When writing, authors need to think of their audience and involve an element of surprise. Authors use plot twists in their writing to help them accomplish surprising the audience, allowing them to keep their audience’s interest. Not only do plot twists help keep the audience’s attention, they also make the audience question their beliefs about what they think of the story. Authors can use this tool to advance their themes. Yann Martel uses a crazy plot twist in his book, the Life of Pi, to suggest to readers that truth is relative.
In the beginning of the Life of Pi, Yann Martel establishes his theme of truth being relative through the main character, Pi. When Pi was confronted about worshiping three different religions, he says, “Bapu Gandhi said, ‘All religions are true.’ I just want to love God” (69). In stating this, the audience is given a brief glimpse of Pi’s worldview. Additionally, when Pi is explaining how Atheists have their own views of truth, he says, “Atheists are my brothers and sisters of a different faith, and every word they speak speaks of faith” (28). He believes that even atheists are religious because they believe is that there is no God. Yann Martel is showing, through Pi’s words, that truth depends on a person’s beliefs. Further along in the story, Pi asks his mother for a Islam pray rug and a Christian baptism. His mother tells him if he going to be religious he can only practice one religion, not three. In response to his mother Pi asks her, “If there’s only one nation in the sky, shouldn’t all passports be valid for it?” (74). Pi response again shows Pi’s worldview; what religion people practice does not matter, but who they are worshipping is more important. What religion people believe to be ...
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...same, that is their truth.
Truth is relative; this means that truth is what people want to believe. Yann Martel has built this idea throughout the story, from Pi’s beginning life through his rescue. When Pi asks the interviewers which story is better, Yann Martel is allowing his audience to choose their own truths, and to choose which story they think is the better one. Pi’s truth is that he lived through the shipwreck; the way he survived is not important, just factual differences. The same can be said about religion. What religions people practice does not matter, just factual differences, but who the people worship is the biggest importance. Yann Martel is making people think about what their truth is and decide for themselves what they want to believe to be true.
Martel, Yann. Life of Pi. New York: Harcourt, Inc., 2001.
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