What do these quotes from the book Life of Pi mean? "For evil in the open is but evil from within that has been let out. The main battlefield for good is not the open ground of the public arena but the small clearing of each heart."   "I must say a word about fear. It is life's only true opponent. Only fear can defeat life."

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Both these quotes deal with the nature of internal struggle, the first about evil and the second about fear.

The first quote is making a case against the idea of “evil” as an outside, corrupting force. There are no forces of darkness in the world preying upon humanity. All the evil that has ever existed and ever will exist springs from the hearts of men. It is a quote about taking ownership for one’s own flaws. It is a dodge, according to this quote, to seek out evil in the world and try to defeat it with the swing of a sword. It is much more difficult, and necessary, to try to expunge the evil within our own hearts, and not let our own negative deeds or thoughts spread into the world.

The second quote is saying that the great blockade to life is fear. In a deeper sense, the author might mean that the great blockade to enjoying life, and living the life a person wants to lead, is fear. Fearful thoughts can hold people back from taking risks and putting themselves out into the world....

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 952 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on February 20, 2020
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles
Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on February 19, 2020