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Religion in Life of Pi

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Religion is a fundamental set of beliefs generally agreed upon by a number of people. People pray to and praise the gods and figures of their religion. Religion helps people get through struggles and problems in their lives. Religion has always been a fundamental part of the world. This importance is stressed in the novel Life of Pi by Yann Martel. In this novel there are many underlying tones that emphasize religion, like making the story more believable and a deeper meaning, by Pi's belief in a "leap of faith", and by Pi's ability o survive. Martel shows in this novel that religion makes stories more believable and gives them deeper truth. He uses two contrasting stories in Life of Pi to show the importance of religion. One story describes a trial of struggle and determination to survive, involving human-like animals, while the other describes a horrific tale of death and cannibalism between people. ...read more.


Martel is saying that because agnostics do not choose to believe in anything, they have no purpose. Also, Pi said that agnostics, "...lack imagination and miss the better story."(Martel 64). Martel includes this because he believes that religion makes the world beautiful and makes for a better story. He described the difference in attitudes of atheists and agnostics. Atheists believe in something, therefore Pi can respect them, but agnostics choose not to believe in anything, so Pi sees them as stubborn. "He [agnostic] stays beholden to dry, yeastless factuality" (Martel 64). Agnostics are stubborn because they do not try to see any beauty or try to imagine anything better than the dry truth. Martel makes Pi the opposite of this to show how much better things can be when religion is involved. ...read more.


Martel shows the importance of remaining thankful even in the worst of times. Another time religion help Pi survive was when he was in school. "Piscine Molitor Patel (Pi for short) lives in Pondicherry, India in the late 1970s. He got his weird handle from a swimming pool in Paris, leading to all sorts of embarrassing school nicknames like "Pissing." Pi can cope with this only because his spirituality is so intense" (Gunning). Martel uses Pi to show that with religion, anything can be defeated, even something as simple as a schoolyard tease. Religion in Life of Pi is emphasized in Pi's adventure making it believable and gives it a deeper truth, allowing more to be taken from the story. Also, religion is emphasized in Pi's belief in a "leap of faith". Martel explains that people should choose a belief. Finally, religion is stressed in Pi's ability to survive. Religion kept Pi from giving up on life, helping him overcome his struggle. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

4 star(s)

This is a very well written essay which uses sophisticated vocabulary.
It shows real understanding of the complex theme of religion and there are detailed explanations of the differences between agnostics and atheists and Pi's reaction to them.
The quotes are well selected but need to be more closely analysed.
Including critical comments from two writers shows excellent research but again they need to be discussed more.
**** 4 stars.

Marked by teacher Katie Dixon 10/05/2013

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