The Better Story in Life of Pi by Yann Martel Essay example

The Better Story in Life of Pi by Yann Martel Essay example

Length: 1775 words (5.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Term Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

On its surface, Martel’s Life of Pi proceeds as a far-fetched yet not completely unbelievable tale about a young Indian boy named Pi who survives after two hundred twenty-seven days on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. It is an uplifting and entertaining story, with a few themes about companionship and survival sprinkled throughout. The ending, however, reveals a second story – a more realistic and dark account replacing the animals from the beginning with crude human counterparts. Suddenly, Life of Pi becomes more than an inspiring tale and transforms into a point to be made about rationality, faith, and how storytelling correlates the two. The point of the book is not for the reader to decide which story he or she thinks is true, but rather what story he or she thinks is the better story. In real life, this applies in a very similar way to common belief systems and religion. Whether or not God is real or a religion is true is not exactly the point, but rather whether someone chooses to believe so because it adds meaning and fulfillment to his or her life. Life of Pi is relevant to life in its demonstration of storytelling as a means of experiencing life through “the better story.”
Life of Pi begins with an author’s note in which Martel describes being told by the character Mamaji that Pi has “‘a story that will make you believe in God’” (ix). This essentially sets up the basis for the entire theme of the novel. The main character, Pi, claims to practice three religions simultaneously: Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam (Martel 81). Much of Pi’s explanation of his own childhood consists of his own religious journeys. He begins with an explanation of how his aunt introduced him to Hinduism upon ...


... middle of paper ...


...h up their session, Pi asks them, “‘So tell me, since it makes no factual difference to you and you can’t prove the question either way, which story do you prefer?’” The factual or provable existence of God is not necessarily relevant to whether someone should believe in Him. This requirement of proof for belief is typical of the agnostic, whose sole belief is that he or she cannot believe either way because there is no proof either way. However, life is a story, and in real life, there must be a story to tell. When it comes to Life of Pi, there is hardly any difference between life and story, so how could the novel not mimic life, being the story of a life itself? A life perhaps embellished to become better, just as readers must embellish their own lives in favor of the better story.



Works Cited

Martel, Yann. Life of Pi. New York: Harcourt, 2001. Print.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Life of Pi, by Yann Martel

- According to Arthur Tugman, “The moral of a story is better guessed than falsely expressed”. The moral of Life of Pi by Yann Martel is to help people believe in things greater, higher and different than factual things. The author tries to achieve this goal by exceptional storytelling, which becomes the most important aspect of the novel because the reader is given a choice between two stories. While talking about those who rely fully on reason, Pi, the protagonist, accuses that they “lack imagination and miss the better story” (70)....   [tags: Life of Pi, Yann Martel]

Term Papers
1511 words (4.3 pages)

The Life Of Pi By Yann Martel Essay

- The “Life of Pi” book to movie compare and contrast is one of many differences and similarities that all either add to the effectiveness of the movie or take away from it. Some similarities remain that keep the movie in line with the book, however, there are many differences that leave gaps in Pi’s life story. The “Life of Pi” by Yann Martel is a rather extensive book that adds many details to almost everything. The movie cuts down those details and gets to the main point of the story as not to bore the audience....   [tags: Yann Martel, Life of Pi, Canada Reads]

Term Papers
1169 words (3.3 pages)

Life Of Pi By Yann Martel Essay

- Introduction – The Hero`s Journey “is a pattern of narrative identified by the American scholar Joseph Campbell that appears in drama, storytelling, myth, religious ritual, and psychological development. It describes the typical adventure of the archetype known as The Hero, the person who goes out and achieves great deeds on behalf of the group, tribe, or civilization.” (INTRODUCTION 1). These - In the story life of Pi written by Yann Martel. Martel suggest that there are elements of the Hero`s Journey in the book....   [tags: Yann Martel, Life of Pi, Canada Reads]

Term Papers
1006 words (2.9 pages)

Essay on Life Of Pi By Yann Martel

- What does it mean to be human. I undoubtedly believe there is no true verbal or written answer to this question. That there is not enough words in the human language that covers the brutality, compassion, greed, love, and other aspects of simply being human. Nevertheless, the answer lies in the feeling in the pit of your stomach as you ask yourself. In the way those thoughts feels to be the constructing of the equation to the universe as you stumble over all the potential good you can do, all the grotesque things you are capable of or have done, and the control, or lack thereof, in our life....   [tags: Yann Martel, Life of Pi, Canada Reads]

