Aesthetic Theory in Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Essay by ryan_degenHigh School, 11th gradeA-, May 2008

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Literary theories are very important in the study of literature. These theories are constantly being studied, analyzed and taught. Literary theories show patterns and themes that tend to repeat themselves in every type of literary work. One of these theories is the theory of Aesthetics. This theory tries to explain more than just external beauty. This theory goes into the heart of the work - the text itself. Aesthetics is how the text is set up, the way words link together. It is more than what the text says, it is how the text says it. In literature the theory of Aesthetics is shown through metaphor, imagery and poetic language. In the novel, Life of Pi - the qualities of aesthetics are shown constantly and predominantly in Pi's incredible journey of life.

Imagery is an important aspect of Aesthetics. When things are described with detail that gives the reader a vivid picture, the beauty and the aesthetics of the book increases.

"Image…comes to be considered as the most prominent dimension of the style." (Frye 196). This quote is saying imagery is the most dominant in the distinction of aesthetics. It builds the style and character of the writing. The tool of imagery is often used in Yann Martel's Life of Pi.

Martel describes many things in great detail. The main character Pi sees interesting and unimaginable things on his journey. Although the reader has never seen these things for himself, the description is so intense that an image is created in the reader's mind. "The moon was a sharply defined crescent and the sky was perfectly clear. The stars shone such a fierce, contained brilliance… the sea lay quietly, bathed in a shy, light-footed light, a dancing play of black and silver that extended without limits all about me."...