Essay Pi Illustrates His True Meaning of Religion

Submitted By MichaelAngelo24
Words: 1173
Pages: 5

Pi Illustrates His True Meaning of Religion Religion has been a topic for heated debates for as long as mankind can remember. This book, The Life of Pi, strongly suggests many acts of God during Pi’s life which may be an explanation for the miracles that Pi is given throughout his story. It is a story written by Yann Martel back in 2001 which tells of a young man nicknamed Pi who faces horrific ordeals such as being stranded on a lifeboat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with wild animals but experiences miracles at the same time. Religion is used by the author of Life of Pi as a tool to help motivate Pi to psychologically stay balanced during his horrific ordeal and also given a meaningful sense of God that Pi held onto in the story served as an emotional backbone in which that faith in God constantly reminded Pi that he is not alone and that he will be helped to get through the troubles Pi faces throughout the story. Pi originally resided in his homeland, India. He was brought up as a Hindu, but then encounters a Catholic priest who teaches him Christianity. Islam then finds a way into his life which he also showed much appreciation for. So Pi chooses to practice all three religions simultaneously. His father is a very successful entrepreneur/business man who owned a zoo in the beginning of the story. The difficult conditions and the political strife that plagued India forces Santosh Patel, Pi’s father, to relocate the family to Canada. The father decides to also carry along his zoo animals and plans to sell them in the United States once the family settles down and finds a home in Canada. However, during their voyage across the ocean, the ship is wrecked by a terrible storm off the coast of the Philippines. The ship sinks without Pi being able to save his family. Pi and four animals survive the disaster. Eventually, only Pi and the Bengal tiger, named Richard Parker, are left. They drift across the Pacific for almost a year in which they encounter an army of flying fish, multiple storms and large sea life before finally landing on a beach in Mexico. The scrawny tiger wanders into the jungle, leaving Pi on the beach who is eventually found and taken to a local hospital. A couple of officials from the JMT (short for Japanese Ministry of Transport) are looking to interview Pi to find out what really happened to the ship that sank. Pi answers their questions with his story from the ship sinking to about how he survives the ship wreck with four animals on a lifeboat which later became left with him and a tiger. The men do not believe his story however and forces Pi to tell a more believable account of what transpired. So this time, Pi tells the story by replacing the animals with a mean cook for the hyena, a sailor instead of a zebra and his own mother in place of the orangutan. The Japanese officials see that the stories match so they accept Pi’s confessions. The parents of Pi, Santosh Patel and Gita Patel, other than for being married and obviously in love, are very much different in their own beliefs in religion. The father is not confident in religion much and actually recommends his own son to follow science instead of religion. Pi even writes in the story that his father according to Y. Martel (2001) “didn’t have a religious bone in his body” (p. 33). Pi’s mother on the other hand is said by Y. Martel (2001), “was mum, bored and neutral on the subject” (p. 33). Both parents want their son to grow up as a responsible and successful adult, but both believe that his multiple religions may disrupt Pi’s focus. The father expresses to Pi vocally that religion may become a distraction but the mother counters by saying that science tells us about the world, but religion tells us about the heart. The relationship that Pi so desperately tries to create between him and Richard Parker during the ordeal on the lifeboat can be contrasted to the relationship he wants to discover with God as well. The strong dedication…