The Purpose Of Religion In Life Of Pi By Yann Martel

1569 Words 7 Pages
“‘Religion will save us," I said. Since when I could remember, religion had been very close to my heart. ‘Religion?’ Mr. Kumar grinned broadly. ‘I don 't believe in religion. Religion is darkness.’” (Martel 16). Over history, and since the beginning of human society, religion has had its effect on humans and the way people behave and act. Life of Pi, the novel by Yann Martel, is one of the best novels to analyze for this topic. Martel incorporates religious faith and trends enough in the novel for it to be a prevalent theme. The fundamental purpose of religion is to provide substitutes for complex unknown ideas, provide a sense of right and wrong, and is used for control over people. The novel, “Life of Pi” incorporates these purposes for religion …show more content…
Each religion has their own view on right and wrong, and each religion has their own customs regarding men and women. Avoiding those, this will purely look at the fundamental morals. For example - "Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48) This is EXPLICIT evidence from the bible that one should model after their divine being as a right of way. This applies to almost every modern day world religion. In most religions, it is right to follow a strict prayer schedule. In the novel Life of Pi by Yann Martel, Pi upholds these moral obligations by praying on a regular basis, and follows the morals of 3 religions. "Piscine is a good Christian boy. I hope to see him join our choir soon." "You must be mistaken. He 's a good Muslim boy. He comes without fail to Friday prayer, and his knowledge of the Holy Qur 'an is coming along nicely." "You 're both wrong. He 's a good Hindu boy. l see him all the time at the temple coming for darshan and performing puja." (Martel 37) These quotes show that Pi is morally obligated to his religion, and he finds a commitment and cycle to these three beliefs. Now, why does it exist? With every belief system, there comes a way to uphold those beliefs. That requires a (usually) mandatory ritual of sorts to make sure people “stick” to the belief system. Therefore, the more close a person with a religion, …show more content…
If one really puts enough thought into this point, it makes sense. It’s hard to control a bunch of people who think differently than as opposed to people that all believe the same thing. Therefore, based on that logic, one can deduce that if you get a group of people to believe the same thing, it is much easier to control them. A historical example of this happening is the Holy Roman Empire. Not to be confused with the Roman Empire of ancient Rome, this was a later attempt to revive West Imperial Rome. In the fourth century, Christianity was was pronounced the official religion of the Roman Empire. This blending of religion and government was an unsettling mix of dogma and politics. The Holy Roman Empire officially began in 962 when Pope John XII crowned King Otto I of Germany and gave him the title of “emperor.” In the Holy Roman Empire, the kings and religious control fought often. This was the time when the Catholic Popes wielded the most power and control, and the papacy’s power reached its apex. Looking at this historical evidence, the church obviously got everyone to believe in the same thing, and control and power over people was achieved. However, in Life of Pi by Yann Martel, the control aspect of religion is not reflected much in the book. In an interview with Yann Martel, he states that the reason Pi sides with 3 religions instead of just one is to reinforce fundamental beliefs as opposed to

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