Exam

Q:What, specifically did you like and not like about this novel? Use examples from the text to support your answer.

I didn’t like the way the author didn’t establish the connection Pi had with his family earlier on in the book before he became shipwrecked. Pi talked a lot about his knowledge of animals, religion and things he did with his family but I feel that the emotional ties that he held with his brother for instance, were only briefly explained in the first thirty chapters of the book. It is very evident and clear that Pi is around his family often and the way he talks about his family compared to the way he talks about other things relating to the book is different and less enthusiastic. For example when he talks about his discovery of the story of christ on page 54, “The death of the son must be real. Father Martin assured me that it was. But once a dead God, always a dead God, even resurrected. The Son must have the taste of death forever in His mouth. The trinity must be tainted by it; there must be a certain stench at the right hand of God the Father. The horror must be real. Why would God wish that upon Himself? Why not leave death to the mortals? Why make dirty what is beautiful, spoil what is perfect? Love. That was Father Martin’s answer. ” This is a prime example of the poetic, intuitive,  and curious ability of Pi yet when he speaks of his family it is only things like this on page 13, ” Before moving to Pondicherry, Father ran a large hotel in Madras. An abiding interest in animals led him to the zoo business.” These are simple statements of fact and at times can be aggravating. I realized at the end of reading this book that I wasn’t even sure how Pi felt about his father as a person. Im sure he loved him and missed him dearly after the sinking of the ship but I don’t feel like his relationship with his family was fully developed in the book enough for the reader to understand the feeling of loneliness that stayed with him for the majority of the book. It may have been the simple fact that Pi’s familial relationship wasn’t something that was influential in the purpose of the book but I as a reader feel the author should have expounded more upon his family life and his feelings toward his family. Somethings I did enjoy about the book were his curiosity, and thirst for answers. Also his concrete faith was inspiring. Even when Pi believed that he would die he never cursed God for it. He practiced his many faiths and he kept believing until the very end. This is interesting considering that people would find a person with three religions more likely to desert God, having no concrete, singular basis for his faith. There were many times during the book where I was simply disbelieving of what he had to do and how much he endured. There were many times while reading that I put myself in Pi’s shoes and knew surely that, had that been me, I would have committed suicide, or given up. I don’t even believed I would have survived the first week, before giving up in despair and throwing myself to Richard Parker. He ate the heart,lungs, and other vital organs of animals despite the fact that he was a vegetarian his entire life. I eat meat on a daily basis and the thought of doing that, at any level of hunger makes me nauseous.

Q: Why is this story important to tell? Use examples from the text to support your answer.

This story is a look into the life of someone that few people will ever have much in common with. Pi is a teenage indian boy, this is a trait share by many people in the world but how many people can say they are a teenage indian boy, whose family owned a zoo, who survived a shipwreck, who was orphaned in the middle of the pacific ocean, who trained a tiger, who lived on an acidic island with meercats, who killed sharks? No one else but Pi can ever say that.  At the beginning of this book, I would never have been able  to survive on lifeboat but by going with Pi on his journey across the Pacific Ocean I believe that if i truly had to I could survive for a time, maybe not as long as him but I would survive. His story is important to tell because it is simply eye-opening. On page 286 it says, “The people who found me took me to their village…But they gave me food. Delicious food..” Here Pi says that is surprised by the mexican peoples generosity, as they surely were surprised by his arrival. When Pi is interrogated by representatives of the ship company, it is obvious that they do not believe everything he says. This is shown when they say on page 292, ” He thinks we’re fools.” and “Bananas don’t float.” They also try to deny the presence of Richard Parker and the algae island. They establish it with this statement on page 294 ” I’m sorry to say it so bluntly, we don’t mean to hurt your feelings, but you don’t really expect us to believe you, do you? Carnivorous trees? A fish-eating algae that produces fresh water? Tree dwelling aquatic rodents? These things don’t exist.” Pi is unfaltering in is his interpretation of this story even when he changes it, it still interprets into the same thing, with each thing representing something else. I also think that because the reader is going through all these events with Pi and is mentally and emotionally experiencing these events with Pi that this story seems perfectly true. But it is only until he tells it to the representatives that you realize how extraordinary his story is. This story is important to tell because its diverse, it covers a multitude of things, presenting new ideas and blowing your mind.

