Explain Life of Pi Active Reading Journal?

Read/reread the Author’s Note and Chapter 1 of Life of Pi, and notice how the writer positions the reader in relation to the story through the use of narrative voice.

The chart has 3 columns: Cues: Credibility of the Narrator. Lines (Quotes), Reflections/Reactions, Conclusion: Do these lines enhance or detract from the credibility of the narrative voice?

Could someone please explain what to do and what goes in each column? I just don't understand the last one

4 Answers

    Lv 7
    6 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Though just six pages long, the Author’s Note clues us into the book’s origins even as it blurs the boundary between fact and fiction. The note claims the text is nonfiction, placing this book squarely in the tradition of picaresque novels like Don Quixote, which masquerade as fact even though they are obviously works of imagination. In picaresque novels, the harsh realities of life—poverty, illness, and so on—are subject to wry, ironic, and even humorous treatment. In Life of Pi, Martel uses his narrator to make serious commentary on everything from religion to politics, and the mock-journalistic introduction emphasizes the intersection of fact and fiction in his literary world.

    The Author’s Note blends facts and fictions about Yann Martel’s own inspiration for the book to illustrate the central theme of the book: storytelling. Martel really had written two not-so-successful books before this one and inspiration had struck him during a visit to India. But did he really meet Francis Adirubasamy in a coffee shop, and does Pi Patel really exist? The answer is no. On one level, Martel is just doing what fiction writers do: creating an imaginary scenario to delight and entice his readers. But on another level, these opening six pages deftly lay the foundation for the novel’s central theme, which is that storytelling is a way to get around telling the boring or upsetting or uninteresting truth. Martel doesn’t want to say that this novel was created by painstakingly researching zoos and religions and oceanic survival guides, getting up early every morning, and writing for several hours a day. Such an explanation would poke a hole in the balloon of fantasy that Pi’s account inflates over the course of the next three hundred pages; so, instead, he invents a different origin story.

    The Author’s Note is balanced structurally by Part Three, another short section that is also concerned with creating the impression that this entire book is a work of nonfiction. These bookends do not really fool the reader, of course, but they give us the ability to suspend our disbelief and invest ourselves more fully in the story we are about to read.



  • 3 years ago

    Life Of Pi Chapter 1

  • ℑℑ
    Lv 7
    6 years ago

    Credibility of the Narrator - why is the (s)he credible?

    Lines(Quotes) - You are just taking specific evidence from the story

    Reflections/Reactions - this is what YOU think of the quote.

    You could always talk with your teacher about this on what (s)he wants you to do with each column. Next time, if you have questions on something, be sure to ask the teacher as soon as you get it.

  • 4 years ago

    Humans tell stories to help understand the world around us, but we also tell ourselves stories to help us cope with the brutalities and outrageous vagaries of life. These are powerful elements in our culture and psyche, so 'Pi' could be viewed as an exploration of that human characteristic - i.e. WHY people choose to believe fantastical stories - rather than an affirmation of the "belief in God" itself. As an atheist that's how I understood and enjoyed the book. It happens I read 'Pi' shortly after its first publication, before it all the overblown praise and pseudo-philosophical / ontological flummery attached itself. I thought it was an intelligent, well-written piece of storytelling, but some of its popularity came from people used it to validate and reaffirm their beliefs. Now the hype around the film has put all that hokum into overdrive. For me, religions are the political exploitation of human doubts and fears, although I acknowledge their rituals and cultural structures can also help to channel a lot of positive emotions - love, compassion and community. At heart, however, religious leaders cannot countenance the vacuum at the core of their credo, so latch on to any fad / event / intellectual endeavour that may help them cling to their contradictions and/or shore up their power base. Most truly believe what they're saying (probably); it's just another display of that human ability that Orwell called "doublethink". Anyway, I agree with you the central theme of the book is wilfully misread by "believers", but it doesn't necessarily follow that Yann Martel was cynical. I admit I haven't read any of his other work, or (because of all the hype) any interviews or such but, whatever the case, people will make their own interpretations regardless of an author's intention. I may be wrong in mine. What do you think? (P.S. Just spotted you'd asked this in 'Religion & Spirituality', so I thought I'd paste in my answer from the 'Philosophy' section. My feeling is the same regardless of where the question is placed, but might be more controversial in this category.)

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.