Hend's Reviews > Life of Pi

Life of Pi by Yann Martel
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Sep 11, 12

bookshelves: 1001-books-you-must-read-before-you, 52, canadian-literature, fantasy, favorite-novels, unique-novels
Recommended to Hend by: Megan
Read from September 07 to 11, 2012



"If we, citizens, do not support our artists,
then we sacrifice our imagination on the altar of crude reality and we end up believing in nothing
and having worthless dreams."

Life of pi is the story of survival in the face of death ,and the struggle to live And the transition from modern civilization to the more primitive existence on the open ocean in a boat.

It is a madness that has the power that could make a normal human with decent and basic moral become a cannibalistic slaughterer. and how, a vegetarian could kill animal and eat raw meat.

“All living things contain a measure of madness that moves them in strange, sometimes inexplicable ways. This madness can be saving; it is part and parcel of the ability to adapt. Without it, no species would survive.”

Pi's father put a living goat into the tiger's cage which did not eat in days, and pi witnessed the tiger eat the goat alive.
He didn’t know that this is the fate that was waiting for him And that his brother words would come true and he would be the next goat And that he would experience his deepest, horrible and terrifying
fear.

Reading this book with its continuous relating and humanization of animals acts ,remind me of a story that I have read

a famous and tragic accident ,remind me of a story that I have read it happened in 1972 at Cairo circus.

The story began in front of a crowd of spectators in the circus when a lion tamer turned his back to the lions
To receive a well-deserved applause for the perfect and successful performance.

in a brief moment a lion jumped on his shoulder and attacked him by his claws and teeth
the coach fell to the ground bleeding and it was too late to save him he died in the hospital in a few days ,what the lion did later was really strange.

the lion was involved in a case of depression and refused food and the circus manager decided to transfer him to the zoo as this lion is not suitable for training in the circus
any more
the lion continued on a hunger strike, they get him a lioness
but he cruelly beat and expelled her
he continues his isolation and depression and psychotic insanity, finally he went on biting his body ,his tail and hand especially (the hand he put on his trainer)
and started eating them in the wild, and raged manner ,he eventually bled and died,.
the behavior of this lion, who committed suicide is very unique
to this much he can understand and feel the responsibility of his act??!!
And repent for his betrayal
I cant call this action a"human action"As this is more noble

animals only kill out of protection or out of necessity. Humans, on the other hand, kill for greed, insanity ,or for
ethnic or racial, religious
purposes
this is why
I just want to believe the story with the animals.

A similar theme was discussed in an old Arabic book of Ikhwan as-Safa or the Brethren of Purity,where a trial for human race was held by animals .

"This was the terrible cost of Richard Parker. He gave me a life, my own, but at the expense of taking one. He ripped the flesh off the man's frame and cracked his bones. The smell of blood filled my nose. Something in me died then that has never come back to life."

One of the darkest moments
And I think the temporary blindness was a strong symbolism for blindness of his heart And loss of insight Which is Worse than the blindness of eyes And his silence about the unjust cruel Crime that is done in front of him.

Richard Parker didn’t give pi a “proper farewell” as Richard didn’t feel pi ’s love
he was always running scared of him in fear that he may eat him.

you cant fear AND love someone at the same time, if u love someone your fear would be you loose this love.

" fear. It is life's only true opponent. Only fear can defeat life. It is a clever,
treacherous adversary, how well I know. It has no decency, respects no law or convention, shows
no mercy. It goes for your weakest spot, which it finds with unerring ease. It begins in your mind,
always. One moment you are feeling calm, self-possessed, happy. Then fear, disguised in the garb
of mild-mannered doubt, slips into your mind like a spy. Doubt meets disbelief and disbelief tries to
push it out. But disbelief is a poorly armed foot soldier. Doubt does away with it with little trouble."

In order to save yourself from the enemy u should understand how his mind works. and this is when pi could interact with the tiger, when he could get into the tiger's mind.

and the exhausting opposites

" The worst pair of opposites is boredom and terror."

" Misery loves company, and madness calls it forth"

The inherent Conflict between good and evil and the algae island.

Tree used to be a symbol of the Universal Man

Here Martell is blending two stories an Islamic and a Christian one.


From My understanding to the Islamic point of view , the forbidden tree was, the sexual act, not the tree of knowledge.

