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Life of Pi

Life of Pi

by Yann Martel

Life of Pi Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Religion

At times, Life of Pi reads like a defense of religion. Has science proved religion wrong? Here's a protagonist who believes passionately in both zoology and religion. What about the fact of multipl...

Literature and Writing

In his essay "How I Wrote Life of Pi," Yann Martel says, "I had neither family nor career to show for my 33 years on Earth. [...]. I was in need of a story. More than that, I was in need of a Story...

Man and the Natural World

There's an interesting blurring of divisions between man and the natural world in Life of Pi. Human beings become more animalistic; animals become more human. The novel warns against projecting hum...

Spirituality

This theme often brings to mind more ethereal subjects like the soul or the soul's rebirth. You'd be both right and wrong applying such lofty thoughts to Life of Pi. In this book, spirituality grou...

Suffering

Suffering brings out the best and the worst in Life of Pi's characters. On the one hand, the characters care for each other when they very well could have killed each other. On the other hand, suff...

Science

Don't get us wrong. The protagonist of Life of Pi loves science. Science, along with reason, helps us control and manipulate the world. It's how we survive in the world. But Pi points out that like...

Fear

If we have nothing to fear but fear itself, what about the fear of fear itself? Does that count as two fears or is it still one fear? It's this type of mind game our protagonist has to avoid on the...

Mortality

The protagonist in Life of Pi battles death for so long, his relationship with death becomes very complex. Death is the thing he must push as far away from himself as possible. Death is also part o...

Madness

You knew we were going to say this: madness is a little complicated in Life of Pi. Is faith a form of madness? Is the madness that causes animals to leave a warm, secure home the same as the madnes...

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