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Religious Connections                                                                              Natalia Johnson

Have you ever considered converting to another religion because of a change in morals or thinking? Many of us have and it often stems from knowledge about other religious beliefs that seem more parallel with our own. Most of us in America have heard of many different religions. Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and various polytheistic religions just to name a few. These religions tend to have common themes such as frequent prayer, a divine spirit or being, and some sort of worship and ritual. Some have a savior and the promise of heavenly afterlife, while others believe that death is the end of any kind of life. Some have common themes such as Christianity and Islam with the presence of prophets such as Jesus and Abraham. Also similarities lie with the Christian and Hindu faiths with the speculation of them actually being polytheistic instead of monotheistic as they claim. The Hindu and Muslim faiths both stem from the same area in the south Asia. With much research, reading and examination, ones observations can conclude that Christianity, Hinduism and Islam all relate and share characteristics that make them come together for a common purpose.

Hindus are the ones mostly accused for being polytheistic but they seem to be the least affected by it. Hindus claim that god appears in many forms but that they are “complementary not competing”. Pantheism which means that everything is one in the same seems to be the most accurate label for Hinduism.  It helps grasp the true meaning of the religion and what it is trying to accomplish. (www.religionfacts.com/hinduism/beliefs/theism.htm)Muslims are the ones that seem to have the most problem with polytheism and consider themselves strict followers of Allah. Anyone who does not also do so is an idolatrizer.

Christians are monotheists; but they believe in three fully

divine beings—the three Persons of the Godhead: Father, Son,

and Holy Spirit. The tension here is obvious and well known.

‘Polytheism’ is most commonly defined simply and without

qualification as ‘belief in more than one god’, and a god is most

commonly understood to be any being that is fully divine. Thus,

on the most common way of understanding polytheism,

Orthodox Christian belief is not monotheistic, but quite clearly

Polytheistic. (Journal of Theological Studies, NS, Vol. 57, Pt. 1, April 2006)

This quote simply proves that for Christianity as a monotheistic religion there is very much of a gray area. Christians can be identified as what can be called monotheistic polytheism. This means that while they believe only in one god much like Hindus, they do worship him in several forms which puts a damper on the strict classification of it.

Islam and Christianity recognize many of the same people despite their constant conflict with each other in the daily news and throughout history. They are known by outsiders to be two of the most violent and self-righteous religions, throughout time.  They also recognize many of the same people. “Islam considers Adam and Noah to be prophets, and also considers the wisest lawgivers of other nations (Confucius, Hiawatha) to be prophets as long as they claimed no divinity on their own behalf”. Both recognize Jesus as an important figure but the problem lies when Christians see him as a savior and Muslims see him a prophet/messenger. This upsets some Christian because they feel that he holds a much greater importance and deserves more credit than that which he is given by Islam. Both are considered Abrahamic religions meaning they descend from the religious leader Abraham in the bible. (http://www.mandrake-press.co.uk/Main_article/abrahamic.html).

The biggest differences between the three are quite simple and in my opinion, nearly irrelevant. Christians worship Christ while Muslims are strictly followers of the prophet Muhammad and Allah (god). Hindus recognize god in many forms as do Christians. Only in the Christian faith are his forms limited to three. Islam and Hinduism derived from the same area, Hinduism the more liberal of the two. Islam is known to be most violent with Christianity coming in second and Hindus coming in last with the least violent history. “It had reputation for few gods and great violence.” (Martel, Yann Life of Pi Harcourt Inc. 2001)

In this I have come to the conclusion that the conflicts on religion are bias and irrelevant to the point of it. Religions are form to fit those who agree and for the most part a lot of us agree to the same things with only few petty exceptions. I feel that religious leaders get offended by one thing or another and use it as an excuse to retaliate.  Most of the arguing is done about people. It’s about who is the “messenger” but it doesn’t really matter who it is, what matters is, did you receive the correct message. From the looks of it most of us heard the same thing and even though there are major differences in belief about what happens when life is over, it’s something that simply cannot be proven. Though the message varies these things all come together to accomplish the same thing. “All the religions of the world, while they may differ in other respects, unitedly proclaim that nothing lives in this world but Truth.”

 

 

www.religionfacts.com/hinduism/beliefs/theism.htm

Journal of Theological Studies, NS, Vol. 57, Pt. 1, April 2006

www.mandrake-press.co.uk/Main_article/abrahamic.html

Martel, Yann: Life of Pi Harcourt Inc. 2001

 

 

