Life of Pi Analysis with How to Read Literature Like a Professor

1656 Words Oct 11th, 2014 7 Pages
Life of Pi Analysis
With How to Read Literature Like a Professor

1. Chapter 12: Is That a Symbol?

A. Example one
In the early stages of Life of Pi, Martel mentions a place that Pi and Ravi had gone to visit while on vacation. While looking aimlessly through the window, they noticed three hills. On top of one hill was a catholic church, another a Hindu temple, and the other a Muslim mosque. Each hill portrays each of the religions in Pi’s complex faith. The hills represent Pi’s struggles to understand each religion. Later on, we find out that Pi is caught in between these three religions. He couldn’t completely disregard any of the religions, so each one kept warring for a place in his life. In How to Read Literature like a
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B. Example 2
Later in the story, Pi reveals a second interpretation of the seven month journey. He replaces the animals with humans like his mother and the cook. In this side, Pi portrays himself as the ferocious tiger, Richard Parker, essentially becoming his doppelganger. While Pi was on the inescapable lifeboat, he was trapped with Richard Parker. In accordance to Foster’s idea that no literature is original, this version could be extremely comparable to The Picture of Dorian Gray and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. In The Picture of Dorian Gray, Dorian is forced to deal with an evil side of him after he trades his life for youth. In Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Jekyll accidentally creates a concoction that gives him another personality called Mr. Hyde who commits crimes and can easily be named evil. In all three cases, the protagonist is faced with an uncontrollable alternate personality.

C. Example 3
Another obvious comparison is the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast. One can clearly see the resemblance between Life of PI and Beauty and the Beast if they figure the plot of both stories. Pi is a normal Indian boy with a somewhat eccentric father who goes through a series of unfortunate events. These events somehow lead to him being stuck in a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger. With time, the tiger becomes his friend and his savior from other wild animals. Belle is a normal young woman with an unusual father. She is also dragged through…