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is tired of these monkey-fighting snakes on this Monday to Friday plane
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i read it awhile ago. because i picked it for another book club....

i just liked the story.

i didn't really take any higher meaning.

but then agian, i read it in a day....i think i still have it...somewhere...


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Posts: 29254 | Location: Somewhereshire | Registered: January 05, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Always the April Fool
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quote:
Originally posted by The Scoundrel:

But I agree with Ms. Smaug: I don't get how this book could make "the author" believe in God, other than it just being an extraordinary story.



Yeah, I didn't quite get that either.

I enjoyed the book, and I like the "which story is better" notion. On somewhat of a different track, I took the tiger to be a symbol of death, and the prospect that you can die at any time (the tiger could have jumped on Pi and eaten him). Rather than fear the tiger / death, Pi makes friends with him, learns to care for him, and be at peace with him.

Maybe being at peace with death makes it easier to believe in God?
 
Posts: 10542 | Location: Detroit Rock City | Registered: June 19, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Me too, me too.

I got really annoyed at it.
It's like he's saying, this is the better and more magical story, so you should believe in it rather in the hard and cruel truth.

But that's just a stupid argument. I'm not ready for the nuthouse yet.

If it weren't for that claim of his, I'd actually have liked the story.


__
I like it maybe 63 percent!
 
Posts: 15475 | Location: Bouncing round in bathrooms! | Registered: October 19, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by Smaug:

I too was puzzled about why it was a book about god and would make you believe in god. I'm still not a beliver in any of his gods.

I liked the twist at the end, and the fitting in of both stories, although I don't believe it was a true story, i believe the animial one Big Grin


I pondered the idea that Pi had gone mad at sea and to cope his mind fabricated the fantastic animal story to conceal the animal-less truth, but if his mind really does fabricate events to protect itself, it seems incongruous that he would still know the reality of what had occurred. Which, on a wild ride in my locomotive of thought, spurred the question: what is reality?

The point is not whether either story was true, I think Yann Martel doesn't even know which is true. Whichever one you want to be true is true. Reality is nothing but what the mind perceives as real; The mind has the ability to create whatever reality it wants. Correspondingly the mind can create whatever god it wants. The question is not whether God is real or not. God is real. It exists in the minds of believers. In the same way that the animal story is real to Pi, Mr. Okamoto and Mr. Chiba. "And so it goes with God," in the mind of believers.

[I hope what I'm saying makes sense please ask for clarification if you are confused, I need help organizing and completing my thoughts].

By saying 'God exists in the minds of believers' I am not reducing believers to make-believers. I have never believed in God until now, as the book says, "it's a story that will make you believe in God." God exists in my mind because I want it there. For me God is a point at which to concentrate my minds power of creation. To pray is simply to focus the mind to achieve a manifestation. It's like the "Law of Attraction" from the Secret.

I don't know if that is what Yann Martel was trying to convey but that is what it meant to me.

Regards,
Chema Caillet-Bois


"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts."
-Bertrand Russell
 
Posts: 1 | Location: Boise, Idaho | Registered: March 30, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Poisoner of Chonae
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I read the novel a few years ago, and subsequently discovered, unfortunately, that Martel plagarised the idea of a man in a boat with a big cat from Moacyr Scliar's 'Max e o Felinos' (Max and the Cats). Apparently, more recent editions of the novel have a disclaimer to this effect in the frontispiece.
Anyhow, controversial statements aside, I adored the novel, especially for its ending - I went with the bleak, cannibalistic one - though I thought the bit about the algae island was just so much over-contrived existentialist pap (I'm not a Beckett fan) and the religious stuff, while interesting and diverting, certainly didn't make me see angels or somesuch nonsense. I would recommend Martel's earlier collection of short stories/novellas: 'The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccomatios,' especially to anyone who is interested in experimental writing - and fans of Mr Gaiman will usually have encountered some material in this vein.


cause and effect:
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Posts: 243 | Location: lies to the east of Eden | Registered: February 02, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Life of Pi is such a brilliant story! As soon as I finished reading, I went back and re-read Part 1 thoroughly... and I got so much more out of it the 2nd time.

There are still many unanswered questions I have about this novel. What did the blind Frenchman represent, and what inside of Pi died with him? Do you think that Richard Parker could have represented Pi's fear that had to be tamed? As Pi discovers, "only fear can defeat life""”and reason can put up no fight against fear"”but if we "shine the light of words upon fear" (p. 162), faith in the "better story" takes over and life is victorious. Or did Richard Parker represent the evil nature inside of Pi? Or the brute animal within, fierce and bent on survival, but immoral?

To me, Life of Pi is a story about how faith in the unbelievable (not faith in the untrue) leads to understanding and life. Pi's nickname, in which he found refuge, represented that "elusive, irrational number with which scientists try to understand the universe." I believe that storytelling, rather than churning out fanciful lies, actually draws out the essence of reality--of truth--as the author says in his preface.

