In the novel Life of Pi, Yann Martel dichotomizes the perceptual realities, and psychological realities of Piscine Monitor Patel. Martel is insistent in not "sacrifice[ing] our imagination on the altar of crude reality"(Pi); and to do this, he sets forth in making us wonder whether we are reading an imaginative fiction, or a real life story. Written as a factual account, we are constantly reminded that Pi is alive and doing well in Montreal, but his story's credibility is also constantly held under speculation, with the far-fetched passages such as that of the algae island, and the blind sailor. The differences between facts and realities, fact and fiction, literalism and imagination, are themes that run throughout the novel. Pi deals
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He uses his mooring with God for stability in what would seem a very unstable relationship with the Metaphysical. He is interested in the "Story"(Pi 59) of Christianity, the "placidity"(Pi 63) of Hinduism, and the joining of "brotherhood and devotion"(Pi 67) in the Muslim religion. Pi takes these religions in with an open mind; he does not argue religions, and he rarely enters into religious dialogue. He, in a sense, creates his own religious experience. It is Pi's religious journey, which relies and builds upon his ability to co-exist in a situation of opposites, which essentially helps Pi deal with the challenges of his literal journey ahead.
Pi's journey on the life raft with Richard Parker, is an extreme example of co-existence of opposites. From early on in Pi's life, his father ingrained in his mind the danger of the adult Bengal tiger. His father, a zookeeper in Ponidicherry, stripped him of his innocence at an early age by forcing him to watch one feed. "Every animal is ferocious and dangerous"(Pi 41), his father said; "life will defend itself"(Pi 41). It seems impossible that someone could survive as long as Pi, with a tiger. But not only does this happen, but he succeeds in taming the beast as well. In the encounter with the algae island, Pi decides to "step into the circus ring"(Pi 303). Pi trained the tiger to "jump through a hoop [he] made with thin branches"(Pi 304). This training of the tiger is metaphorically showing that Pi is