What are some of the literary devices used by Yann Martel in The Life of Pi?

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

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Clearly, any good work of literature is going to employ a number of literary devices, and so it is important for us as active readers to be familiar with the definition of literary devices so we are able to identify them and analyse them when we come across them in our reading.

Note Pi's description of his biology teacher in Chapter 7:

His construction was gemoetric: he looked like two triangles, a small one and a larger one, balanced on two parallel lines... His smile seemed to take up the whole base of his triangular head.

This quote features both a simile and a metaphor, as Pi compares Mr. Satish Kumar to two triangles and then, with an implied metaphor, again reinforces this comparison by talking about his teacher's "triangular head."

Also, consider the way in which the sunset is described in the following quote:

The sun was beginning to pull the curtains on the day.

Note the way that the sun is being personified through this metaphor, as it is given human qualities and actions as it is compared to a person closing the curtains at night time. Describing the sunset in these terms is also a metaphor.

Hopefully these examples will enable you to go back to the novel and try and find some literary devices yourself. Good luck!

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