Comparison: Life Of Pi By Yann Martel, And A Good Man Is Hard To Find By Flannery O’connor

1171 words - 5 pages

Throughout the history of literature, several narrative elements become prevalent in order to effectively create an appropriate literary framework unerring to each contributing piece. In various cases, setting often marks a considerable plot drive. The two individual pieces, Life of Pi by Yann Martel, and “A Good Man Is Hard to Find”, by Flannery O’Connor, appear entirely unrelated on the surface; however, they share an undeniable thematic parallel- the innumerable facets that setting encompasses often prompts individuals to persist in a specific manner impartial to their well being. Whether fighting for life in the desolate ocean, or vulnerably anticipating death, surrounded by the seemingly endless woodlands, characters must learn to adapt to their given circumstances. As leading protagonists, Pi and the grandmother adjust to their environments and process what remains to contend with, evolving accordingly for survival. Although in Pi’s situation he battles physically, both he and the grandmother emotionally confront their hardships, coping with both inward battles and personal seclusion. Their minds create an imaginative world which they utilize as a form of protection.
Piscine Molitor Patel, widely known as Pi throughout the riveting novel, strives himself to handle instances in a manner opposite to his previous beliefs in his time on the open ocean. Encountering a sea of distresses that alter him completely, Pi’s ability to extensively grasp situations aid him in his time of need. Ultimately, Pi’s aptitude reaches its brink. Initially, Pi professes his vegetarianism, but given his predicament he applies new logic. Moreover, with consideration of his survival, he recognizes that he must consume fish. As the novel progresses, Pi’s adverse nature regarding this notion prevails. His entire persona shifts as he develops the realization that he will undoubtedly starve unless he chooses to pursue a new dietary method (Martel 225). This in itself signifies an aspect of setting that significantly shapes Pi’s overall character.
A multitude of cases indicate Pi’s gradually deteriorating emotional essence. Aboard the lifeboat, Pi resides with a mere group of subjects, all of which add to his vulnerability as he lacks the ability to flee from his own reality. Therefore, Pi forces himself to understand these subjects with a different outlook. Moreover, Pi envisions these beings as wildlife. Upon arrival to shore, Pi visits with Atsuro Chiba and Tomohiro Okamoto and proclaims his coupled stories. Here, Pi must come to grips with reality. The world that his mind constructed in order to secure his mental and emotional state, which incorporated the tiger, hyena, and zebra, soon emanates (Martel 305). Although author Martel does not expose which story is accurate, it deems recognizable that Pi could not mentally withstand the idea that humans could dictate such barbarism. This sufficiently illustrates a dynamic among the mannerisms of humans and animals. As...

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