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Life of Pi Commentary IB A HL

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Introduction

Life of Pi Commentary - Melanie Alexandra Ngai :-) Yann Martel?s passage, Life of Pi, is about the narrator saving a bengal tiger, forgetting the fact that the beast will be a threat for his life. The passage develops and explores ideas about nature, faith, religion, trust and survival. Throughout the passage, figurative language is used to make the reader fall into the narrators mind and think as the narrator, sensory imagery allows the reader to imagine the scene, structure allows the reader to read the passage without any difficulties, and the narrator is used to describe the situation, in this case the narrator is trying to save a tiger. The overall effect of is to portray the effective ways in which Martel illustrates the feelings of the narrator and also what he is experiencing. Throughout the prose passage, Yann Martel makes effective use of figurative language to convey to the reader on what the narrator is feeling and experiencing. For example, in line 1, ?The ship sank. It made a sound like a monstrous burp.? The personification here shows that the ship was large and helps to describe to the reader the scene of the massive boat sinking. ...read more.

Middle

The overall effect of using figurative language is to allow the reader to imagine the situation of the narrator. Throughout the passage, sensory imagery is used to create vivid images of the narrators ordeal at sea. As in the first paragraph, lines 1-3, ?The ship sank. It made a sound like a monstrous metallic burp. Things bubbled at the surface and then vanished. Everything was screaming: the sea, the wind, my heart. From the lifeboat I saw something in the water?. With using depth descriptions like this Martel is able to create vivid images of Pi?s ordeal at sea. Whether it is his description of the boat sinking or Pi?s interaction with the wildlife in and out of the water. On the other hand in line 7 visual imagery is used, ?Jesus, Mary, Muhammad and Vishnu, how good to see you, Richard Parker! Don?t give up, please.? This is used to show that the narrator is a religious person and is imagines seeing these gods while trying to look for Richard Parker, the tiger. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is written in past tense, which signifies that the events has already happened and it doesn?t have much effect on the reader. The tone doesn?t really shift, and Martel writes with a whimsical, tolerant tone consistent with Pi's outlook on life. However, in line 20, there is a tone of panic and fear, ?He would not make it. He would drown.? This suggest that the narrator really wants Richard Parker alive and wants to start a friendship with the tiger. The prose passage, Life of Pi, describes the speakers encounter after a shipwreck trying to save a tiger. Through the use of figurative language, sensory imagery, narrative structure and the speaker?s developing perspective, the passage tells the reader with the idea of the shipwreck related to nature, as well as the religious symbols given in the passage, that there is a sign of hope and survival which inspires people who are in shipwrecks that there is God, and hope. As a result, the overall effect of is to portray the effective ways in which the author, Martel, exemplifies the feelings of the narrator and his experiences throughout the journey. ...read more.

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