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Compare the way that both Martel and Junger present a sense of place and mood in the opening from both novels.

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Introduction

Compare the way that both Martel and Junger present a sense of place and mood in the opening from both novels. The opening of a novel is perhaps the most important part. It has to captivate and engage with its audience, make the audience feel they are there with the characters. Openings can often be ambiguous and therefore instil questions in the readers' minds, which is a technique that involves the audience as it urges them to read further to pursue the answers. Although both 'The Perfect Storm' and 'Life of Pi' share many similar themes and motifs, it is evident from the mere introductory paragraph that the two authors' styles of writing are entirely diverse to the one another's. The first word that comes to mind when describing 'The Perfect Storm' is realistic, it is written in a journalistic style which relays the facts in an omniscient way. It opens with a pre-cursor and also intertextuallity, as does each chapter, with 'It's no fish ye're buying, its men's lives.' ...read more.

Middle

The frame narrative keeps the reader engaged as they are basically getting two stories at once, both past and present tense. The novel is set in Toronto, Canada, Pi talks of travelling from India to come to where he is today. The opening sentence of this novel has also been used by Martel to grasp his audiences attention, with the bold declarative, 'My suffering left me sad and gloomy'. This implies to the reader something has happened on his travels to make him feel this way on his travels. Both novels are similar in the fact that they introduce the main character of the novel in the opening, in 'Life of Pi' it is obviously Pi and in 'The Perfect Storm' it is the man who is to captain the Andrea Gail, 'Bobby Stratford'. In 'The Perfect Storm' Bobby's first reference is to his 'black eye'. This very early on expresses his mortality and humanity, and highlights to the reader that he is only human and this is 'a true account of men against the sea' and no fiction fairytale. ...read more.

Conclusion

This directly links to the ending of the novel where it is questionable whether the animals that have been described throughout the entire novel are actually humans due to what is written. However in life of Pi it is not essential for many characters to be introduced as the novel as I have said focuses around Pi's thoughts and feelings. During the openings of both books there are many indicators of themes to be raised later in novel. In 'The Perfect Storm' the themes are evident pretty much right away, themes of the sea, of fishing and boats as well as reality and the key theme of weather, and more specifically the theme of the sea versus men. The 'Life of Pi' also has a similar key theme of nature versus humans introduced when Pi talks of the sloth's and compares them to humans, anthromorphism. Family, animals themselves, religion and life and death are introduced. Both openings are extremely effective as they engage the audience and through some ambiguousness in both makes the reader want to read on and infuses them in the plot. ...read more.

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