Monday, May 20, 2013

Literature Analysis: Life of Pi


1.  Plot Summary:

2.  Themes:

3.  Yann Martel, the author of Life of Pi, creates quite an amazing novel simply by his use of tone.  “It is true that those we meet can change us, sometimes so profoundly that we are not the same afterwards, even unto our names.”  From this quote the reader is able to grasp the idea that the main character encounters some very important relationships.  “It's important in life to conclude things properly. Only then can you let go. Otherwise you are left with words you should have said but never did, and your heart is heavy with remorse."  Once again the reader is left with a sense that the author truly wants to make a difference in the way the reader perceives certain things in her/his own life. “You must take life the way it comes at you and make the best of it.”  Probably one of the most general cliches, however it does the job!

  • Rhetorical Question- “The world isn't just the way it is. It is how we understand it, no? And in understanding something, we bring something to it, no?  Doesn't that make life a story?"  The reader is meant to discover the answer in their minds.
  • Allusion- “I challenge anyone to understand Islam, its spirit, and not to love it. It is a beautiful religion of brotherhood and devotion."  The author expects the reader to somehow be familiar with Islam.
  • Metaphor-“The reason death sticks so closely to life isn't biological necessity; it's envy. Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it, a jealous, possessive love that grabs at what it can.”  Life and death are said to have a close relationship.
  • Symbol- “Life will defend itself no matter how small it is.”  Life seen as a being rather than a thought
  • Comedic Relief- “I love Canada...It is a great country much too cold for good sense, inhabited by compassionate, intelligent people with bad hairdos.”  The author is trying to make a valid point but ends the sentence with comedy instead.

  1. Indirect Characterization: "Just beyond the ticket booth Father had painted on a wall in bright red letters the question: DO YOU KNOW WHICH IS THE MOST DANGEROUS ANIMAL IN THE ZOO? An arrow pointed to a small curtain. There were so many eager, curious hands that pulled at the curtain that we had to replace it regularly. Behind it was a mirror."  Here the author is able to express the father's wit without making a direct description.
  • Indirect Characterization: "Most likely the worst would happen: the simple passage of time, in which his animal toughness would easily outlast my human frailty."  Here the author reveals that Pi is completely conscience of his surroundings.
  • Direct Characterization: "Richard Parker was tougher than I was in the face of these fish, and far more efficient. He raised himself and went about blocking, swiping and biting all the fish he could."  Here the author gives a direct description of Richard Parker as an expert hunter.
  • Direct Characterization: "It came as an unmistakable indication to me of how low I had sunk the day I noticed, with a pinching of the heart, that I ate like an animal, that this noisy, frantic unchewing wolfing-down of mine was exactly the way Richard Parker ate."  In this quote the main character comes to a direct conclusion that he himself has become an animal.
  1. The author's syntax and diction does not change when he decides to focus on the the description of a main character.  In fact for the most part it stays exactly the same.  "Suddenly his brute strength meant only moral weakness. It was nothing compared to the strength in my mind."  Here the author is portraying the different strengths of two characters, yet without changing the diction or syntax he is conveying the same message.
  2. The protagonist is dynamic and round in his experiences yet he seems to be spiritually static.  Pi experiences incredible obstacles during his youth, however he remains constant in his faith towards a higher being.  This is what makes Pi such a special character.  Most characters drastically change when they go through something physically and mentally demanding.  Yet Pi remains humble throughout the entire novel which is why he is such a enjoyable character to view as a reader.
  3. After reading the novel I certainly feel that I have met a person rather than read a character.  The reason for this is because Pi is someone that I would love to have a relationship with.  I feel as though he would be honest and sincere in every moment and there would be no dull moments with him.  Pi is without a doubt a very special character which is why I felt as if I had become close friends with him by the denouement of the novel. 


  1. That's a nice idea using those videos as a way to remix the analysis of the book. That way, people who would like to read an analysis of Life of Pi don't have to filter through so many videos.

  2. I really enjoyed those videos you used to analyze Life of Pi, but you also did a great job adding in your own elements!