Life of Pi is anovel written by Yann Martel and published in the year 2001 by Vintage Canada.The novel which ha sold over 100 million copies worldwide was inspired throughMartel life experiences. Martel inspiration was first asked in a 2002 interviewwith PBS, Martel “I was sort of looking for a story, not only with a small ‘s’but sort of with a capital ‘S’ – something that would direct my life.” Hebegan to discuss how he was lonely and through religion he was able to discovera new direction in his life which lead to him writing his novel which met hisneeds. In Yann Martel’s Life of PI, themain character Piscine Patel, known to all as Pi is an Indian boy who has beenstranded in the middle of the Pacific Ocean for 277 days. Pi’s mentality isbeginning to change but through his religion is he able to remain sane.
“Religion will save us”, Pi, who is narrating mostof the story, goes on to say that religion had always been close to his heart.In Yann Martel’s novel, Life of Pi, through adverse situations, one’s religionis the most significant factor in the ability for their survival. Pi’s uses theteachings from Islam, Hinduism and Christianity to help him through his journeyby helping him remain sane, possess hope and gain strength. In the novel, Lifeof Pi, there were several moments of the story where Pi had encounteredtraumatic and horrifying events, which could’ve lead to a loss of an individualsanity and hope. Individual lose their ability to think and act in an orderlymanner. In the novel, Pi used his religious beliefs and his faith to keep himdistracted from his reality.
Pi uses his teachings to allow him to fightinsanity and hold the truth which he believes. “I practiced religious ritualsthat I adapted to the circumstances – solitary masses without priests… Theybought me comfort, that is certain. But it was hard, oh it was hard. “(Martel).This quote is expressing Pi’s emotions towards his religious practices. Pi is explaininghow his rituals and teaching has helped him adapt to the circumstances andallowed him to remain sane through the hardest of times.
His religious beliefs areallowing him to have subtle behaviour and allowing him to remain sane at allcosts. Another example is shown when Pi laid his hands on so many fishes andhis religious beliefs helped him remain sane throughout. “I laid hands on somany fish that my body began to glitter from all the fish scales that becamestuck to it. I wore these spots of shine and silver like tilaks, the marks ofcolour that we Hindus wear on our foreheads as symbols of the divine” (Martel).This quote is expressing how Pi remained sane through his silver like tilaks,which Hindus wear on their foreheads as a symbol of divine.
Pi was able toaccept the fact that fish scales were on his body and he remained sane throughhis religious beliefs. Religious beliefs keep individual distracted fromreality enables a sight of hope and happiness. Throughout the novel, Pi was incircumstances which may had him to the wrong path. Pi may have been going crazyand not acting in an orderly manner.
Through his religious encounters andbeliefs, he was able to cancel out everything going on in his life and able toremain sane.Piscine Patel waslost at sea for 227 days with a Bengal tiger. Through his time, he was beginningto lose all hope but through god and his religious beliefs he was able topossess hope which he needed for survival.
Belief towards religion allows individualsto obtain further knowledge and hope which may help them through their toughestof times. In the novel, Pi is having difficulty, hoping for survival butthrough his religious beliefs, he remains hopeful and continues his journey. Religionis an key factor which drives Pi’s motive and allows him to continue going. “Iwas giving up. I would have given up— if a voice hadn’t made itself heard in myheart. The voice said, ‘I will not die. I refuse it.
I will make it throughthis nightmare. I will beat the odds, as great as they are… I will put in allthe hard work necessary. Yes, so long as God is with me, I will not die. Amen”(Martel).This quote is expressing how Pi is beginning to give up and has lost all hopebut through god he is able to fight for survival and do anything to beat hisodds. Pi has a deep connection with godand religion. This connection is allowing Pi to possess all the hope whichremains.
‘Jesus, Mary, Muhammad and Vishnu, how good to see you. Come to thelifeboat. Do you hear this whistle?… Swim, swim! You’re a strong swimmer.It’s not a hundred feet” (Martel). This quote is showing how all theseimportant figures of Pi’s religion is giving him hope and allowing him to fightfor survival.
All these important figures are giving Pi a sense of hope and belief.There are many moments in the novel where Pi feels hopeless but through his religiousfigures and beliefs he was able to possess and last hope which remained.