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The nature of religious belief as seen in the Life of Pi

The nature of religious belief as seen in the Life of Pi

  • Submitted By: arunan12
  • Date Submitted: 05/05/2013 5:18 PM
  • Category: Religion
  • Words: 1268
  • Page: 6
  • Views: 188

The nature of religious belief as seen in the Life of Pi
Ever since mankind began to wonder about the meaning of life and the reason for life and death, there have been countless explanations and beliefs that evolved into religions. Different experiences with the environment and society have led to very different expressions of religion. Yet, beneath the surface of formal religious practices, there remains some essence of religious experience that remains common to all religions. In the novel, Life of Pi, Yann Martel features a young sixteen year old boy, Pi Patel, who has decided to worship in three different religions. By following the experiences of Pi when he is stranded for over half a year on a life raft on the Pacific Ocean, Martel reveals the very nature of religious belief stripped of its institutionalization. In its purer form that Pi discovers during his ordeal, religion gives a person the ability to see the beauty of God’s creation, it gives a person a sense of their place in the universe and it provides hope for survival.
Throughout his struggle to survive on the lifeboat, Pi Patel is always impressed by the beauty of God`s creation and this is often what gives him the strength to continue his struggle to survive. When Pi first finds himself stranded, he is given hope of God`s presence when he sees Orange Juice, the orangutan. He recalls, “She came floating on an island of bananas in a halo of light, as lovely as the Virgin Mary. The rising sun was behind her. Her flaming hair looked stunning” (Martel 123). This biblical allusion to the Virgin Mary shows that just the sight of the orangutan has provided motivation for Pi to keep believing in God. In fact, Orange Juice symbolizes hope, survival, and rescue. If an orangutan could survive the sinking of a ship by floating on a bunch of bananas, then perhaps there was hope that a person could survive with God’s support. Throughout the novel, the vivid visual imagery depicts the beauty that Pi sees in...

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