LIFE OF PI
BY YANN MARTEL
Life of Pi is a fictional story written by Yann Martel. More specifically, this novel can be classified as allegory or fable. It is intriguing, captivating, humorous, and inspiring. The writing is beautiful, heartbreaking, and makes everything improbable about the story exceptionally realistic.
When I read this story initially, three or four years ago, I was left confused. The author writes in such a way that forces the reader to believe that at least some of the story is true. An example of this is shown in the author’s note, which I would normally not bother reading. However, in this novel the author’s note plays an important role of foreshadowing the rest of the story, and gives the story a sense of realism. In the author’s note, and in sections throughout the entire novel, the author writes himself into the story as if he actually met the main character of the novel and is being told his story. Although fictional, and sometimes confusing, the way Martel writes makes the reader want to believe that the story is true.
Life of Pi is about a boy who grows up on a zoo in Pondicherry, India, during a period of Indian history that is known as The Emergency around 1975. His name is Piscine Patel, named after a swimming pool in France, but acquires the name Pi after much tormenting from other classmates, who pronounce his name, “Pissing.” This novel begins almost excruciatingly slow, introducing Pi’s childhood and all the important figures in his life in extreme detail. The author explains how Pi got his name, how his family came upon owning the zoo, and how he got involved in Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam at a young age and practiced all three religions. When Pi is confronted about his practices, and told he must choose one religion, he says, “Bapu Gandhi said, ‘All religions are true.’ I just want to love God.” (76). Some people may find reading this part of the novel is similar to reading a textbook, using well...