Life of Pi by Yann Martel is a genius novel full of vivid descriptions and imagery. So far, I have enjoyed Life of Pi, but I admit the book was not at all what I had expected it to be. I saw a small clip of the movie at Costco one day, and Pi was stranded in the middle of the ocean fighting off flying fish with a tiger. I first opened the book ready to read pages full of action and suspense, but I soon discovered Life of Pi was the exact opposite of what I had anticipated (the first few pages were about Pi’s expertise with sloths). Even though Life of Pi does not have the most exciting plot, there are many other qualities of the book that make it better than an action book. The main character, Pi, has original thoughts on what most people would take for granted as ordinary. His thoughtfulness encourages the reader to do some thinking of his own, and the topics discussed in Life of Pi are all interesting. Along with Pi’s unique ideas, I especially enjoyed his witty analogies. In one part of the book he compares zoo animals with alcoholic guests at a hotel, giving the reader a new perspective of how most things one sees are not how they appear to be. Not all of Pi’s ideas are very clear though, and there are some parts of the book that are a little mysterious. Every time I encounter another chapter in italics, I wonder why the author chose to include the chapter. So far, they do not seem to contribute much to the plot or themes. I am also curious to see how Pi’s devotion to religion and the zoo will tie in with the rest of the story.
There are two things that affect Pi’s life the most: religion and the zoo. The zoo is Pi’s home, and he spends a lot of time there. I can relate to Pi because I feel the same way about dance. It is nice having a place to belong, and I think most people have a sanctuary where they feel completely comfortable, whether it is in their room reading or somewhere else. Also, I do not know much about people’s lives in India, but Pi’s life seems so normal compared to an average American child. He goes to school, swims, and spends time at the zoo, where his father works. He spends time doing the same activities as many kids, but he treats life differently from most high-schoolers I know. He is very devoted to what he does, whether it is part of his religion or just swimming to please his grandfather. Pi is also very open-minded. I found it shocking that even though he practices three religions, he still respects the views of Mr. Kumar, an atheist. It seems like Pi lets others influence his opinions, but he has developed his own opinions enough to be independent. Pi is an interesting character, and I am excited to see where the next twenty-five chapters will take him.