Belief in God in Life of Pi by Yann Martel

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Chapters twenty-one and twenty-two are short, yet they explain many themes that are discussed throughout the story. In the novel Life of Pi, the authour, Yann Martel shows how essential chapters, twenty-one and twenty-two are some themes in the novel. Belief in God, science and religion, and storytelling are explored throughout the book but first introduced in these chapters.

Belief in God is one of the major themes in Life of Pi. It is an important theme because it really defines Pi’s personality and the reasons behind his thinking and decisions are that made. In chapter twenty-one, the authour says “a trusting sense of presence and of ultimate purpose” (Martel, 70). We know he is talking about God because he mentions it earlier. Chapter twenty-two is an interesting one. Here Pi describes what he thinks the last words of an atheist would be versus the last words of an agnostic. Pi shows his belief and love of God constantly in the novel. Pi mentions to the three wise men that all he wants to do is “love God”. Pi respects the beliefs of Atheists, assumes the atheist’s sort of belief is one in God, without realizing it until the end. Agnosticism, however, really annoys Pi. The decision to doubt, to lack belief in anything is to him, unpardonable.

Science and religion play a very big role in the novel. However, in these two chapters, science and religion play a smaller, yet still important, role. Science and religion is an important theme in the novel because these two subjects specifically helped Pi during his time on the lifeboat and shaped his future when he double-majored at the University of Toronto. Religion was important to him from a young age. His interests in science came from his biology teacher, who is an atheist. The theme of the connection between science and religion also is related to Pi’s respect for atheists, because he sees that they worship science as he worships God, which he believes is not so very different.

Although only mentioned twice in these two chapters, storytelling is a prominent theme in Life of Pi. Chapter twenty-one is when the phrase “The better story” is read for the first time. We later hear this phrase repeatedly used by Pi and the authour throughout the novel. In chapter twenty-two, Pi says “-and miss the better story” (Martel, 70). This theme is significant because it proves that Pi’s story, is just a story. There are many times this theme is highlighted, such as “The story.” (Martel, 324), which is all that is said in chapter ninety-seven. Martel is drawing attention to the fact that this whole story, from the authors note, to Pi’s survival at sea is all just a work of fiction. This is not done because Martel wants the reader to look at the book with doubt and disbelief, it is because he wants the reader to choose to believe in the book, just as how one can choose to believe in God because it is favoured over not believing, it is the “better story”.

Belief in God, science and religion, and storytelling are themes that are discussed in chapters twenty-one and twenty-two. Even though they are short, they pull the reader’s attention and are vital to the story.


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Belief in God in Life of Pi by Yann Martel. (2021, Jan 23). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/belief-in-god-in-life-of-pi-by-yann-martel/



How are belief in God and belief in a story paralleled in Life of Pi?
In Life of Pi, belief in God and belief in a story are paralleled through Pi's unwavering faith in both. Pi's belief in God and his story of survival on the lifeboat are intertwined, as he sees his journey as a test of his faith in God's plan for him.
How does PI story make you believe in God?
The story of PI makes me believe in God because it is a story of hope and faith. It is a story that shows how God can help us through the hardest times in our lives.
What does and so it goes with God mean in Life of Pi?
This phrase means that everything happens for a reason and that God has a plan for everything.
What is Martel saying about religion in Life of Pi?
God must be the cause of all things, since nothing can be the cause of itself. Therefore, as the First Cause, God must be simple, perfect, and infinite.
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