Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A Student's Response to Life of Pi!!!

I was extremely excited to start the discussion on Life of Pi with my students, but they did not seem to share my enthusiasm. I began to question if they had gotten anything from this novel.

So, I gave the students some quotes from the novel that I thought were thought provoking, and I asked them to write their thoughts about one of the quotes. I was nervous about this assignment, but I really needed to know if I should continue to teach this novel.

Here is an example of the kind of responses that I received:

"If Christ Played With Doubt, so must we. If Christ spent an anguished night in prayer, if He burst out from the cross, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" then we are also permitted doubt. But we must move on. To chose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a mean of transportation."  (From Life of Pi.)

"This quote provoked a lot of different thoughts when I read it and other thoughts, Pi had on religion.  The only time I was consistently going to church was when I was very young. When my dad died and my mom married another man, I began to take on my step-dad’s atheist views.  Recently, realizing I had not studied religion that much, enough to decide what my label was, I decided I’d look into it at some point.  Being a teenager, living in the environment I do, it’s easy to be busy and join the majority of the student population in their belief that religion is silly and a waste of time. Hearing many bible stories, I denounced them as ridiculous, contradictory, and some cruel.  When I see all the hate that comes from religious people and learn about all the ancient wars that were started between people simply because of their different religion, it makes it easier to claim you will never be a part of it.  I know it’s most likely hard to believe, that a respectable character in a fictional novel could sway my opinions on something so universal and important, but reading this book changed my way of thinking. When Pi states that agnostic peoples’ way of thinking, doubting that there’s a higher power but never deciding one way or another, is foolish, it struck a realization in me.  Since my church-going years I decide that if you ever had a doubt God exists, you can never go back to fully believing in him, but this quote from “Life of Pi” simply made so much sense, especially with its reference to Jesus. In life you cannot have all the answers to everything, so some things you simply have to trust and have faith in. I was never big on believing in something even if you could never know for sure, until reading this book.  By the end, when Pi was telling the interviewers his second, more sensible story, I found that simply believing the first one was true, came much easier. With the help of the story of Pi’s life and his views on trusting things that are outside the realm of reality, I concluded that believing in things without doubt and with imagination about things would make for a much more enjoyably life.  Granted I do not think every philosophy in the bible should be applied today, because some of it has made this world a hateful place, but simply believing in a higher power, living your life as a good person (which I believe should be the main focus of religion), simply believing things will get better and everything happens for a reason would help any citizen live a more fulfilling life.' 

WOW! All of my doubt is gone, and I'll be teaching this novel for quite awhile.

Life of Pi helped me to do my job: Get Students to Think.....

Our Future is Bright! 


Tracy Ricks said...

Wow! God bless that student and bless you to keep making such an awesome impact in their lives!

Jacqueline said...

I love my job and these kids!

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