Yann Martel’s Life of Pi as Bildungsroman

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Growing up, I always viewed Bar and Bat Mitzvahs as intriguing events. My goal was to attend one and obtain the full experience. I was fascinated by the importance of this “coming of age” ritual in the Jewish communities. As I got older, more aspects of growing up were intertwined with my everyday life. This is can be seen in Bildungsroman, a book dedicated to the main character maturing. The Life of Pi, by Yann Martel is the story of Piscine Patel coming of age while being stranded in the Pacific Ocean for 227 days. Realizing that he must provide himself with the necessities of life and constantly living with a 450 pound, 9 feet long Bengal tiger, Richard Parker, change Pi out of his child-like ways and into manhood. Pi realizes a part of growing up is learning to accept leadership and that nothing is easily given, especially in the Pacific Ocean. After a lifetime of vegetarianism, Pi had to finally kill flying fish for food, resulting in an emotion and mental breakdown (Martel 183). This action challenges Pi’s beliefs, yet, must be overcome. He soon realizes that...

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