Life Of Pi And Wild Comparison

Better Essays
Jenna Crews
Ms. Kennedy
ENG 4UI - 01
5 January 2016

Two Journeys, One Message

Have you ever experienced being alone? Everyone has, or likely will, at some point in their life. But how about for 94 days, carrying a backpack that weighs nearly as much as you do containing all you have to survive off, by foot? Or what about 227 days, floating through the ocean on a tipsy life boat, with limited supplies, little to no sense of direction, and a huge Bengal tiger to watch out for? Probably not. Both of these scenarios involve extreme human conditions. On the theme of a person’s conditions both challenging and shaping who they are, there are two novels that stand out in the exploration of this topic, and they are Life of Pi and Wild By Cheryl Strayed.
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The novel Life of Pi By Yann Martel is a “fantasy adventure” in which the protagonist of the story, Piscine Molitor "Pi" Patel, an Indian boy from Pondicherry, explores issues of spirituality and practicality from an early age. He survives 227 days after a shipwreck while stranded on a lifeboat in the Pacific Ocean with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. Similarly, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail is a 2012 memoir by American author Cheryl Strayed, describing her 1,100-mile hike on the Pacific Crest Trail in 1995 as a journey of self-discovery. Life of Pi and Wild both share the insightful and clearly observed themes of isolation, survival, and Man vs Nature, however could be argued to be different from one another for the reason that Cheryl chose to hike the Pacific Crest Trail, while Pi had no choice in his unfortunate fate. These two exciting novels do an outstanding job of exploring the intense effect isolation can have on a person, the unbelievable extremes people will go to for the sake of survival, and the interesting theme of Man vs Nature. The most important and…show more content…
The novel, Wild, also dealt a great deal with the concept of isolation. Cheryl, the main character, hiked 1,100 miles of the 2,663 mile long Pacific Crest Trail, completing a 94-day journey. Although Cheryl, unlike PI, bumped into a few people over the course of her journey, she was for the most part in complete isolation. She too learned some valuable lessons causing her to grow as a person through her own extreme isolation. Cheryl’s exploration of her own solitude is demonstrated when she writes “Alone had always felt like an actual place to me, as if it weren’t a state of being, but rather a room where I could retreat to be who I really was. The radical aloneness of the PCT had altered that sense. Alone wasn’t a room anymore, but the whole wide world.” (p. 98). This shows the full extent of the aloneness Cheryl feels on the PCT. She states that in a way, she had always been comfortable with being alone, but the extent of the isolation she is now feeling, true aloneness, is much more extreme the the slight solitude she often felt in her old city life. Clearly, being alone in the wilderness is a far different experience, one that she can learn much different and more
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