“Life of Pi”—a story about how you see the world

“To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation.”   by Yann Martel, Life of Pi


Too much has been talked about this book, especially after Ang Lee won his second best director Oscar Award. Too many interpretations, which curiously suddenly appear in Douban.com (a Chinese version of GoodRead+IMDB), have been raised about its “true” implication. People says how you understand a book/movie, depends greatly on your own current experience and knowledge, and it reflects how you see the world to a large extent. I believe this is especially true regarding the understanding of Life of Pi. To take this book in a very personal perspective, I read it as, apart from its engaging plots and delicate language that no one would undervalue, a story on how people see the world.

“This is a story that will make you believe in God” the author and Pi put it quite straightforwardly in a very early stage of this book. Maybe Life of Pi is not necessarily a persuasion to the belief of God, but it is at least an invitation to take a serious consideration about God’s role in our lives. As no one knows what happened to this unfortunate Indian boy during his 227 days adrift in Pacific Ocean, neither does anyone truly know what happened and is happening around himself/herself. They all depend on how we see it and how we narrate the story. If life is a story, we then have two basic choices. We can limit ourselves only to what we can know for sure – that is, to “dry, yeastless factuality” – or we can choose “the better story”.

Even we choose the more lovely but seemingly less likely story, surely people may still reasonably varies from each other on in what sense a story is “lovely”. It could be romantic, adventurous, or, as the book seems to prefer, religious.

I somehow recalled an anecdote when I was at Yale for a summer program. One day I went to a church for the first time in my life. I thought I was quite open-minded to religious belief, but one thing really bothered me was that if God is the one who decide, then what’s left for the role and meaning for an extremely average human being like me. It was the time when everything was going truly well for me, and I was so confident, actually arrogant in some sense, to believe nothing could and should limit people’s possibility. So, I declined God as a high esteemed man then. In the exactly same sense, this is also why I have been receiving great relief and assurance from reading the Bible and pray these days when I began to realize my arrogance towards life.

I feel heartedly blessed to encounter this book at this stage of my life, to take a serious consideration again on how to narrate my story of LIFE.

How do you take this story?


5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by 匿名 on 2013年05月4日 at 2:30 上午

    “It’s amazing how willpower can build walls.” “I did not count the days or the weeks or the months. Time is an illusion that only makes us pant. I survived because I forgot even the very notion of time.”
    ― Yann Martel無意間看過這電影,很耐人尋味的故事啊…



  2. Err…excuse me, for this sentence copied from your article, “To take this book in a very personal perspective, I read it as, apart from its engaging plots and delicate language that no one would undervalue, a story on how people see the world.” I don’t quite understand the grammar…of your sentence in the very beginning. Why is it “To take …”, instead of “Taking …” …please give me some directions~



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