I agree with the point made previously that the main concept of this book is that we have two choices about how to perceive reality. I think that the Richard Parker story is the better story because it draws out the essence of the raw battles Pi faced at sea: battles for survival, between good and evil. This is the better story because it points to Truth.

Above intellect and reason are our greater senses of morality and wonder at the divine (chapter 21, 85). I agree with those who commented on the episode of the island as a chance for the reader to make that leap from "dry, yeastless factuality" into faith, and, in doing so, a higher Truth about good and evil... not merely a made-up story, but Ultimate Reality.

I think this could be a story to make you believe in God because religion gets to the essence of life through story, much as a good zoo gets to the essence of reality for a wild animal (chapters 4 and 10). There is a freedom in the Truth of Story, in this true essence of reality, that fear can never touch. As a Christian, I found it moving that Pi was attracted to Christianity by his initial disbelief: his shock that God would become human and actually die for love (chapter 17). And what an outrageous story it is!"”-but Pi's faith in this unbelievable true Story of Love leads him to life. Jesus used storytelling as his way of teaching on earth, and indeed the whole Bible is one Story which climaxes on the cross. I believe that every other story, including Life of Pi, is a reflection of this most grand of all Stories... that good triumphs over evil; that life conquers death.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: cloudyskies,
 
Posts: 1 | Registered: April 29, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by cloudyskies:
There are still many unanswered questions I have about this novel. What did the blind Frenchman represent, and what inside of Pi died with him?

I think this point in the book is the re-rendition of Pi's murder of the cook, and a subtle examination of the cook's mentality, and what was gained and lost in the murder. Previous to this point, when following the second, bleak version of this story, Pi says that despite the cook's roughness and cruelty, there were times where he "looked at [the cook] with--yes--with tenderness. With love." He "imagined that we were fast friends. " He also says that without the cook, they would not have survived - that he had the idea to build the raft and would help with fishing. In the fantastical first rendition, when speaking with the blind Frenchman, he is at first relieved to have found a "brother" in his pain, and this brother saves him from dying of pure exhaustion and apathy, gives him hope. However, he finds the man is in the same position as him and as Richard Parker-his alter ego, which is why Pi so easily confused the Frenchman for R.P - and their shared blindness is their shared fear and uncertainty in the desperate circumstances they are in. The Frenchman/Cook now threatens to kill and derive nourishment from Pi as he had Pi's mother [in the first story, the statement the Frenchman makes while attempting to strangle Pi - "You're damn right your heart is with me - and your liver and your flesh!"]. So, Pi kills him, but in doing so takes on the perversion of being a man who has killed - and as he admits later - eaten some member of his own kind, the very perversion he had hated in Frenchman/Cook. This is Pi's last statement about the hyena/Cook/Frenchman - "He was such an evil man. Worse still, he met evil in me--selfishness, anger, ruthlessness. I must live with that." That he must live with that evilness is the part of him that was killed - the idea of innocence.
quote:

Do you think that Richard Parker could have represented Pi's fear that had to be tamed? As Pi discovers, "only fear can defeat life"�"”and reason can put up no fight against fear"”but if we "shine the light of words upon fear"� (p. 162), faith in the "better story"� takes over and life is victorious. Or did Richard Parker represent the evil nature inside of Pi? Or the brute animal within, fierce and bent on survival, but immoral?

I think your last suggestion is most accurate here. It was not truly evil that R.P. represented - it was simply that base desire in every being to survive, that desire that has no qualms about the route to survival as long as it is successful. R.P. did the things that were essential to survival for Pi, but scared him at the same time, because R.P. threatened to take over his entire mind, and destroy any sanity left in him.

quote:

To me, Life of Pi is a story about how faith in the unbelievable (not faith in the untrue) leads to understanding and life. Pi's nickname, in which he found refuge, represented that "elusive, irrational number with which scientists try to understand the universe."� I believe that storytelling, rather than churning out fanciful lies, actually draws out the essence of reality--of truth--as the author says in his preface.

I think this is very well put, except the first sentence. It is not *faith* in the unbelievable that is important - it is the ability to understand and listen to the unbelievable for the truth it holds.

quote:

I agree with the point made previously that the main concept of this book is that we have two choices about how to perceive reality. I think that the Richard Parker story is the better story because it draws out the essence of the raw battles Pi faced at sea: battles for survival, between good and evil. This is the better story because it points to Truth.

