Life of Pi
The struggle to survive and to maintain faith in God can be challenged by adversity. Being abandoned and alone can cause one to lose hope. In the novel, Life of Pi, Yann Martel expresses the conflicts of faith and survival that one deals with through hard times. Pi, who is forced to deal with the potentiality of death, is determined to survive. His questioning in his beliefs are brought on by the oppression of living at sea. Pi’s faith in God is ultimately restored by his struggles and questioning of his beliefs. Martel uses Pi’s struggles in the face of adversity to symbolize his strong will to survive and his skepticism and faith in God.
Through Pi’s reasoning and questioning, his doubts in God are revealed. As Pi speaks with Mr. Kumar about religion, he comes to the realization: “Doubt is useful for a while. We must all pass through the Garden of Gethsemane. If Christ played with doubt, so must we” (28).
Pi believes that all humanity is permitted with doubt. If God’s own son endured doubt, we are also compelled to bear doubt as his followers. In addition, as Pi talks with Father Martin about the death of Christ, he states, “But once a dead God, always a dead God, even resurrected. The Son must have the taste of death before his mouth. The trinity must be tainted by it; there must be a certain stretch at the right hand of God the Father. The horror must be real. Why would God wish that upon Himself? Why not leave death to the mortals?” (52).
In the chapter titled Rebellion (or his book title), Feodor Dostoevski's character, Ivan Karamazov, demonstrates that his angry and resentful attitude is the by-product of his very choosing. The fundamental principal of our own humanity is God's acknowledgment of our expression of free will. Found between the boundaries of man's ownership of worldly acts and thoughts, which can lead him to an ...
Christ heightens what Pi thought were solely human events. His struggles with the principles of Christian faith lead him to his acceptance of Christianity, which prepares him for his own suffering and near-death experience on the boat. Even though Pi practices his rituals everyday at sea, he finds himself in an upheaval of uncertainty, he claims, “Faith in God is opening up, a letting go, a deep trust, a free act of love – but sometimes it was so hard to love. Sometimes my heart was sinking so fast with anger, desolation and weariness, I was afraid it would sink to the bottom of the Pacific and I would not get it back” (203).
Pi becomes aware of the constant struggle that comes along with faith. Forced to deal with the hardship of living at sea with a tiger, Pi’s beliefs become dubious. Pi’s reluctance in faith leads to him questioning his own beliefs.
Pi comes to symbolize the intellectual aspect of religion through his faith and beliefs. As
Pi’s family and priest ridicule him for yearning to learn about religion, he states, “ ‘Bapu Ghandi said, ‘All religions are true. I just want to love God,’ I blurted out, and I looked down, red in the face” (71).
Pi is unable to understand why his loved ones reprimand him for loving God and religion. Pi’s optimism in faith leads him to believe in all faiths being genuine. Furthermore, as Pi feels the presence of the Virgin Mary, he believes: “The presence of God is the finest of rewards” (63).
Through Pi’s religious beliefs, he concludes that God’s presence is much greater than God’s blessings. By being in God’s presence, Pi feels in harmony and at peace with himself. While Pi abides the hardship of his journey, he calls out to God, “High calls low and low calls high. I tell you, if you were in such dire straits as I was, you too would elevate your thoughts. The lower you are, the higher your mind will want to soar. It was natural that, bereft as I was, in the throes of unremitting suffering, I should turn to God” (93).
Pi seeks out his faith in God because he knows that God will listen to him. Amidst his sufferings, Pi refuses to lose his faith in God. Through Pi’s thoughts and words, he provides the reader with profound words of his faith.
The Afterlife is an area of human consciousness we all enter upon leaving the physical world at physical death. Throughout history we've questioned if there is a life after death. Along the way, our religions and various philosophers offered beliefs and opinions to answer this commonly asked question. However, many of the answers contradict each other making it hard to figure out. "Belief in life ...
Pi’s faith and perseverance symbolize his strong will to survive. As Pi reflects on the pain and suffering in his life, he states, “My life is like a momento mori painting from European art; there is always a grinning skull at my side to remind me of the folly human ambition. I mock this skull. I look at it and say, ‘You’ve got the wrong fellow. You may not believe in life, but I don’t believe in death. Move on!” (6).
To Pi, the only events in his life relate to death, yet Pi does not believe in death. Due to his response in the presence of death, Pi portrays his determination to live. In addition, as Pi reflects on his life at sea, he ponders:
“I was giving up. I would have given up – if a voice wouldn’t have made itself heard inside my heart. The voice said, ‘I will not die. I refuse it. I will make it through this nightmare. I will beat the odds, as great as they are. I have survived so far, miraculously. Now I will turn miracle into a routine. The amazing will be seen everyday. I will put in all the hard work necessary. Yes, as long as God is with me, I will not die” (143).
Faced with great hardship, Pi is able to place his faith and trust in God. He believes he is able to overcome obstacles with God’s support. Lastly, while Pi is deals with the damages of his raft and the struggle to survive, he claims, “Survival had to start with me. In my experience, a castaway’s worst mistake is to hope too much and do too little. Survival starts by paying attention to what is close at hand and immediate. To look out with idle hope is tantamount to dreaming one’s life away” (163).
Though Pi is forced to deal with affliction and self isolation, he takes it upon himself to look onto what will aid him to survive. Pi applies his rational thinking skills accordingly to his desire to survive. In conclusion, Pi’s beliefs and determination seek out his willingness to withstand his tribulations while on his journey for survival.
Through Pi’s struggles, he is able to persevere through his ability to survive and his strong faith in God. Pi’s determination in the face of death while being stranded on the boat symbolizes his strong will to survive. The challenges that Pi endures on his journey lead him to questioning his faith. Nevertheless, Pi’s faith in God is ultimately restored through his ability to turn to God in the midst of his great afflictions.
Life and Death in Anna Karenina Thematically, the novel parallels its heroine"s, Anna Karenina, moral and social conflicts with Constantin Levin"s internal struggle to find the meaning of life. There are many others underlying themes which links the novel as a whole, yet many critics at the time only looked upon its critical view of Russian life. Henry James called Tolstoy"s novels as "loose and ...