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Yann Martel provides a sparkling book that aims to get readers to think about their ultimate existence that circumnavigates the aspects of truth, which is reality and not always pleasing, and make believe world where the aspects of legitimacy of facts can be manipulated in accordance to the preference of the beholder. As a result, the story is written in a lucid from that depicts bizarre incidents that ultimately shares the author’s opinion about hard truth and fanciful virtual reality. This was the basic intension of the author while writing this story.
As an individual, though he is Canadian, his social milieu is diverse as he spent more time in various countries throughout his life. He has been to Turkey, Iran, Mexico, France, Costa Rica and most importantly, India. He studied philosophy in Peterborough, Ontario’s TrentUniversity. During the formulation period of his story he spent about a year in India studying the different religious sects and mysticism. Thus, it is not by accident that he presents his story that encompasses the perimeter of truth and imagination.
The story is suited to the theme and there are factual relevance to the details of the wild and human society but everything is juxtaposed within the central theme of make believe utopian approach. The story is written in first person and the sequence of events mostly follows a liner path which is in a flashback mode as a whole. However, the adaptation of Pi as the central character and development of the plot around the extended personality of Pi in Richard Parker, the tiger, ends in a twist that flabbergasts the readers and compels them to question the utility of truth.
This story is extremely relevant in today’s society of market induced economic reality as it provides a large breathing space for the readers on the hard ground of realism. On a personal note, it can be stated that a story like Life of Pi is a showcase that strives to show that the existence of differences does not necessarily lead to the destruction of harmony which is a fact that can be taken up by the different communities that exist in the society. The inexplicable sinking of the ship and the will of Pi to survive brings out the high quality with which life is valued and the existence of a fighting spirit in harsh conditions that is a fact today. Though Pi preferred the unreal world it is certain that a individual has a choice between reality and imagination when it comes to facing the harsh world.