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Religious Conflicts in Life of Pi Essay

Essay Topic:

There are many conflicts going on around the world surrounding religions on why and what religion we should believe in. In the novel, Life of Pi, written by Yann Martel concerns the reasons why we should not have these conflicts. Religious conflicts are embodied clearly through life of Pi Patel, the protagonist, who is a genuine follower of three very different religions; Hindu, Muslim and Christianity. Through his life, Martel handles not just the true definition of religion and suggests why we are believe in it. But he also suggests the possibility of peaceful coexistence between different faiths and that belief of different religions are merely alternative paths to the same destination.

First of all, what types of religion we are believing in starts the collision. But what is religion in the first place? In the novel, Martel expresses the meaning of religion when Pi finishes his journey on the Pacific for 227 days and tells the Japanese officers what happened in his journey and the cause of the shipwreck. Pi explains what actually happened with his journey which includes an adult Bengal tiger, zebra, hyena, orang-utan and a carnivorous island, which they do not believe. As a result, Pi tells them another story that is more believable. This time he replaces animals with sailors. After he was finished, he asks, “Which is the better story, the story with animals or the story without animals?” The men agree that the story with animals is better, which prompts Pi to add, “And so it goes with God.” This is faith, Pi seems to say. Since it is the nature of religious faith that it can never be proven, just like the facts of Pi’s journey across the Pacific can never be verified. Through this, Martel says that we are believing in religion because it gives us hope and satisfaction with life.

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Second of all, Martel believes that teaching of different religions are merely alternative paths to the same destination. Religion is Gods’ wor…

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