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"Life of Pi" commentary

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Introduction

In the extract of "Life of Pi" by Yann Martel, the narrator saves a Bengal Tiger, forgetting the fact that the beast will very likely be a threat for his own life. Through the use of theme, storyline, personification, and sound effect, the reader is invited to experience the desperation and hopelessness of human before the power of nature. Survival and the battle between man and nature have always been popular themes for writers because these topics often show how human can use their courage, wisdom and willpower to stay alive in all kind of harsh environments. Yann Martel has described both side of the narrator in details: whining for the unfairness of life ("I am to suffer hell without any account from heaven?") and unremittingly trying to save the life of the Bengal tiger Richard Parker ("Don't you love life, Richard Parker? ...read more.

Middle

and creates the first climax as well. Yann Martel has created several climaxes (where there are hopes to save the tiger) and low tides (where the tiger is drowning and fails to grab the lifebuoy) in this relatively short extract, which almost forces the readers to experience the same feeling as if they are on a roller coaster. Right after the highest climax, where Richard Parker was saved, the readers receive the biggest fall, where they get to know that Richard Parker was actually a "three-year-old adult Bengal Tiger" that can easily kill the narrator. The extract ends at the point when the narrator jumps overboard, which make the ending full of unpredictability and suspense. The personification plays an important role in this text, as it is not revealed till the end to the reader that Richard Parker, who the narrator tries to save, is an adult Bengal tiger. ...read more.

Conclusion

after swallowing the ship. Verbs such as "bubbled" and "screaming" are very vivid because they all describe processes where sounds are given off. Other than the words mentioned above, the author also uses direct sound effects like "TREEEEEE" and "HUMPF" to portray the noises caused by whistling and the lifebuoy hitting the water. These words are even more effective than the other sound effects, because they represent specific sounds and are highlighted with capital letters and italic style. They grab the readers' attentions and in a way serve for the story as small climaxes and breaks where the readers can pause for some time and then continue with their reading. By using various literary techniques, Yann Martel has effectively told a story about a battle for life between nature, tiger and man. Without any of the elements that are analyzed above, will make this piece of literary work dull and tiresome for the audience. ...read more.

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