The Existential Crisis In Yann Martel's Life Of Pi

1463 Words6 Pages
Preston Ernst
Honors English 10

Lifeboat Longevity

With the creation of the story The Life of Pi, Yann Martel, causes others to question the true meanings and roles of storytelling and the realities that human beings accept to be true. In this fashion, the reader is left with questions about what truly is real in both life and in this novel even when it appears only on the verge of being realistic. Martel composes this novel in the certain way of being almost unbelievable to both fit under the category of magical realism and to fit his aspiration for this abstract novel. Magical realism was necessary for this novel in order to create the image and aura intended and to directly relate to Pi’s existential crisis. The existential
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With the combination of magical realistic events and Pi’s religious beliefs, Pi along with the reader a contemplates life’s concepts. From the very beginning, Pi makes his love and yearning for religion clear. As Life of Pi progresses, the protagonist picks up multiple religions as he travels through the novel. With the addition of first Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity, Pi gains attention from leaders and priests of these faiths. Conflict commences with the religious leaders of these individual faiths. They argue and condone Pi 's actions of worshiping the multiple faiths. As Yann Martel stated in his novel, “the imam and priest nodded. ‘But he can 't be a Hindu, a Christian and a Muslim. It 's impossible. He must choose.’ ”(87) demonstrates the importance and severity of Pi 's choices. Pi rebels against the norm that most religions retain, that you should not practice another 's religion…show more content…
Magical realism is used in many different fashions by Yann Martel, one specific example is the progression of more unrealistic events as the story continues. With the progressing of time, on the lifeboat, Piscine is changing and along the way losing his humanity. This harsh reality brought by self-deprecating events is also mixed with events of a magical nature and is changing Pi for the worst. One example of this is when Pi compares his eating to Richard Parker 's eating. He notices he eats his food as quickly and animalistically as Richard Parker does. Other examples of his slipping humanity would be the first time he killed a fish. As Pi addressed in the book, “to think that I 'm a strict vegetarian. . . and always shuddered when I snapped open a banana because it sounded to me like the breaking of an animal 's neck. I descended to a level of savagery I never imagined possible.” (249) He is aware of the changes that are occurring inside of him. These realistic events are not the only examples that show Pi ignores all his morals in order to survive and over the course of the book these events can be seen to get more unbelievable. In addition, this progression could relate to the continuous loss of humanity inside of Pi. Most evidently, in Part 2 an almost direct progression to become more and more magical and unbelievable can be found. Beginning with the shipwreck, then along the way, finding another blind man on the vast ocean and finally to come across a floating island

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