The Life of Pi

This is a post for Connie.

Life of Pi is like a hall of mirrors. It is possible to ”see” or ”read” the text in so many ways that a single reading is impossible. Yann Martel does this on purpose; he plays with his readers and our desire for a single, conclusive truth.

The narration is multi-faceted. On one level, Pi simply retells the adventure story of his survival, and how he managed to outwit the tiger, Richard Parker. Yet a first-person narrative is always subjective; the reader is limited by what Pi sees and feels. We view events on the lifeboat from his perspective.

Moreover, we can only know Richard Parker and the other characters through Pi’s perception of them, rather than having an insight into their internal thoughts for ourselves. All this means that Pi is in control of the narrative and can limit and edit our understanding of both him and events.

Read more here at The Age.

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