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Life of Pi: A tale of science and religion

2021-07-07 来源: 51Due教员组 类别: Essay范文

51Due教员组今天给各位留学生带来一篇纯原创代写范文,本文分析的是《Life of Pi》,这部小说充满了奇异的人生经历,是一个惊险的冒险故事,一个关于人类在宇宙中地位的寓言,一部引人入胜的超级小说。希望这篇可以帮助到各位留学生,同时需要代写也可以直接联系我们51Due客服vx(vx:Jenny_dynh)进行咨询。

Life of Pi: A tale of science and religion

"Life of Pi" is the work of the best-selling novelist Yann Martel. This novel full of strange life experiences in a thrilling adventure story, a parable about the position of human beings in the universe, and a fascinating super-fiction. Wit makes it more dynamic, and terror also adds fun to reading it. In the sea, with a mighty carnivore, with the sharp paw of the Bangladeshi tiger, Pi drifts 227 days to overcome the difficulties and gets reborn. The first version of the story with the tiger and the second version of the ending conflict with each other yet maintained a certain degree of consistency. It brought a complicated and profound philosophical meaning to Life of Pi. There is a running theme behind the novel, with is the ever conflicting yet unifying relationship between science and religion.

 

In the first part of the novel, two identical names of Kumar appear. This part takes only a small part of the novel, but it is important for the entire novel. The two mentors of the same name had an extremely far-reaching and significant influence on the young Piscine, as if they came “into his dark head and lit a match (Martel, 2001, p. 15).” One Mr. Kumar is a biological teacher of the school, an active communist, and an atheist. The fact that Pi later chose zoology as a major was influenced by him. His body is humorously described as a geometric figure: "he looked like two triangles, a small one and a large one, balanced on two parallel lines (Martel, 2001, p. 16)." This unique metaphor makes it easy for readers to consider Mr. Kumar as a scientific figure. In fact, his unique appearance and his personality are extremely consistent, because his personality is also an organic combination of logic and science. As an atheist, Mr. Kumar believes religion is dark and is "superstitious bosh (Martel, 2001, p. 16)." His firm belief in science is based on rationality, so he does not believe in anything other than scientific explanations and things beyond sensory experiences.

 

Another Mr. Kumar is an ordinary baker and also a Muslim mystic. It was under the guidance of this Mr. Kumar that Pi was converted to Islam. He taught Pi that Islam is a beautiful religion with regard to brotherhood and dedication (Martel, 2001, p. 24). Compared to the other Kumar, this Mr. Kumar's appearance was very common. Even after the Pi had known him well, it was still difficult to recognize him. It is not difficult to see that the sharp contrast between the two Kumar’s appearances is actually a symbol of a profound difference between science and religion. Like the biology teacher, science is often very vivid and impressive, and it is a balanced and orderly explanation of everything. Religion is exactly the opposite. Religion is like that baker, it sometimes seems like "as plain as a shadow (Martel, 2001, p. 31)".

 

Martel arranged an interesting park encounter for two Kumar to hint on the relationship between science and religion. In the face of the same zebra, one Mr. Kumar said the Latin name of Grant's zebra "Equus burchelli boehmi" to distinguish it from other species of zebra; while the other said "Allahu akbar", meaning "God is great" (Martel, 2001, p. 41) He saw the zebra as part of the wonderful achievements of God. This scene captures the ideological conflict between two Kumar, who are essentially science and religion. When science and religion look at the same thing, different interpretations are derived. But which one is closer to the truth? This scene suggests that there is a potential coexistence between science and religion in addition to conflicts, because the two Kumar appreciate the same animal, and science and religion both have a place in it. The different evaluations and interpretations of the zebra, yet the same sense of appreciation in this scene condenses the theme of the entire novel.

 

The "Life of Pi" narrative space is exquisitely and mysteriously constructed. It is composed of the "Tiger" version of the fable model and the "Human" version of the realistic model derived from the shipwreck. That is, as the Japanese staff in the novel said, the two are intertwined. The two are interpretations of each other, and they are mutually reflective. They are indispensable. If one side is biased, the other side will lose the basis for the narrative. Moreover, these two kinds of narratives may have given birth to a strong sense of conflict, due to the diametrical opposition between good and evil (Dodeman, 2014). This also inspired a great narrative tension. The true meaning of the novel is precisely hidden in the interweaving of the two, as the truth appears mysterious and ambiguous.

 

In the "Tiger" version of the narrative, Pi and Richard Parker faced the challenge of death on the lifeboat and rafts. The "tiger" is the epitome of the animal kingdom. Pi is the human finger. Under hunger, the tiger will eat Pi, and Pi also has strong desires to subdue tigers. They are enemies that cannot coexist. However, without the Tiger, Pi will be lonely and desperate, and he will die in the ocean without a doubt. Richard Parker is the sustenance of Pi's victory over loneliness and the hope for him to survive (Stephens, 2010). On the contrary, without the Pi, a tiger who can only live on land cannot exist in the sea. It can only depend on Pi, who uses the survival manual and the modern scientific rationality of human beings to survive the natural threats. In this sense, Tiger and Pi are interdependent supporters. In order to survive, they have reached a special recognition of each other. In the tiger's eyes, Pi is just another kind of animal. In the eyes of Pi, Richard Parker is a unique being with a of human compassion. The "mirror" that Tigers and Pi can reflect on each other is the both nature represented by the sea, and god that transcends nature and humanity.

 

While the second story seems closer to the truth, people who have faith never doubt or need proof. The truth is rather irrelevant in this story. It is important whether people are willing to follow divinity and whether the heart can find its destination and mission. The innocence and desire of human beings are both part of their nature. Although science and religion seem to be conflicting themes, Martel expresses the unification and coexistence of the two through the survival story of Pi and Richard Parker. Without either of the two, Pi would not have survived the shipwreck. As the number that represents the radio of a circle, which is a harmonic shape in nature, the name of the protagonist may reflect Martel’s belief in the balance and coexistence between science and religion as well.


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