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...

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 info

Nate Currier eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseProfessional Writer

bookB.A. from Sarah Lawrence College


calendarEducator since 2019

write119 answers

starTop subjects are Literature and History

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


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Colin Cavendish-Jones, Ph.D. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseCollege Professor, Lawyer

bookM.A. from Oxford University

bookPh.D. from St. Andrews University


calendarEducator since 2019

write1,403 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Hollis Sanders eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2019

write889 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences



check Approved by eNotes Editorial

accessteacher eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write13,728 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

check Approved by eNotes Editorial