Close-Read of Life of Pi

The Power of Faith

What power does Faith have? People who believe in religion see faith as a powerful tool that can be used to solve life problems. In the novel Life of Pi, by Yann Martel, the protagonist Piscine M. Patel, or P’, is a member of multiple belief systems. He has a strong faith in God, which helps him in the most troubling of times. Pi sees faith as very important and is possibly a key reason he was able to survive his ordeal. The importance of faith to Pi is clearly shown in the first part of the book Life of Pl. Bapu Gandhi said, ‘All religions are true. I Just want to love God”. Pi is fascinated by multiple religions and sees them all as a way to become closer to God. He sees the similarities between each religion and puts his beliefs and prayers into one higher entity. Pi has learned that faith is equal to love and he chooses to show his love for God by accepting multiple religions. “It is not atheists who get stuck in my craw, but agnostics… To choose to doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation”.

Pi holds faith in a higher standard and views people who do not have faith in something to be close-minded or unimaginative. His belief that faith is all we need conflicts with others who do not have the courage to believe in faith. Pi even mentions how he can imagine what an atheist would say on his deathbed, but an agnostic, “to the very end, [would] lack imagination and miss the better story’. Pi doesn’t understand how someone can survive on doubt when there are many things to put their faith into. But his faith will be tested with the horrible event that awaits him. Pi’s strong beliefs and faith in God help him to survive his terrible experience on the lifeboat. “l will not die. I refuse it… Now I will turn miracle into a routine… Yes, so long as God is with me, I will not die. Amen”. Pi turns to a system and to faith to help him through the new life he must face. He creates a schedule for himself, planning “general inspection… fishing… [and] prayers” to bring balance and order back to his life. Pi prays and has faith in God to help him survive, his faith pushing him to think wisely about his situations. grew weary of my situation… But life would not leave me… It was natural that bereft and desperate as I was, in the throes of unremitting suffering, I should turn to God”. Even in his weakest moments, he still has faith in God, still believing that God will give him the strength to carry on each day. He prays to all his gods in times of trouble. “Jesus, Mary, Muhammad, and Vishnu! ‘ I saw a sight that will stay with me for the rest of my days”. Pi’s faith in God never ended, even when he felt he could not go on any longer.

A voice in his head, his faith in his survival, kept pushing him to hold on. Or was it really his faith? Pi’s faith may not be the main reason he made it through his adventure. “It is life’s only true opponent. Only fear can defeat life”. Pi is suddenly thrust into a strange and terrifying situation, and to live he must fight off the fear that attempts to engulf him. He must push away the fear to think rationally and being able to make it out alive. Pi’s fight for survival and the internal struggle you… Richard Parker, thank you. Thank you or saving my life. Richard Parker could be the reason Pi survived. Richard Parker was there for Pi, to show Pi how other dangers paled compared to Richard Parker’s presence, to keep Pi busy and distracted from the terrible life they have to live, and to provide Pi with some form of company. Without those things, Pi would have most certainly given up on life. Pi’s strong belief in faith and his own faith in God may have been the reason for his survival. His faith kept him strong through his whole horrific ordeal, keeping him from giving up on life. There are many other possible reasons he would have survived if it had not been faithful in the first place. Faith is a powerful object, giving strength to some in times of need and weakening others when their power is too great. But one fact is evident. Everyone needs faith in something, whether it’s a religious form, a theory, or a value. Without faith, people would not be able to see the point of living life and giving all you have to it.

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