The tree of knowledge is the lote tree which is the most sacred place and it is an Islamic metaphor concerning the uppermost boundary in knowledge a human being can possess .
He is referring to spiritual experience of prophet Muhammad’s ascension, where he crosses the border of the domain of God. as an immense blessing and reward after a period of severe hardship and tribulations And Years of Sadness.

So he was symbolizing for pi hard journey that ended in the island.

the Tree of Death and black fruit, This tree represents the tree of knowledge in the Garden of Eden story. the teeth was the warning of what would happen to him if he would stay on the island

In pi's path to find his own peace and love to God he adopted Hinduism,
Christianity and Islam all together and practicing all the rituals of the three religions.
In his hybrid faith he tried to unite the three together. if one man could love all the three religions and if rhinoceros and goats, snake and mice could lead a peaceful life.
Then why people of different religious faith couldn't coexist easily and efficiently with each other?

Why couldn’t they stop fighting and killing each other over religious beliefs?













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Reading Progress

09/07/2012 page 74
20.0% "what is Animalus anthropomorphicus?" 1 comment
09/07/2012 page 131
36.0% 3 comments
09/09/2012 page 226
63.0% 4 comments
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Comments (showing 1-21 of 21) (21 new)

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message 1: by Mony (new) - added it

Mony Dojeiji I've added this book to my list, Hend. I've heard many great things about this book, and look forward to reading it!


Hend yeah,i am enjoying reading it,and i think u would like it Mony :)
Religion and spirituality lie at the heart of this book,it is a mystical journey of multifaith exploration.


message 3: by Mony (new) - added it

Mony Dojeiji Hend wrote: "yeah,i am enjoying reading it,and i think u would like it Mony :)
Religion and spirituality lie at the heart of this book,it is a mystical journey of multifaith exploration."

Then for sure I'm going to enjoy it! Thanks Hend. Have a great day :-)


Hend Mony wrote: "Then for sure I'm going to enjoy it! Thanks Hend. Have a great day :-) "

U are welcome Mony :-)
have a great day, too :-)



Megan Great review Hend! I'm really glad you enjoyed it!


Hend Thanks Megan!:)
It is a marvelous novel.


message 7: by s.penkevich (last edited Sep 12, 2012 05:03AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

s.penkevich Love the review Hend, so glad you liked this one! What a fascinating story about the lion, I really like how you connected that to the 'story about the animals'. It really does show how selfish and corrupt the human soul can be doesn't it? Your lion story almost reminds me of an animal version of Crime and Punishment haha, his inner guilt got the best of him. Good point about the tree too. I wish I had a better understanding of Islam, (thank you for always teaching me so much!) but I totally didn't catch that idea of the eden tree, and I think that is really cool and spot on.

'you cant fear AND love someone at the same time, if u love someone your fear would be you loose this love', wonderful statement, and so true.

Wonderful review, and a wonderful statement for peace, love and understanding!


message 8: by Hend (last edited Sep 12, 2012 07:05AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Hend s.penkevich wrote: "Love the review Hend, so glad you liked this one! What a fascinating story about the lion, I really like how you connected that to the 'story about the animals'. It really does show how selfish and..."

Steve!
thanks a lot for all your sweet and kind compliments,u are the one who teaches me.
i didn't get notified by your comment,sorry for the delay:)

I wanted to read crime and punishment ,i have a lot of books that u have recommended it to me:)

the part about trees
there are two stories about trees in islam
one which is the tree of Eden and the other is a tree related to prophet Muhammad.

it was not clear for me,first when he mentioned
lote tree was he referring to the end of pi journey and he would meet God and being taught all the knowledge by God as prophet Muhammad?

the lote tree story was named Isra and Mi'raj it was a Night Journey that, the prophet Muhammad took during a single night around the year 621. It has been described as both a physical and spiritual journey.at the end he went to the lote tree which is a metaphor for God presence.after years of sadness and suffering it was a consolidation.

so first i thought this how pi story end,but Martel surprised me by not reffering to that tree any more and that this was a temporarely residence,so this story cant be applied,what he meant be coming across it?
i don't know may be just a symbolism for that he would be saved .

as the rest of what happened show that it is the story of Eden,so i thought then is it the Islamic tree of Eden?

in the Islamic story the forbidden tree wasn't the tree of knowledge,the forbidden is the sexual acts,and during the story of pi Martel didn't came across any sexual relations that pi had.

