life of Pi is a lesson about all of us. Martel does not spoonfeed a message to us, it is what each of us takes away from this incredible story that determines how true the book is.
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