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Overview: The Question

by MitziDadford, May 29, 2013

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Pi, who is named for an irrational idea that is used to pose and solve scientific whims, presents two parallel stories--he describes as one's perception of the world--to explain his survival on the Pacific for a remarkable 227 days. This is itself a momentous reflection of one's theological beliefs. This novel promises to make one believe in God, and it does. The animal story, with its far-fetched aspects, is much more difficult for the investigators to believe than the human story, as Pi says clearly annoyed, they want a story they already know, one that would not cause them to question the reality they live in. Upon hearing the human story, they agree that the animal story is better, Pi replies "So it is with God." As in religion, simply having faith is enough to preserve morality. A popular interpretation is that the animals were simply a defense mechanism, a way for Pi to cope with his abandoned morality. Without the projection of Richard Parker who performs Pi's vicious acts of animal behaviour, Pi would have gone insane and died. Or, if he remained sane and morally sound, he would not have been able to perform the acts, which kept him alive.


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