It is indeed better, because it expresses not only the actuality of what happened, but useful insight on the thought processes and realities of what made it happen. It makes the reader process the events further than the third-person news soundclip report the book could have been, and think deeply about the events instead of storing the event without any contemplation of what it could mean as a portal into human nature and the workings of the mind. It creates understanding of reality, not just acceptance of reality. However, I think it's unlike your statement - that the reality explained in the first story is more than Good or Evil; it is more than raw survival; it is a huge compounding of many factors of life that lead to the factual events, and the drawn out version in its verbosity explains those factors from the perception of the one who lived it, instead of the dry third person perspective of factuality.

quote:

Above intellect and reason are our greater senses of morality and wonder at the divine (chapter 21, 85). I agree with those who commented on the episode of the island as a chance for the reader to make that leap from "dry, yeastless factuality"� into faith, and, in doing so, a higher Truth about good and evil... not merely a made-up story, but Ultimate Reality.


Actually, I think his Island is instead a representation of the human world as it is in "civilization". The majority of civilized people behave like the meerkats - they gather food they have not killed and eat it without thinking, and are caught unawares by the hard, bestial world that lies outside of their peaceful home. They live in ease and contentment - as he is given the chance to do - and end up dying without truly experiencing the trials as life. This is why he finds the fruit of that land to be death - because without experiencing the harshness of life, the meerkats - or people in civilization - are missing out on their chance to achieve something more than mere complacence. At least, that's my take.

quote:

I think this could be a story to make you believe in God because religion gets to the essence of life through story, much as a good zoo gets to the essence of reality for a wild animal (chapters 4 and 10). There is a freedom in the Truth of Story, in this true essence of reality, that fear can never touch. As a Christian, I found it moving that Pi was attracted to Christianity by his initial disbelief: his shock that God would become human and actually die for love (chapter 17). And what an outrageous story it is!"”-but Pi's faith in this unbelievable true Story of Love leads him to life. Jesus used storytelling as his way of teaching on earth, and indeed the whole Bible is one Story which climaxes on the cross. I believe that every other story, including Life of Pi, is a reflection of this most grand of all Stories... that good triumphs over evil; that life conquers death.


Although this is a beautiful sentiment, I think the suggestion that "This story will make you believe in God" is less an assertion that it will convince you that faith is *true* - instead, I think it is an attack against the recent outbreak of "evangelizing atheists", atheists that attack the very notion of religion as useless myth. It shows how religion can contain notions of truth that pure factual-ism - like the second story of Pi's - will miss. However, after having read it, I feel no impulse to change my years-old decision to be atheist, only a an excellent argument for why even if religion no longer is applicable as an explanation for reality, it still may contain truths that are as important as the factualities of life. The only important line I want to draw from the story is this: yes, religion's ability to explain life in story and parable does allow you to express reality in a useful way, it does *not* give you ability to believe it word for word and base your entire perception of the world on it. Although the first explanation gives you insight into the mind and reasons of the events, there was no zebra, and there was no tiger. To assert that there weren't does not destroy the use of the story in any way - however, it saves you unreasonableness, such as, perhaps, launching a search for Richard Parker. I think this is an idea more extreme religions and interpreters of religious books might want to ruminate on.

Thanks for the great discussion!
 
Posts: 1 | Registered: July 26, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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i found the book very enjoyable, i just dont understand some things. i mean, what did pi want to accomplish by combining hinduism, christianity, and islam? he had a point right? 0_o one more thing i dont get, in the book, there were 3 religious leaders. what did each one say was unique about the certain religion? i would appreciate some feedback, so i could better understand the book. thankyou (:
 
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I know that this is the opposite of belief and what everyone else is posting, but it is the only thing that makes sense to me.

To compare the fantastic story (as opposed to the actual truth) to God seems to be saying that God is a made up story to explain the "truth". Instead of proving the existence of God, the whole book seems to disprove existence. God and many religions have been invented to "explain" the truths all around us that have nothing to do with "gods" but that we other wise can't or don't want to understand.
 
Posts: 1 | Registered: November 24, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Pi likes zoos and defends them, what do you think of animals in zoos?

Pi puts science and religion hand in hand, what do you think of this?

When Pi compares freeing animals from zoos and kicking people from their house, do you think this is accurate?
 
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You first.





Hermits have no peer pressure
 
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I believe the theme of this story is that we should not fear death, but celebrate life, the goodness in the world, and others. Part of this we see as Pi is a firm believer in three religions and continues with this practice for the rest of his life even when he had accepted death. When the ship first wrecked and Pi is scared to die, he is curled in a corner and is slowly killing himself. When he realizes the tiger is still on board, he accepts his demise and starts to take care of himself and pulls himself from death's grasps. As the story progresses and he encounters death more and more, he accepts it more and more and through it all he continues to practice all three religions and he celebrates the good parts of life and accepts others. As he survives he realizes death is just a possible outcome and should he die, so be it, until then though, he was going to do his best to survive. He takes the risk of death when it trains the tiger and he succeeds, making it possible for him to survive.
 
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