(the life of) Piscine Molitor Patel cont. pt.8

405 words

A storm comes and causes pi to loose the raft which makes his territorial dominance over Richard Parker come in handy. Pi sees several birds but only manages to lure and kill one. Another storm comes with lightning and pi watches in excitement and wonder while the tiger lays down afraid. A tanker comes and doesn’t see them but keeps moving until it almost crushes them. Afterwards the wonder into some trash in which Pi leaves a message in a bottle. Pi becomes starve along with Richard Parker. He goes blind, believing he will die. He hears a Frenchman who tells him he is also blind. They talk for a while about food before he climbs aboard Pi’s ship, first in friendly manner but he becomes clear that he means to ill pi and eat him. when he sets foot on the boat the tiger grabs him and kills him eating him immediately. He rinses his eyes with water and begins to see again but wishes he hadn’t for he sees the mans scattered body on the bottom of the boat. Pis comes across an island which he at first believes to be an illusion he soon discovers it isn’t, that is made of sweet algae. He eats and he and the tiger stay there for a while living among the Meercats that live there also. Pi soon discover something horrible about the island. It is carnivorous. At night he becomes acidic and devours anything left on it green algae floor. He leaves as soon as possible, bringing Richard Parker along with him, refusing to let him die on the acidic island floor. Pi soon comes to a Mexican beach where Richard parker quickly departs from him. This saddens Pi and even as he is carried off by villagers who give him food and clothing he regrets not giving him the proper goodbye for he knows he will never see him again. Later he is interrogated by two men who work for the company of the sunken ship Pi rode on. They do not believe his story but he soon convinces them to the best of his ability so that they soon leave but later send insurance money. The last chapter tells simply and briefly that Pi was taken care of and how it is believed the ship with his family aboard sank. Pi moves on to Canada as an orphan. With a happy ending.

(the life of) Piscine Molitor Patel cont. pt.7

577 words

Pi reads the manual find in the supply locker that gives advice for survival. This reminds him that he need to fish and create a shelter. thirsty and hungry he risks going back to the lifeboat. he finds that the tigers territory has been marked by its urine. he drinks some water out the bottom of the boat then uses his urine to mark his territory along the tarpaulin and locker lid. He uses the solar stills to make salt water into fresh water. he places them at various places around the boat. He then uses the remaining supplies to make improvements to his raft so that he will not get as wet. He enjoys dinner in the raft and Richard Parker makes prusten again. Pi finds life is vibrant under the mostly calm surface of the ocean.  He tries to fish with his remaining shoe. He ends up losing his whole shoe to the fish. He looks for more bait on the lifeboat but it is interrupted by a sharp smack across the face, he assumes that this is the end and that the tiger has decided to kill him. He lifts his head and realizes that it is instead a school of flying fish soaring over and into the boat. The tiger eats his fill and Pi being a lifelong vegetarian cries when he kills the fish. With this bait Pi catches a dorado, a fish that flashes beautiful colors as it is killed. He gives it Richard Parker.With both of them full and satisfied he checks the solar stills and in disbelief sees they have actually produced fresh water. He fills a bucket with water for Richard Parker. He realizes it has been a week since the ship sunk. OK, on a personal note, i would like to say that although Pi’s father was right about the dangers of a Bengal tiger, with the right knowledge they can be manageable as demonstrated in this book.

In reminiscence Pi recalls spending 227 days at sea. Pi finds things to do for the most part, he fishes and feeds himself and the tiger. He cleans the boat and makes sure things are functioning properly. he also prays and  uses his situation to forget about time. This in turn helps him survive more easily. His clothes disenegrate and he develops sea boils.   He tries to understand the navigation tips in the survival manual but it is at loss of understanding. He fishes and uses the net as way to catch food. As time passes a small ecosystem forms on the underside of his makeshift raft. Of the many small organisms living there he finds that the small crabs have the best taste. He also eats turtles which can be difficult to kill but easy to catch. Pi becomes famished. He uses all the flares and tries to eat tiger feces. He finds that turtle blood is a good alternative to water and that a clear fluid is in its vertebrae. Pi establishes his territory on the boat by stomping on the neutral territory after five tries he prevails over Richard Parker by inducing nausea in him. He keeps a diary to write down practical things and continues to observe his religious rituals. Pi begins to catch sharks and catches another dorado which Richard Parker tries to attack him for but Pi stares him down making him back down and later throws him a piece of the fish.

