THE LIFE OF PI: A fight between a story and its narrative


Written by Ms. Pam Capacete for #GiveABookToday

Life of Pi is such an intriguing book. Its story and story telling battle each other. The story is quite hard to believe, but its narrative comes most belivably – turning things possible before everybody’s judgment. These two literary devices conflict each other; however, in the end, the story telling wins  and simply leaves awe of utmost belief.

“We believe what we see,” says Mr. Chiba
“I believe what I see,” repeats Pi.

And for me: I believe what I see.

Yes. We often only believe what we see, but we have to take note that it is not only through our eyes that we see. We also see through our minds, with the help of our sharp imaginations, and we also see through the words of others, through people’s story telling. The latter is the condition of Pi’s story. Yann Martel’s narrative is undeniably one that made readers see everything, hence making everything quite believable. Through his every word, his every detail, he turned Pi’s story into more than just the truth, but also the reality.

How precise, literal, and descriptive the details are in the telling of Pi’s story. It makes everything totally gripping and believable. Each chapter runs from being one of that could be suspicious to being completely authentic. Take for example chapter 92. It starts off hard to believe and even sounds insane and delusional. The trees, the sweet algae, the meerkats, the tooth, and the whole island appear all shams at first reading. But slowly drifting through the story, and processing all the elements of how it was told simply make everything genuine. The complexity of details presented make readers see precisely what’s in the story. The specific description of the weather condition, the time, the sight of the island, the feel of the ground and the water, and the taste of things all make us see. More so, the fine listing of Pi’s every movement from – opening his eyes before the sight of the island down to his discovery of the tooth – are so precise that you embrace a loving disbelief. The story telling takes us to the point of cringing out of disgust, rolling over out of hurt, or tearing down because of the “literal” narration of all things.

Life of Pi is purely told with real-life life honesty that leads everyone to seeing. Its exquisite story-telling made me see; hence, making it utterly belivable. Thus, its narrative wins the fight.

Tags : #giveabooktodayliterary criticismliterature
Orly S. Agawin

The author Orly S. Agawin

Orly has been writing for The Jellicle Blog since 2008. He is a training and development consultant by day and an art enthusiast by night. He lives in Parañaque with his mom.

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