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Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Categories Life of Pi

Essay, Pages 5 (1183 words)

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Essay, Pages 5 (1183 words)

Francis Bacon once stated, “Truth is so hard to tell, it sometimes needs fiction to make it plausible”. Truth does not always make life better, in fact, some truths are better left unspoken. At times, it is better to take the truth and use fiction to transform it in order to make it more agreeable. Fiction, no matter how unreal or otherworldly every so often makes for a better story than the plain truth. Life of Pi, by Yann Martel, draws a fine line between fact and fiction, and showcases this concept through the fictional story with the animals, and the factual story without the animals that are told by Pi.

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The story without the animals though more realistic and factual is horrendous, while the fictional story with the animals is more agreeable.

Thesis Statement: Due to the horrific loss of Pi’s mother, his use of imagination as a defence mechanism, and his ability to preserve his faith in God, it is evident that the story with the animals is the better story, which leaves behind dry, yeastless factuality.

Topic Sentence: Firstly, by examining the shocking loss of Pi’s mother, one can see that the story with the animals is the better story, which leaves behind dry, yeastless factuality. Argument: The horrifying loss of Pi’s mother, illustrates that the truth and the factual story do not always make life simpler or better, and although fiction appears to be otherworldly it is at times needed to make reality more plausible.

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Pi is well aware of his situation, and he knows that he did not lose his mother when the ship sank, but rather he was there on the lifeboat when the cook slaughtered her. In the story with the animals, Pi has replaced her mother with the motherly orang-utan, Orange Juice, and the malicious cook with the hyena. As a result, making the story more tolerable. He recounts the story as such, Evidence: “Orange Juice lay next to it, against the dead zebra. Her arms were spread wide open and her short legs were folded together and slightly turned to one side. She looked like a simian Christ on the Cross. Except for her head. She was beheaded.” (Martel 145).

Analysis: Pi has clearly changed the true story, which is the story without the animals to the story with the animals to make it more tolerable. He has replaced the humans with animals because he had to watch as the cook decapitated his mother and threw the head to him. Humans beheading one another is barbaric, whereas if this was happening between two animals it would have been because of their wildness, and therefore it allowed him to accept his horrific loss with something other than human causes. By changing the story to one that contains animals Pi made the situation more tolerable. One can see that Pi’s horrific loss illustrates that the story with the animals is the better story, which leaves behind dry, yeastless factuality, this can also be demonstrated by Pi’s use of imagination as a defence mechanism.

Topic Sentence: In addition, by examining Pi’s use of imagination as a defence mechanism, one can see that the story with the animals is the better story, which leaves behind dry, yeastless factuality.

Argument: Pi’s use of imagination as a defence mechanism, demonstrates that the reality does not always make a better tale, and even though sometimes fiction seems bizarre it is needed to make some occurrences palatable. Pi uses his imagination to help him cope with the sinister events he witnessed. He uses the animals as the imaginary counterparts for the four human characters, and he even creates an alternative personality for himself as the Bengal tiger, Richard Parker, thus making the ordeal more tolerable. This becomes evident when he states, Evidence: “A part of me did not want Richard Parker to die at all, because if he died I would be left alone with despair, a foe even more formidable than a tiger. If I still had the will to live, it was thanks to Richard Parker. He kept me from thinking too much about my family and my tragic circumstances. He pushed me to go on living.” (Martel 182).

Analysis: The creation of Richard Parker was the reason Pi could survive for so long. Richard Parker enabled him to do a lot that would be unintelligible to him as a human, but absolutely logical within Richard Parker’s behaviour. Pi knows that the story with the animals is a creation of his imagination, and if he had not used his imagination as a defence mechanism, he could not have survived. By using his imagination as a defence mechanism Pi made the challenges more tolerable. One can see that Pi’s use of imagination as a defence mechanism demonstrates that the story with the animals is the better story, which leaves behind the dry yeastless factuality, this can also be illustrated by his ability to preserve his faith in God.

Topic Sentence: Furthermore, by examining Pi’s ability to maintain his faith in God, one can see that the story with the animals is the better story, which leaves behind dry, yeastless factuality. Argument: Pi’s ability to keep his faith in God demonstrates that it is better to have faith and to believe in a world where humans are aided by God to make reality more endurable. Pi’s ability to preserve his faith in God throughout his ordeal helped him survive. He believes that the world where miracles exist makes for a better story, and that is why the story with the animals is the better story.

This becomes apparent when he states, Evidence: “Thank you. And so it goes with God.” (Martel 352). Analysis: By believing in God, Pi has chosen to believe in a world where magic and the unimaginable exist. This makes his life more optimistic, which is why he refers to it as the better story. The story with the animals appears to be impossible and unbelievable because to survive two hundred twenty-seven days at sea with a tiger seems like a miracle. Therefore, by believing in the story with the animals people choose to believe in the unbelievable and to have faith, which is why the story with the animals is the better story. One can see that Pi’s ability to maintain his faith in God demonstrates that the story with the animals is the better story, which leaves behind dry, yeastless factuality

In conclusion, due to the shocking loss of Pi’s mother, his use of imagination as a defence mechanism, and his ability to maintain his faith in God, it is evident that the story with the animals is the better story, which leaves behind the dry, yeastless factuality. Life of Pi, by Yann Martel, draws a fine line between fact and fiction and illustrates this idea through the fictional story with the animals, and the factual story without the animals that are told by Pi. The story without the animals though more realistic and factual is horrifying, while the fictional story with the animals is more palatable.

Cite this essay

Life of Pi by Yann Martel. (2019, Dec 01). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/when-the-unbelievable-becomes-believable-example-essay

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