What is an idea for a compare/contrast essay on the novel The Life of Pi and the poem "The Tyger."

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The most direct approach to a comparison between the two would be to compare and contrast their purposes. For instance, The Life of Pi is written as a parable and as such tells a particular lesson through the parable. In the case of The Life of Pi, that lesson relates to choosing a life with God or a life without God, as illustrated by the two stories about being stranded in a boat. In the one story told by Pi humans are stranded in a life boat with animals and in the second told by Pi, they are stranded in a life boat with humans. After the listeners make their choice of their preferred mode of stranding, and to illustrate the nature of the stories as parables as well as to deliberately enlighten the meaning of the parable, Pi ends by saying "Ans so it is with God.

William Blake's poem "The Tyger" from Songs of Experience, the counterpart to "The Lamb" from Songs of Innocence, is an extended metaphor, or conceit, comparing human nature to a tyger (some critics suggest the reason for Blake's spelling of "tyger" is to dissuade any idea of the poem being about a physical tiger). In this poem, Blake chooses a literary path similar to that of the parable in that he intends for his poem to teach a particular lesson through his metaphor. In "The Tyger," Blake doesn't directly point his lesson as is done in a parable, but he uses questions to draw attention to his lesson objective. which is two-fold. Blake is questioning the dark side--the tiger-like side--of humanity and, some critics suggest, questioning God's reaction to his creation having this dark side.