(the life of) Piscine Molitor Patel cont. pt.6

415 words

He tells the story of Richard Parker and how he got his name. It got mixed up with the name of the hunter who found him during the paperwork process. On the boat pi knows the tiger will kill him so he goes and tries to look for water to quench his growing thirst. He looks around at the boat noting all its dimensions and notes all the contents of the storage locker in which he finds water. He drinks the rationed water and biscuits and calculates how many days he can survive with his supplies of food and water. He is excited to find that they linger on the high end of things. Pi realizes that if he is going to live with the tiger on board he has to create some distance and territory. He builds a raft which at first is only minimally successful. He uses oars, life jackets, and a life buoy. He uses multiple ropes to tie it together  and keep it attached to the life boat. As he is doing this he hears Richard Parker growl and he quickly kills the hyena with little noise or protest. Afterwards the tiger begins to approach Pi but the boat bounces making Richard uneasy and as this happens a rat runs out from under the tarpaulin and on Pi’s head. this is also a distraction and pi takes the rat and throws it in his direction. he uses this as an opportunity to escape to the raft. It rains and this gives Pi the opportunity to employ the rain catcher he found in the supply locker. He begins to think of ways to kill Richard Parker. His plans are flawed as he realizes that tigers can swim in and drink seawater. the tiger is full and muses Pi, and makes a noise identified as prusten which indicates the closest thing to friendliness. Also a very rare noise. He uses this as an opportunity to create dominance over him and he decides to keep Richard Parker alive. I also want to note that it may be from the high importance and respect that he holds the tiger which causes him, in almost every instance to regard him by his full name. Which subconsciously effects how the reader (me) sees Richard Parker in the book. He uses the whistle on the life jacket and shouts to show he is alpha. Richard Parker lies down in aversion to the harsh sound of the whistle.

(the life of) Piscine Molitor Patel cont. pt.5

339 words

At the beginning Pi is in denial about the survival of himself and his family, although he watched the ship sink. The animals for the most part are quiet until the hyena begins to act strange jumping over the benches and circling around the zebra. The animal soon vomits and lays down to rest behind the wounded zebra. Soon the night comes and Pi feels fear at the darkness, loneliness, and possible notion that he may be attacked by the animals. He hears smacking /eating sounds in the night and feels animals below in the sea also struggling for life. He wakes in the morning to discover the hyena has begun feasting on the zebra as it is still alive. The zebra pants and groans but for the most part keeps its composure. As Pi begins to feel seasick he looks over to see that orange juice is also  in the same state. Her human like portrayal of this emotion makes Pi laugh and gives his heart a slight lift. This points out to him how strange it is that orange juice remains unhurt by the hyena. He watches her look out in the ocean looking for her two sons. It is at this time Pi begins to deal with the fact that his family has most likely died in the shipwreck. The hyena more viciously attacks the zebra tearing off its hide and eating it alive from the inside out. Orange juice becomes angry with this and gets into an altercation with the hyena. Blood spills into the ocean causing sharks to bump the boat in search of food. They stop arguing and the hyena continues eating. The zebra dies the next day and the hyena attacks orange juice. She fights back savagely and impressively but is soon beheaded by the hyena. Pi is upset and contemplates giving himself over to the hyena but when he looks under the tarpaulin he sees the enormous head of  Richard Parker. He decides against it and falls into a troubled sleep.

(the life of) Piscine Molitor Patel cont. pt. 4

417 words

The ship sinks. Pi hears a groan or perhaps an explosion in the night and wakes up and attempts to stir his brother Ravi to wake him. He gives up and leaves the cabin to go exploring the ship to maybe find the source of the noise. He finds nothing but the sea, swelling against the side of the boat and without his knowledge — sinking. He runs back a forth a couple times looking around he sees animals and wonders how they escaped their pens. He also sees workmen on the ship running back and forth in a panic. The ship is now leaning severely. As Pi stands on the deck he is given a life jacket by the chinese workmen and is abruptly thrown overboard which he later finds out wasn’t a ploy to save him but to get rid of the coyote  that was on the lifeboat in which he landed hiding under the tarpaulin. At this point the lifeboat is still partially hanging off the side of the ship until a zebra jumps off the ship smashing a bench on the lifeboat and sending the lifeboat into the immense pacific ocean. Pi seeing no other living thing around sees Richard Parker a large Bengal tiger that his family has had since it was just a cub. He urges the tiger to continue swimming to reach the life boat, to fight for his life. As soon as he approaches the boat Pi has a horrible realization of how dangerous the tiger is and tries to prevent him from reaching and boarding the boat. He fails of course and Richard Parker is upon the boat shaking with cold, dripping wet, and angry. Pi terrified out of his mind mechanically turns and jumps off the boat into the ocean. He finds that there are sharks in the water and looks to the lifeboat. He doesn’t see Richard Parker but he slips back into the water only to see another shark. He sees an oar off the side of the boat and hangs on for dear life. some time passes and Pi climbs onto the tarpaulin only to see the coyote and the zebra with a broken leg. He figures that a coyote and a tiger cannot be in the same space together, he figures Richard Parker has drowned. Soon Orange Juice and orangutan from the zoo floats to the boat on a net filled with bananas, Pi saves orange juice and the net but loses the bananas.