Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Life of Pi - Yann Martell (2001)

This book shares the adventure of Pi, a sixteen year-old Indian boy. He is a son of zoo owner living in Pondischerry, India. In the prolog, it is told that Pi is practicing Islam, Christian, and Hindu alltogether. Because of some things, he and his family decides to move to Canada together with all animals they have. His father plans to sell them all in North America.

Unfortunately, the cargo-ship Tsimtsum they are on sinks in a storm and miraculously, Pi is alive, floating on a lifeboat. He is not alone as a hyena, an orangutan, a broken-legged zebra, and a royal bengal tiger are there on the boat. All herbivores are killed by the hyena and lastly the tiger named Richard Parker killed the hyena, leaving him and Pi the last two survivors on the boat.

Pi manages to survive from his own hunger, weather, the sea, sadness from losing all his family, and threats from a big cat he is together with. He firstly plans to get rid of Richard Parker just then he finds out that he will be much more hopeless and lonelier if Richard Parker dies.  He realizes Richard Parker is more as a companion rather than a threat, he is a fellow friend with the same fate. So, he gives fresh water and bigger parts of fish he catches to him. They survived together. Pi uses circus coach and zookeeper methods to train Richard Parker to obey him and he succeeds. Both of them pass all the sunburn, the cold night, heavy storm together till they comes to a Mexico beach, after 227 days floating on the sea. Sadly, they finally separates as Richard Parker jumps over tired Pi, walking alone and lost in the wood.

The epilogue tells the story of an interview held by Japanese maritim people to Pi but they finds his story about the tiger and the lifeboat is too exaggerating and does not make sense. So, Pi told another same story but without animals. Neither of them can be proven but the same fact is that Tsimtsum has sunk and the only human survivor is Pi, and the 227 days beetwen the sinking and his arrival on the land, he has suffered so much. Which story you'd like to trust? It's the same as God. Every religion offers different -hard to proove and logically believed- story, and it's all our choice to choose one. Whether one wants to choose or not, the fact is there, the earth and all entities on it, they are too real and massive to deny.

The book is quite interesting, about the boy who survives. The explanation is detail and easy to read, it's fascinating the way Pi creates a raft to keep a distance from Richard Parker, his willing to survive spirit, looking for food, catching dorado, flying fish, sea turtle, even shark for himself and to feed Richard Parker. The extreme weather they have to deal with, and it is saddening the part when both Richard Parker and him get blind. Both of them has been so weak and Pi is almost desperate that time, but both of them manages to survive.

Before coming to Mexico beach, they come to a carnivorous island, a place where they spent for days. Richard Parker gets countless meerkats for his feast and Pi has sweet algae and meerkats. However after Pi finds out that this peaceful place actually consumes, he finally decides to flee.

Rather than God, I personally think this book tell more about faith. I adore Pi's living spirit. He has lost his family and he is floating nowhere in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, lack of foods and clothes, and he is always under the pressure of the existension of a royal bengal tiger in the same lifeboat. He is actually fully hopeless. But he survives, he tries to survives. He is a vegetarian, yet he learns to kill and eats fish. He is sad and lonely, yet he still looks for food for himself and for his big cat as well. Struggling without even knowung what may happen next. It's one biggest fiction faith I've heard of.

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