Life of Pi: Reading Response When I began reading ‘Life of Pi’ by Yann Martel I had little expectation it would peak my interest. I expected it to be a boring school assignment that I would have to get through, process the information and put on paper. To my relief, this book was completely the opposite. I must admit, the beginning chapters were quite dry. I would have never chosen in the beginning of a book to mention a sloth, probably the most uninteresting mammal ever. Slowly, the book progresses to where it gives you a little background information on Piscine Patel and his life in India.
In part one, I really liked where Mamaji taught Piscine to swim. Looking back it proved to be a very important for Pi’s survival I dislike stories where the hero’s journey is clearly defined anda once weak man overcomes unrealistic circumstances to become a stronger man. That was not the case in this book. I like the realness of the book, especially in the case of Richard Parker. He wasn’t personified in any way really. He was what I think a natural tiger would be given the conditions. What I really enjoyed about this book was the deep thinking it evoked.
The author allowed you to come to your own conclusion as to whether the story with the animals or the story with the people was true. Normal logic and reasoning tells you that the story with the people would be right, because the chance of the story with the animals happening is hard to believe. Both stories have the same circumstances and follow the same events. The zebra represents the sailor, the hyena is the cook, the orangutan is the mother and Richard Parker is Pi, but I believe the story with the humans is the true story.
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I think that the story with the animals was Pi’s way of coping with the reality that his mother was murdered and that he murdered someone as well. I believe the choice that the members of the Ministry of Transport had to make about the stories is a metaphor for religion. Science and many religions all have an explanation for certain events and some seem farfetched, yet they could all be possible. In the end, it’s all up to what you believe, and the way you interpret it.
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