Life of Pi

1122 WordsSep 12, 20125 Pages
Man’s best friend? The important thing isn’t that we can live on love alone, but that life isn’t worth living without it. In the novel Life of Pi by Yann Martel, the author tells a story of Piscine “Pi” Molitor Patel, who is struggling with religious and psychological issues. In addition to that, after the ship sinks Pi must survive on a life boat with a tiger for 227 days in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The Bengal tiger, Richard Parker was named after an Edgar Allen Poe character from The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket (1838). Pym and a friend leave Nantucket on a ship. It capsizes and the two find themselves on the hull of the ship with another survivor. Starvations lead them to killing him and eating him. The…show more content…
Despite the fact that Pi is a vegetarian, he has to eat raw food in order to survive. Pi realizes that he is becoming similar to Richard Parker in the ways of eating. The descriptions of Pi’s eating habits show Pi’s savage side. Without Richard Parker, Pi would not have had a role model to show him the ways of surviving. As the coast of Mexico becomes visible, Pi realizes that he and Richard Parker must depart and Pi becomes very distressed about this. As Pi and Richard Parker separate, Pi says “I was weeping because Richard Parker left me so unceremoniously. What a terrible thing is to botch a farewell” (Martel 360). At this point, Pi and Richard Parker have survived the Pacific Ocean. The two have spent a lot of time together, which is unheard of. When Pi and Richard Parker separate, Pi is devastated that his companion has left him so abruptly. Richard Parker had become a part of Pi but now that Richard Parker had left, there seems to be a vacant part of Pi. When Richard Parker leaves, the savage side of Pi seems to leave as well because there is no need for that side anymore. Civilization doesn’t show the savage side of human beings. Richard Parker is essential to Pi because he taught Pi the fundamentals on how to survive without any assistance. In the novel, Life of Pi, the author uses the symbolic Richard Parker to represent different parts of Pi and his life. It is easy to see how a 450-pound Bengal tiger can be a threat to the life of an individual, but when

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