LIFE OF PI - elwoodenglish12

Report
Section A:
Text Response
 Respond
to this section second, after
Section C
 Read and digest the topics VERY carefully,
be aware of the FOCUS of the questions
and what TYPE of questions they are
 Your response should NOT be under 2
pages. Aim for 3-4 pages
 Demonstrates
a close and perceptive reading
of the text, exploring complexities of its
concepts and construction.
 Demonstrates an understanding of the
implications of the topic, using an
appropriate strategy for dealing with it, and
exploring its complexity from the basis of the
text.
 Develops a cogent, controlled and wellsubstantiated discussion using precise and
expressive language.
CHARACTER
THEMES/IDEAS
VALUES
SETTING
STRUCTURE
 QUOTE
– you do not have to repeat the
quote in your response, but you MUST
acknowledge its meaning and context
 TO WHAT EXTENT DO YOU AGREE? – Do
not be tempted to include yourself or
become argumentative. Don’t sit on the
fence but also allow yourself to discuss
multiple interpretations
 HOW
DOES THE AUTHOR – Asking you to
reference the construction of the text, to
use the novel’s conventions and author’s
style as the basis of your discussion.
 DISCUSS – Present the most sophisticated
ideas in a discursive fashion
Be
argumentative
Be judgmental
Be complimentary to the
author
Ignore parts of the topic
Retell the plot
Try and use everything you
know
 How
does Martel, in his text ‘Life of Pi’,
suggest that a ‘better story’ is more
important than the truth?
 FOCUS
= Values (with themes of
storytelling and reality)
 TYPE = ‘How does the author’ and Quote
 Richard
Parker is essential to Pi’s survival.
Discuss.
 FOCUS
= Character (with ideas of survival)
 TYPE = Discuss
 “We
believe what we see.” To what extent
is sensory belief questioned in ‘Life of Pi’?
 FOCUS
– Themes/Ideas (belief, religion,
storytelling, science)
 TYPE – ‘To what extent’ and Quote
 Identify
FOCUS and TYPE of topic
 Identify key terms in topic
 Brainstorm the MOST sophisticated ideas,
not necessarily the most rehearsed or
easiest
 Determine paragraph ideas
 Link Quotes, Values and Structural
Features to your ideas
 Pi
survives because of his faith; his faith
gives him the ability to have hope.
 However, Pi’s ability to have faith in
multiple religions (something quite out of
the ordinary) is questioned at the
beginning by those who hold faith in only
one religion.
 It is possible that Pi survives his time at sea
because of his ability to have faith in all
possibilities (where others don’t).
 Pi,
and in essence, Martel, points out (via
discussions about agnostics) that it is
important to believe in something; to have
faith in one’s convictions.
 The reader is not forced to believe Pi’s tale
of survival – but by the end are asked to
question their own ideas on what is
possible
 While the text is designed to ‘make you
believe in God’, it is also implied that God
is everywhere and especially in miraculous
events and undiscovered territory.
 The
text is carefully crafted to stimulate the
reader’s belief in the characters and the
events that take place.
 Okamoto and Chiba are the reader’s
‘reality check’ – however they are painted
as foolish, bumbling and unspiritual. Here
though, the reader is not judged for
believing Pi’s tale or not – but they are
asked to acknowledge the possibility of
things beyond their realm of belief.
 Pi’s
prayers help create routine – and as a
scientist he believes in the logic of order
 While it is possible that RP represents fear,
it is also possible that he represents a God
 Pi’s love of storytelling stems from his
passion for religion. If Pi’s alternate story,
where he is RP, is the true version of
events, then his ability to create such a
protective and wild fantasy is a result of
his religious beliefs.
 Pi
believes in ‘the harmony of order’.
 He is a scientist and was brought up to
believe in behavioural science, both of
animals and humans
 His name is symbolic of the irregular
relationship he has with religion and
science, as well as the endless possibilities
for both
 He survives by routine, lists, manuals and
plans
Pi details how religion and zoos are no longer
in people’s ‘good graces’ – both are
misunderstood as places of captivity
 He also believes, scientifically, that man is the
‘most dangerous’ animal; that while animals
can be instinctively dangerous, man can be
purposely cruel.
 Although Pi knows the rules of
anthropomorphism, he is still disappointed
when RP leaves him so ‘unceremoniously’.
 Both disciplines that Pi end up studying in
Toronto, Zoology and Religion, are concerned
with mystery and wonder.

 RP’s
interaction with Pi is one of biological
necessity
 Their co-dependence brings Pi a sense of
‘wholeness’
 RP’s name gives the illusion of humanity
(and elements of humour to the
construction of the text)
 Pi mourns RP as not only one who ‘saved’
him, but also as the last link to his former
life and family
 If
the alternative story is the true version,
then RP is Pi’s created alter-ego.
 RP, represents all the ugly parts of Pi’s
survival. He commits murder, cannibalism,
and breaks religious convictions, on Pi’s
behalf.
 He makes himself into a Bengal Tiger, the
most ferocious animal in the zoo.
 Once he hits dry land, he no longer needs
to hide behind RP – and this side of Pi is
never seen again.
The three sections and exactly 100 chapters
reflect Pi’s belief in order
 The ‘author’s note’ as a deceptive tool – uses
thank yous and confessions as credibility
 Humour as a celebration of life and all it’s
avenues, possibilities and characters
 Pi’s time in Pondicherry spoon-feeds the
reader ‘facts’ to make his survival more
believable. Eg, focus on swimming, lessons
about alpha-male behaviour and territory
 Pi’s voice has a matter-of-fact quality that
contrasts sharply with the tale he is relating

 Good
stories stretch a reader’s ability to
suspend disbelief
 Stories are adapted to suit their context;
you can take from them whatever
meaning you wish
 Language, particularly words, are
important in the storytelling process. They
can be chosen for their meaning (‘Pi’), their
nuance (‘Richard Parker’) or their sonic
effect (‘figment’, ‘fig’).
 It
is important to believe in something
 Belief and Reason are more closely related
than most believe
 Science and Religion have more in common
than people think – it is the dialogue, the
words, the semantics, that surround them
that make them seem so different.
 No one can survive alone
 Faith is ‘an opening up, a letting go, a deep
trust, a free act of love’
Life is important to fight for
 One would be foolish to only believe in what
they can see
 The small things, the smells in a house, or the
colours of the ocean, are beautiful, miraculous
and shouldn’t be missed
 Humans are the most dangerous creature yet
discovered
 Sometimes the ‘better story’ is more
important than the truth
 Pi and the author’s ‘hunger’ is for meaning;
stressing the importance of looking for more
to believe in, having a thirst for life (as
opposed to ‘dry, yeastless factuality’)

Anything
is possible

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