Life Of Pi : Psychological Criticism Of The Meerkat Island

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Life of Pi: Psychological Criticism of the Meerkat Island The ocean, a magnificent image, yet the most deadly of all. Pi is on his way to Canada for a fresh start with his family when their boat sinks in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Stranded for 227 days, Pi is by himself on a single life boat with only a tiger, zebra, orangutan and hyena, or so the reader thinks. Yann Martel, author of Life of Pi, proposes not only one but two versions of Pi’s story: an animal and a human being version. Which one is right? That is left to the readers mind, and often leads to many types of criticism such as mythological, psychological, or formalist. These criticisms pick apart little details throughout the story and analyze the meaning behind them. Focusing on the Meerkat algae island, and the psychological criticism, the island is a place for redemption, a place of hope and survival yet a rebirth, and a heaven/hell. As Pi arrives closer to the island, his need for redemption grows. Continuing his journey, Pi comes upon a French cook on another life boat, where shortly after, Pi eats him. Likewise, in the animal version, the tiger eats the blind man. Later, the algae island Pi discovers, represents a place of redemption for the awful sin that he commits. This is clearly against his religions he so strongly follows. Additionally, this island can act as a parallel to the French cook. Pi sees the dark side of the island, and must move on, but first he “eats until his stomach could take no

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