SpineOut : February - March 2017
Short Stories ESSAY WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF FICTION characters as old friends; in someone else’s hopes we catch sight of dreams we too may have had.’ Instead of presenting a brutal or harsh truth, a lesson can be taught simply by obscuring these details. This metaphorical technique is commonly used in the construction of fairy tales that target young audiences. A sevenyear-old child would much rather hear a story about wolves and girls in red coats than a cautionary tale about the dangers of strangers and the consequences of naivety and gullibility. In Yann Martel’s novel, Life of Pi 2 , an alternate reality is presented to the reader, however, the general themes the author wishes to convey are no less clear in the fictional version of the story. The overall message remains the same whether the audience chooses to believe in a survival tale about tigers and carnivorous plants, or to interpret the animals as a metaphor for our fears and the dangers of existence, and to neglect the literal truth of the characters that actually accompanied Pi on the raft. Ultimately, the imaginary form of this tale is an allegory for Pi’s journey of discovering himself, as he faces situations that motivate him to act courageously and challenge his own fortitude. In the conclusion of the novel, Pi hints to this concept as he says, ‘So tell me, since it makes no factual difference to you and you can’t prove the question either way, which story READ MORE OF THE ESSAY HERE bigail, Year 9 Brigidine College St Ives NSW do you prefer? Which is the better story, the story with animals or without animals?’ Finally, the ability to mask unappealing details in an entertaining, imaginative metaphor allows the message to be explained clearly and simply. The purpose of conveying philosophical morals in a more entertaining and appealing manner is to instil wisdom in the audience. In addition to the fact that fiction makes a concept easier to understand, the concept itself supplies value.
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April - May 2017