Characters tend to drive a story. This is certainly clear in Yann Martel’s Life Of Pi, where we follow a young boy’s tale of survival, ascent into manhood, and moving past a traumatic event. Another story that seems to be made by its characters is “A Good Man is Hard to Find” by Flannery O’Connor, sporting a strong lead role in A close minded Grandmother thats set in her ways along with a downright insane villain in the form of The Misfit.
The most obvious characters that can be compared between these two stories are the Grandmother and Pi, and the easiest comparison that one could make between these two strong characters are their fanatical devotion to religion. Its clear that the ...view middle of the document...
He considers such things “gifts” from God. Pi even claims that a seemingly bad thing, like being stuck on a boat with a massive tiger, saved his life. he even goes so far as to say “ [Without Richard Parker, I wouldn’t be alive today to tell you my story.”
The grandmother in “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” however, is a relatively close minded one that led to her downfall. She failed to realize that not everyone has the capacity of mercy, especially not one who is a known convict, which should’ve been a little obvious. Though admirable, her close mindedness throughout her ordeal with the Misfit eventually led to her downfall, even though it seemed to be inescapable. Her insistence on going to Tennessee caused her family to take a detour to a plantation that she thought was on the way. The plantation, it turns out, was actually in Tennessee. She let out a cat in a cramped car, not thinking anything of it. Both of these stupid decisions caused the wreck which indirectly cost both her and her families lives. There is also a slight change in the Grandmother during the story. Near the beginning of the story, she seems to be looking like a respectable lady than actually being one. By the end, especially when she is being held at gunpoint, she realizes too late the importance of actually being a respectable person instead of just looking the part.
The families of both main characters seem to serve the purpose of setting up the story. Pi’s family owns a zoo and when their family sells it, it sets up the wreck of a boat and explains both Pi’s knowledge of animals, not to mention the reason why he ends up stuck on the lifeboat with Richard Parker. Much like “A Good Man is Hard to Find” Pi is within the vicinity, but does not actually witness, the death of the majority of his family. Depending on which story the reader is believed, Pi only witnesses her mother’s death at the most.
The Grandma’s family in the other story serves much the same role as Pi’s family. They set up the story as a whole and are driving points to the main character. Pi was raised in a zoo because thats what his family was like. without prior knowledge of animals, he wouldn’t of survived a week on a lifeboat with such deadly animals. Pi even recounts many of the story that led to his knowledge in the first part of the story, going into detail describing everything from the origin of Richard Parker to the ability to swim. In “A Good Man is Hard to Find” the family basically set up an opposite viewpoint to the Grandmother, exemplified by the generation gap between them. When she tells her stories about plantations and Edgar Atkins Teagarden, the children seem to have a somewhat hard time understanding. John Wesley and June Star seem to be stubborn to the very end, much like Ravi Patel is in Life of Pi. Even as John Wesley go into the forest to basically get shot, they remain stubborn as always.
Richard Parker in Life of Pi serves as the main antagonist throughout the second part of...