Term Papers
1555 words (4.4 pages)

Essay on The Life Of Pi By Yann Martel

- Yann Martel’s book “The Life of Pi” I believe represents a hero on his journey for survival. The book “Life of Pi” involves Pi starting from being in a small town in India, only to soon be thrown into an unexpected journey he must survive. Pi is thrown into a situation without deserving it, which makes you want to see Pi survive hence his story being a Hero’s Journey type of story. I will go into more detail about Pi’s story, and why I believe that his story is a Hero’s Journey type of story. Pi’s journey starts out in a town in India known as Pondicherry....   [tags: Yann Martel, Life of Pi, Pacific Ocean]

Term Papers
982 words (2.8 pages)

Life Of Pi By Yann Martel Essay example

- “The presence of God is the finest of rewards.” (Yann Martel, Life of Pi 63) In Yann Martel’s riveting novel “Life of Pi” The basic plot of survival unfolds, however, this essay will show how the hidden yet the dominant theme of religion throughout the story is what helped the main character Piscine Molitor Patel (Pi) survive. “Religion is that system of activities and beliefs directed toward that which is perceived to be of sacred value and transforming power.” (James Livingston) In the story “Life of Pi”, the main character Pi practices 3 religions all at once....   [tags: Religion, Hinduism, Islam, Yann Martel]

Term Papers
1508 words (4.3 pages)

The Savagery in The Life of Pi, by Yann Martel Essay

- In the book Life of Pi, written by Yann Martel, the idea of the boundaries between savagery and humanity are tossed around quite a bit. In Pi’s life or death situation, the idea of savagery becomes a little obscured by the desperation to survive. There are several acts within the story that people who are not in Pi’s situation would possibly see as being savage. As I read the text, I see most of Pi’s actions as a need to survive. Pi creates the character of Richard Parker, who is portrayed as a Bengal tiger, to justify his incidents of savagery....   [tags: Yann Martel, survival, savage]

Term Papers
862 words (2.5 pages)

Essay on Yann Martel 's Life Of Pi

- Yann Martel’s Life of Pi, an award winning novel offers not only one but two stories within its pages. Yann Martel emphasize the truth and reality is often far more complex than we perceive. Readers cannot deny the similarities of both stories, and perhaps understanding Pi’s experience lie somewhere between the two versions. Why should reader acknowledge both stories. Martel withheld which story to be the “truth” therefore stating either story to be the sole story would be mere speculation. If one were to assume either story to be the truth, it is dependent on the reader’s mindset, bias, and experience....   [tags: Yann Martel, Life of Pi, Canada Reads]

Term Papers
1543 words (4.4 pages)

Essay on Life Of Pi By Yann Martel And The Play King Lear By William Shakespeare

- Hello everyone. I am Muhes Ariyaratnam and this is speech on coping with adversity. Everyone faces adversities big or small. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team, and Steve Jobs was kicked out of his own company. They went on to have very successful careers in their respective fields. Two of the greatest humans faced adversity. Similarly the book Life of Pi by Yann Martel and the play King Lear by William Shakespeare contain the same theme of coping with adversity. In both texts characters cope with loss of loved ones, poor mentality, and nature....   [tags: Yann Martel, Life of Pi, Canada Reads]

Term Papers
1145 words (3.3 pages)

Life of Pi by Yann Martel Essay

- “Bapu Gandhi said, ‘All religions are true.’ I just want to love God” (Martel 76; ch.23) says Pi in response to being rebuked for his practice of multiple religions. The notion that religion should not be discussed in polite company is demonstrated clearly by the scene Martel depicts in Chapter 23 of “life of Pi”, in which the pundits of Hinduism, Islam and Christianity come almost to blows over Pi’s enthusiastic practice of the three. It is this youthful fascination which equips him for the turbulent time yet to face him, and it is the Truth he discovers in the three religions, unaffected by adult-like notions of exclusivity which benefits him....   [tags: Martel Life Pi Analysis]

Free Essays
1029 words (2.9 pages)