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"An Alternative Life of Pi" U.Va Supplement Essay 1

cometcrater 1 / 2  
Dec 20, 2010   #1
I could use some help on fixing up my essay for the University of Virginia Supplement. Any suggestions are much appreciated! Also I'm at 261 words, but... "Limit your answer to a half page or roughly 250 words."

Prompt: College of Arts and Sciences: What work of art, music, science, mathematics, or literature has surprised, unsettled, or challenged you, and in what way?

The Alternative Life of Pi
After reading 362 pages of a 401 page book, I felt safe to say I knew exactly what happened to the main character in Life of Pi. The last few chapters of the book forced me to second guess my knowledge. In merely ten pages, another story is told. The same plot, but new characters. This new story is much more realistic and sensible. Everything seems to add up. However, for the first 362 pages of the book, Pi went into great detail and thought of his interactions with certain exotic animals and his ordeals upon a life boat stranded in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The story goes into such detail, the story with the animals makes sense and becomes realistic as well.

I was put in a position where I had to choose which story I believed. The second story was brutal and unsettling, but all too realistic. While the initial story was exciting and terrifying, but involved so many aspects that it seemed unreal. With this surprise twist of the addition of an alternate ending, who would choose the story with the Bengal Tiger to believe?

I chose the story with the animals to believe. Although it seems apparent that the one that only lasted a few pages is what is meant to be reality in this novel. Pi asks the men interviewing him "In both stories the ship sinks, my entire family dies, and I suffer... so which story do you prefer?" The men also chose the one with the animals as the better story.

wtangalang - / 14 1  
Dec 21, 2010   #2
Hey, great job on your essay. However, I think you'll have to find a different approach in writing this essay. The prompt asks how has the piece of literature surprised you or challenged you. You wrote mostly about how you predicted the novel at page 362. Maybe take a different approach, and I'm sure your essay will improve much more.

Hope that helped!
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,334 129  
Dec 31, 2010   #3
The second story was brutal and unsettling, but all too realistic.

Great sentence here.

I want to change this:
I chose the story with the animals to believe.
I chose to believe the story with the animals.

You should add one more sentence at the end of this great little essay, and let it be a sentence that clearly gives your main message for the reader... the reason for writing the essay, the main idea. Give that necessary last sentence! :-)

You did well and showed real appreciation for the story.

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