Cover of Life of Pi
Life of Pi
Do you believe in God? Is your faith strong enough that can withstand the test of time? What is faith? According to the bible, “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen. It gives us assurance about things we cannot see” (Hebrew 11: 1-2). It is in this belief that Pi clings to life when he is shipwrecked for 227 days and alone in the Pacific Ocean. The book, Life of Pi by Yann Martel tells a story of a young Indian boy, Piscine Molitor Patel, known as “Pi” who grows up in a zoo in Pondicherry, India. He is a pious and smart boy who at a young age, gains an interest in different religions in search for a deeper meaning and love of God. Pi grew up being a Hindu and his curiosity and love of God leads him to embrace two other religions and incorporate it into his life. His encounter with his atheist biology teacher, Mr. Kumar, who says that, “Religion is darkness” (Martel 34) makes him realize the incredible power of belief. This resolves him to learn other religions. At age 14, he meets Jesus Christ via a catholic priest named Father Martin. He asks to be baptized. Soon after, he meets another Mr. Kumar who devoutly practices Islam and he converts to Islam as well. Pi happily practices all three religions simultaneously despite the objections of his parents and religious leaders. When the three wise men confront and let him choose one religion, he quickly says, “Bapu Gandhi said, ‘all religions are true’, I just want to love God” (Martel 87). Pi is driven to learn these religions due to his love for God. Though the principles of each religion contradict each other, but for Pi, it is about faith and belief to the Almighty. He realizes that even if these religions have different rituals and prayers, still, they share the same common denominator and that is, to love God. To Pi, it does not matter how many religions a person worships as long as the person believes and have faith in the Creator. Such is his devotion and beliefs without holding any doubts in his heart. In this story, through the character of Pi, Yann Martel proves to us how hard and trying but ultimately rewarding it can be to have faith when face with difficulties.
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