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On his Library Thing author page, there is a link to an interview he did with The Onion: I skimmed it and didn't see that it was directly addressed. k4k I was rather confused about that part..I'm not the only one! On one hand, Pi might have thought that no one would believe his story, because living with a tiger on a boat for that long seems a bit fantastical.Probably the interviewer thought he wouldn't answer, so didn't bother to ask. If he imagined that part, he also came back to reality really fast.Ok, so that ignores the question: how did the animals get out of their cages, but oh well...k4ksince the supposed fantasy part was much longer and, to me, more interesting, i still think of it as true even though i recognize that probably you're supposed to realize that it's not.
I saw an interview with Martel in which he said that it was important that the reader make the choice. My personal choice was the animal story but my fuller take on the book was that Martel was giving us a parallel for religious choices.
That each has its own story/mythology, but the essence is the same regardless of how the story is told.
:-)k4k ETA: I should have been more precise in my language and say that animals are part of our physical world and gods are not. I loved the book, and I don't think it matters which story you think is true.
I don't mean to imply that gods or God is not real. Having said that, I thought the second story was true, but it is so sad and hard to deal with, that Pi used the first story as a coping mechanism.
Without realising it, Pi’s love for stories developed in Pondicherry as his devotion to religion grew.
It was religion that offered him a world that connected him both physically, mentally and spiritually to the power of stories, the only capacity he needed to unlock was belief.
Guess that's why I loved the book so much, and whether my interpretation is on the mark or not, it makes me happy (grin). I agree there are parallels with religious choices, but still, the animals are real and gods are not.
So I still feel comfortable believing the animal story.
It was Pi’s gradual acceptance of his fate, and the faith he had in himself, which allowed him to open his eyes not just to just the beauty of the surrounding sea, but to the power and the commanding power and beauty of the Tiger within.
Through the ‘selective transformation of reality’ Pi turned his gruelling and grotesque 227 days at sea, into a spiritual journey that began in Pondicherry.