Life Of Pi By Yann Martel

1190 Words5 Pages
An animal’s instinct to survive has been honed over millions of years to ensure the livelihood of their species. Humans also bear this instinct for survival. The evolution of humans created a focus on mental prowess, rather than brute force for survival. However, humans are put into unknown situations, the mind is rendered incapable and primal survival instincts take over. The unbelievable story, Life Of Pi, revolves around the voyage of Piscine Molitor Patel. Stranded on a lifeboat with limited supplies and a diverse group of zoo animals, Pi must survive the life as a castaway at sea. The author, Yann Martel, suggests that the desire to survive is more powerful than any set of beliefs, morals, or rationality, as shown through the loss…show more content…
In addition to performing carnivorous behavior to survive, Pi resorts to cannibalism as well. Pi writes that “... I ate some of his flesh.. You must understand, my suffering was unrelenting and he was already dead... I pray for his soul every day” (322). Pi acknowledges that his cannibalism was associated with his suffering, or his hunger, and only met with this option as a means for survival. At the time, Pi was blind and out of food, and in being a castaway for so long, he accepts that his survival demands sacrifice, and this was in the form of his loss in belief as a vegetarian. The destruction of Pi’s beliefs led into the vanishing of his morals

In addition to abandoning beliefs in exchange for survival, the characters experience an absence of morals. While on the lifeboat, Pi observes that “She thumped the beast on the head. It was something shocking”(162). The she referred to in the quotation is the orangutan that was also on the lifeboat with him. Pi notes earlier that orangutans were known to be passive and caring creatures. Seeing the female orangutan act out in such a way was only possible due to the hyena threatening the survival of the orangutan, showing how the orangutan had to abandon her moral as a nonviolent creature in order to live on. Similarly to the orangutan abandoning her moral of passive behavior, Pi has to forget his docile behavior to live on. When Pi finally catches a fish, he wraps it up in a blanket
Get Access