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How are chapters 21 and 22 the core of the Martel's novel Life of Pi?

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grawesome4 | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 29, 2013 at 7:57 PM via iOS

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How are chapters 21 and 22 the core of the Martel's novel Life of Pi?

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tinicraw | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted September 13, 2013 at 5:29 PM (Answer #1)

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Chapters 21 and 22 are best understood after reading the whole novel because they not only outline what the author is in the progress of learning through Pi's story, but mention "the better story," which is later referred to by Pi at the end of the book. These chapters connect the end of the book to the essence of what is learned by Pi. They also discuss God and the difference between the beliefs of an Agnostic person to those of an Athiest's. In the end, each person must decide what s/he will believe about the story of life. One person may choose to view his/her life's story as positive, negative, or purely scientific, as drawn by the difference between an Atheist's and an Agnostic's death. In Martel's analogy, the Atheist switches at the very end to believe that the light he sees at death is God; whereas, the Agnostic could cling to his belief that the white lite of death is merely the brain's failure to endure--a scientific effect, if you will. The connection between this analogy and Pi's two endings to his story seem to be the same. A reader can choose to believe the animal story or the human story, it's up to him/her.

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