Orientalism and Re-Orientalism in Yann Martel’s Life of Pi

  • Jiang Yuqin School of Humanities, Shenzhen University, No. 3688 Nanhai Road, Nanshan District, Shenzhen 518060
Keywords: Orientalism, Re-Orientalism, paratext, postcolonial narration


Yann Martel expresses his Orientalism and describes Pi’s Re-Orientalism in Life of Pi. Martel’s Orientalism presents the typical postcolonial writing model, which constructs a postcolonial exotic. Pi’s Re-Orientalism reflects a diasporic Eastern boy’s desire and identity in the West. The survival story for Pi and the Bengal tiger is a metaphor for Pi to grow up to be a true western man. Martel uses paratexts such as the author’s note, author’s interview with the protagonist Pi, records for a Japanese investigation on the truth, and inserts into the protagonist Pi’s narration, which expose the hidden intention for latent cultural hegemony. The departure of Richard Parker represents Pi’s final conforming to Western culture.


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