so again it is not the Islamic tree of Eden.

then what was left ,was the christian tree of Eden.
the tree of knowledge.

this is why i thought he was blending the stories in the same way he get pi a hybrid faith.


message 9: by HuhWhat (new)

HuhWhat Lovely review, Hend. It was very informative. I've seen this book on the shelves since donkeys years but never really picked it up. Will have to give it a go someday soon :)


message 10: by s.penkevich (last edited Sep 12, 2012 07:21AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

s.penkevich Oh, wow, I had not heard of the lote tree. I guess the island was a bit of an eden, but he was cast out by its deadly nature, so perhaps it is a blending. The tooth could be like the forbidden fruit in that way, maybe as in the christian version with the tooth showing the knowledge that life has pain and death and he can't just remain in this 'eden' of sorts? That was my initial take on it, but once the ending 'no animals story' was told I took it differently and forgot all about the religious symbolism. Maybe it is a symbol of (view spoiler)


message 11: by Hend (new) - rated it 4 stars

Hend Simran wrote: "Lovely review, Hend. It was very informative. I've seen this book on the shelves since donkeys years but never really picked it up. Will have to give it a go someday soon :)"

Thanks Simran :):)


message 12: by Hend (last edited Sep 12, 2012 07:33AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Hend s.penkevich wrote: "Oh, wow, I had not heard of the lote tree. I guess the island was a bit of an eden, but he was cast out by its deadly nature, so perhaps it is a blending. The tooth could be like the forbidden frui..."

u are right,may be,he was referring to every thing that is good and changed to reveal its evil side,like day and night in the island.
and on the other side the cook and the Hyena
and between them the zebra ho wait for his death without struggling to survive.
and the huge difference between them,and both light and dark that is inside every human being,and he is one who choose.
like pi mother and orangutan that give u hope,that still there are persons who give u hope that the world could be a better place.


message 13: by Jeffrey (new)

Jeffrey Keeten Hend I've been scratching my head over the divisiveness of religion my whole life. They have so much more in common than what they disagree about and yet they insist on focusing on their differences to the detriment of the world. Nice review Hend!


message 14: by Hend (last edited Sep 14, 2012 06:38AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Hend Jeffrey wrote: "Hend I've been scratching my head over the divisiveness of religion my whole life. They have so much more in common than what they disagree about and yet they insist on focusing on their difference..."

Hello Jeffrey,thank u for your kind words and pls accept my condolences for the death of the US Ambassador,in Libya.

religions supposed to teach us all to be tolerant,kind and merciful.
to be human!
all that illogical, irrational and impossible nonsense really grieved and upset me.
:(


message 15: by Mony (new) - added it

Mony Dojeiji Well said, Jeffrey and Hend! I very much agree. The essential teaching of each religion is to bring us closer to the Divine (God, Allah, Jesus, the Universe, etc...the label doesn't matter) - not divide us.

I think all I can do is develop those qualities (peace, compassion, acceptance) within me and share that with others. Like dropping a pebble in a pond, the ripple effects extend in ways we can't possibly imagine.

Thanks again foe the insightful review, Hend.
Mony


message 16: by Hend (new) - rated it 4 stars

Hend Mony wrote: "Well said, Jeffrey and Hend! I very much agree. The essential teaching of each religion is to bring us closer to the Divine (God, Allah, Jesus, the Universe, etc...the label doesn't matter) - not d..."

Thank u Mony!
I am reading your book it is amazing,i kept picking amazing quotes.
it is best time to read it.

this quote i loved!!

"whether one believed in God, Allah, the Universe, the Creator, or nothing at all, was
irrelevant so long as one’s actions demonstrated the universal beliefs of peace and
brotherhood"


message 17: by Mony (new) - added it

Mony Dojeiji Glad you're enjoying it, Hend! :-)

What unites us is Love, and it is by Its hand that I choose to live my life... as naive as others may think that is.

Salam,
Mony


Shovelmonkey1 If you want to read more cannabalism in boats books then try Jamrach's Menagerie


message 19: by Hend (new) - rated it 4 stars

Hend Shovelmonkey1 wrote: "If you want to read more cannabalism in boats books then try Jamrach's Menagerie"

Thanks :):)


message 20: by Doaa (new) - rated it 4 stars

Doaa great opinion


message 21: by Hend (new) - rated it 4 stars

Hend thank u so much dear


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