By Kaitlyn Donato, WHS Student
Everyone has their favorite novel. The pages are torn, the paper is yellow, and the paragraphs are lined with notes. Although they love this story, other readers might not. So how can people feel so differently? Or truly understand the essence of a masterpiece? After reading my favorite novel, Life of Pi by Yann Martel, I have found that contradictory opinions cause passion, debate, and tension among literary critics. To settle such disagreements, I have developed my own short review:
Life of Pi centers around its titular character, Pi Patel. When Pi is only sixteen years old, his family perishes in a shipwreck, and the boy remains lost at sea for months. He overcomes countless obstacles to complete his journey, such as feeding the lifeboat’s sole other occupant— a frightening Bengal tiger, also known as Richard Parker— and caring for his own needs. Life of Pi is particularly powerful due to its theme of constant isolation; a displeasure we all feel to a lesser degree today, considering the quarantine and social distancing. The protagonist displays incredible strength in a time of great tragedy. He misses the company of his deceased family, but continues to survive on determination and survival instincts alone. It is engaging to watch him grow as a person, a philosopher, and a storyteller.
Life of Pi fascinates me from both a character and plot perspective. However, a book is different to every reader. When one person is inspired, another feels bored. When one person is satisfied, another feels frustrated. I have rated Life of Pi through my own lens. While I may love it, I encourage everyone to read the novel for themselves, assess the plot and characters, and personally reflect upon their readings.