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Abstract Symbols and symbolisms across literary genres are powerful rhetoric devices used to enhance not only writers‟ style, but to convey richness in meaning that transcends narrative descriptions. However, as its interpretations are context-bound, it causes anxieties for the under-proficient language teacher who, firstmost, requires deep specific content knowledge to drive instruction and enhance cognition amongst learners. Using qualitative descriptive case study, this paper aims to provide specific content knowledge by examining the literary use of symbols, symbolisms and significance in Yann Martel‟s „Life of Pi‟, which has been prescribed as a set book for Grade 12 school-exiting learners in South Africa, for the year 2017 onwards. The paper will – by analysing arbitrary, cultural and personal symbolisms and significances, mostly through psychoanalytical lens – unravel covert meanings and messages in cultural, religious and environmental contexts whilst simultaneously showing how these are pivotal to understanding major themes in the novel. Key words: Lif

This research paper attempts to delineate and outline the revelations of ethnicity and additional significant ingredients in Yann Martel’s Life of Pi (2001). In the opening of Life of Pi, the novelist reveals a comprehensive portrayal of the lethargy, the special style, the velocity, and the jesting. It survives by being lethargic and because of its slothfulness; it consents to algae to cultivate on its body that acts like concealment with the surrounding moss and shrubbery. Life of Pi is audacious, in fact, evangelical; premise locates it on a perilous, ethical high position. Devoid of displaying unequivocally the hallmarks of the modern novel ‒ metafictional self-reference; the need to be affianced and politically ‘relevant’; the need to elucidate and alert as well as simply to notify ‒ the essential account of Pi’s survival is solely laudable, intriguing, exhilarating and remarkable. The narration is an erroneously fossilized account of a tale which is, in its verbal structure and eternally fluid. In average state of affairs such self-consciousness concerning the fictitious act vigor challenge the reader, forcing him into noting the several ways and biases with which a single incident can be revealed by a writer, to question the reliability and believability of the account, to analyse the content itself as an work of art rather than what that text explores. Nevertheless in this illustration, the challenge is to avoid doing this, and consequently to be contrasting the gloomy and listlessly honest insurance brokers who cross-examine Pi at the end.

“[A]nimals are always the observed. The fact that they can observe us has lost all significance. They are the objects of our ever-extending knowledge. What we know about them is an index of our power, and thus an index of what separates us from them” (Berger 14). The Western intellectual history has always been keen on ‘othering’ the animals and using the animal imagery as a mode for ‘othering’ humans. This paper is an attempt to analyse Life of Pi from a vantage point where both the forms of ‘othering’ meet. Just like Colonisation of a country being as much psychological as political/social, the ‘othering’ of animals are found to be equally anthropomorphic as much as physical. The episodes between Pi and Richard Parker will be analysed so as to identify the presence of such anthropomorphism underlying in the narrative, if any. The two stories narrated by Pi to the two officials from the Japanese Ministry of Transport who came to enquire about the shipwreck- one with animals as its characters and the other in which humans replaces the animals- will be studied to point out the paradox existing in the narrative regarding the whole concept of the ‘other’. The paper will also explore how anthropocentricism force animals to exist more in representations rather than in real which eventually justifies the ‘ethical acceptability’ of exploiting/killing the ‘non-human other’. The study is expected to open up new perspectives in analysing the representation of animals as the ‘other’ in literary narratives as well as to provide a different outlook to the human-animal relationship within and outside the text.

This article examines the metafictional and postmodernist matrix of Yan Martel’s novel Life of Pi. As a work of postmodernist and historiographic metafiction, it violates established conventions of the novel both in its form and content, and exploits techniques such as story within story, story with no beginning and end, transgression of artistic boundaries, and deconstruction. By refusing to force upon the reader a ―master narrative,‖ by giving him the choice of both the beginning and the ending of the story, and by showing him the possibility of interchangeability of characters and themes in fiction, the book urges the reader to have a new reading culture by participating in, sharing and contributing to the great imaginative and artistic exercise of the writer. And as a historic move, in a world that is torn by conflicting religions that are trying to overpower or destroy one another, it deconstructs the popular concept of religion in order to expose what is ―undeconstructable‖ in religions, and to have a new ―singular‖ conception of religion and God that is not doctrinal and dogmatic, but one that is constantly evolving.

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