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In The Life of Pi, and "The Tyger," how are silent voices portrayed?

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yamaguchityler | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted September 23, 2013 at 10:22 PM via web

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In The Life of Pi, and "The Tyger," how are silent voices portrayed?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 24, 2013 at 5:05 AM (Answer #1)

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Silent voices in The Life of Pi are portrayed when the ship that Pi and his family are on sinks without a trace into the ocean. The death of so many animals and humans and their voices are summed up in the following quotation:

The ship sank. It made a sound like a monstrous metallic burp. Things bubbled at the surface and then vanished. Everything was screaming: the sea, the wind, my heart.

It is important to note the way that the death of so many is sumarised in these few sentences, which become focused only on Pi and his senses and feelings. The short sentences seem to highlight the impact of this period and how Pi is going through such a traumatic experience, which is reinforced when he uses the tricolon in "the sea, the wind, my heart." The silent voices of those in the ship are portrayed in the "monstrous metallic burp" and the screaming that Pi hears.

In "The Tyger," silent voices are conveyed in the personification of inanimate objects, such as the stars, as the following quote demonstrates:

When the stars threw down their spears, 
And watered heaven with their tears...

As the speaker of the poem dwells upon the creation of the tiger and who might have made such an impressive and yet fearsome animal, the terror that the tiger creates in others is shown in the silent voices of the stars who weep. In both texts therefore, the silent voices of different characters and creatures are portrayed in ways that highlight their absence, but also in ways that allow them to speak through their depiction. 

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