Cultural Arts Review: Life of Pi

Posted on October 9, 2013 by

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Life of Pi is an amazing story of a young, brave, strong minded, and very smart Indian boy. Pi is dealt many tough situations throughout the story. When Pi was a little boy he was very interested in religion. His family and he practiced Hinduism as their main religion. Pi’s family owned a zoo in India Pi’s whole life and when Pi turned 16, they had to sell the animals and the zoo because of the hard times in the economy. His father found a buyer of the animals; the only problem was it was across the ocean to Canada. So his family got on a boat along with the animals and set sail towards Canada. On the boat was the first part that religion played a big role in the story, where there was some problems between the crew and Pi’s family. The family was going to eat in the cafeteria for the first time and wanted a vegetarian meal since of their Hinduism religion. The chef of the boat only had one meal, meat and rice, and he gave them meat. That led to an argument between the chef and the family where the chef started calling them negative religious remarks. This was one of the parts where I saw how religious traditions take part in Hinduism. Even though they are hungry they still will follow tradition. After all of this happens the boat capsizes and Pi is the only survivor, along with a few of the animal survivors. Pi is then stuck on a life boat with a tiger, ape, zebra, and hyena. The zebra was injured and the ape was sick, the hyena later on killed the ape and zebra and tried to get Pi. After this the tiger kills the hyena, to me this shows another part of a religious tradition by how the by even out of their habitat the animals still act in a way how they would normally, like how religious practices happen even out of where they were first started. Pi then becomes a friend of the tiger because the tiger depends on Pi for survival. Just another religious aspect of the story by having the tiger be dependent on Pi is like how Hindus are dependent on many of their gods to lead them in the right direction. Pi and the tiger go through a lot on the life boat and do everything they can to survive even when the gods would test Pi he still never gave up. Both of them did end up surviving and that is how the story is told today by Pi himself. The reason I find this to be a religious traditional story is not only because it is about a little Hindu boy, but is because he shows and goes through many obstacles where religious factors are present. A little Hindu boy who loses his whole family and is stranded with an animal that could have torn him apart at any moment is quite a miracle. It shows not only Hinduism in many forms but also other religions across the story as well. The story also shows a big part of karma in two ways I saw. The first was when the crew was mean to the family and the boat then capsizes killing them all. I find that being the ultimate punishment for ones actions. The second form of karma was when the hyena killed the injured zebra who could not move was then itself killed by the tiger. I believe these were put in the story to show karma is a part of Hinduism. The story is a great one and it teaches the reader about religions and how to never give up hope even if the worst happens.

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