“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature nor do the children of men experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”
Yes we have all watched the movie, but the book is what gave me the real thrill of the life of adventure.
“Life of Pi” by Yann Martel is a fantasy adventure story and one of my personal favorites. Let me begin with a brief synopsis. This is the story of Piscine Patel, fondly referred to as Pi, and his misadventures. Pi is a teenage Indian boy who is the son of a zoo owner. He is also a practicing Hindu, Christian, and Muslim! The main topic of the first part is his experiences with his family, his faiths and most importantly growing up with animals.
The second part of the book is about his adventures at sea. His family decides to immigrate to Canada, bringing most of their zoo animals along with them to sell in North America. They board a cargo ship, but unfortunately the ship sinks, and Pi spends a total of 227 days floating in the Pacific Ocean, he wasn’t alone though, he was accompanied by a hyena, a zebra, an orangutan and a 450 pound royal Bengal tiger. Luckily, the lifeboat is stocked with survival supplies and a detailed survival manual. Pi sets up equipment to collect water, learns to fish and catch turtles, and makes a raft for those times when he needs to stay some distance from the tiger. Everything he has learned about animals serves him well.
The first three animals die one by one, but the tiger and Pi survives until they float and reach the Mexican shores. Each reader could spend quite a bit of time pondering the spiritual implications of the deep relationship that develops between Pi and Richard Parker, which was what Pi named the tiger, over the course of their confinement together. At first, Pi is scared out of his wits that the animal will eat him. Then he tries to keep the tiger happy with food, fresh water, and regular routines. This is the longest and in my opinion the most thrilling part of the book.
The final part of the book is an interview between Pi and a couple of Japanese maritime officials. Pi narrates his story of his ordeal at sea with the animals. However, the Japanese officials find his story incredulous and unbelievable, so Pi provides another story, without the animals. The Japanese officials find parallels between the two stories, and later on, Pi asks the officials which story they prefer, to which they respond that they prefer the animal story.
I could analyze this novel in so many different ways. No one can deny that this is an adventure novel. I am impressed with every detail of the story. The fact that it made me picture life like images of every scene in incredible. The author definitely did a great deal of research and produced a wealth of information regarding marine biology. Some of the descriptions of survival tactics were a little disturbing and the reader could for a second think of it as a horror story.
However, I think we may find it disturbing because we as humans live a life of comfort and usually don’t find ourselves in extreme situations where we lose our humanness and revert to animalistic measures.
One of the things that make Life of Pi such an extraordinary story is that it covers so many fascinating subjects. Martel provides overviews of animal behavior, survival at sea, the limits of reason, and a boy’s coming of age. The final level of their interaction is a surprise that will only startle those who haven’t had the delight of close mystical relationships with animals.
I would like to conclude that “Life of Pi”, by Yann Martel is a beautiful book that appeals to all those interested in a life of adventure and adore all the gifts of nature and is definitely a book worth reading.
I PPES ‘O’