Comparing Storytelling In Life Of Pi And Big Fish

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Storytelling is a way of expressing one’s imagination through fanciful adventures and serve a variety of purposes. One important reason is to capture a special moment and endure it, mostly because it unites people and of course, entertains. In Yann Martel’s and Tim Burton’s Big Fish, storytelling is seen as more important than the truth. Throughout the novel Life of Pi and the film Big Fish, it can be argued that the truth is intertwined with the lies in each story to form a new kind of truth. For instance, Pi retells his story to the two Japanese reporters in a way in which he changes the animals to humans already encountered through the movie and introduces a different version of the truth. In conclusion, both the novel and film have the…show more content…
For instance, in Life of Pi, Pi's second retelling of his story illustrates the way that the truth has been distorted when the Japanese men asked for a better story. Pi takes this as an insult, and says: “I know what you want. You want a story that won't surprise you. That will confirm what you already know. That won't make you see higher or further or differently. You want a flat story. An immobile story. You want dry, yeastless factuality” (Chapter 99). In addition, the occurrences that happened in this version of Pi’s story make it very difficult for Mr. Okamoto and Mr. Chiba to believe. Pi then tells them a second version of the story replacing all the animals for people. Mr. Okamoto and Mr. Chiba later figure out that the people represent the animals: “So the Taiwanese sailor in the zebra, his mother is the orangutan, the book is…the hyena – which means he is the tiger!” The second story is much more brutal and makes Pi less humane. The tragedy of the second story is that it is not difficult to believe but the cruelty of the second version of the story encourages the Japanese men to say that the story with the animals is “the better story” (317). In Big Fish, William Bloom realizes that the stories told by his father were only half true and that some parts are only distorted. An example of this would be the conjoined twins. Jing and Ping are not actually conjoined but rather just twins. Edward exaggerates to make the story making him partially believe the story his father told. In the very beginning of the movie, William says how difficult it is to believe his father, but the story is still factual: “In tellin' the story of my father's life, it's impossible to separate fact from fiction, the man from the myth. The best I can do is tell it the way he told me. It doesn't always make sense and most of it never happened... but that's what kinda story this is”
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