Life of Pi by yann martel - interpretations of the book

Essay by ezrafitch1990High School, 12th grade April 2008

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Life of Pi by Yann Martel, is definitely a unique book that crosses the boundaries in many areas. It can be interpreted in so many ways, that going into the categories of literal and figurative have many different interpretations. The book can be interpreted literally as the life of Pi, and his experiences. These experiences that Pi face are highly questioned in their possibility to happen to real life people, but can still be interpreted literally as a fiction novel. Going into the field of interpreting this novel figuratively, opens up to numerous possibilities, and almost any meaning can be justified, as long as there’s substantial evidence. One interpretation of this figurative side can be the allegory of the cave. The tiger in the boat is a restraint on Pi’s available actions, and he must limit his life with actions since he is afraid of the tiger. This tiger symbolizes the shackles in the allegory of the cave, the tools of which to hold one back, yet can be justified as being the voices as well.

The tiger can be the voices in the way that he knows of only the tiger and it molds his life choices, as in the allegory of the cave, where the voices mold the people’s heads and their life is based upon what they hear. There are so many meanings that can be interpreted from this book that connect to real life, and any possible answer can be justified, no matter how abstract. The tiger can represent the fear in our everyday lives, in which we are restrained and limited by our fears, or it can be the government, our parents, or any other authorities of which hold us back by enstating restrictions on our lives of what we can or cannot do. The reason why Life of Pi is such an intereting writing piece, is the fact that any interpretation of the book is not a wrong interpretation, just needs proper justification.