Life of Pi - Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

1979 Words Jun 8th, 2013 8 Pages
Pi On Top of the Pyramid

The meaning of life is a topic questioned by many. One might think of our job on earth as a journey to reach our individual full potential. Abraham Maslow was one of those people. Knowing that motivation is driven by the existence of unsatisfied needs he created a concept called the Hierarchy of Needs. This concept was expressed as one of the many themes throughout the novel, Life of Pi, Yann Martel asks the reader to reflect on life itself; we are forced to become aware of what we are truly capable of as human beings. We must understand ourselves and the various types of motivation that induce specific behaviors. We must understand our desires, which will lead us on the course to self actualization. Pi
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However as the time went on he realized he had to take certain risks compromising his safety in order to survive while he knows that they could have negative outcome, favoring his id. Desperation challenged his integrity and thought process however it paid off "Oh, the delight of the manufactured good, the man-made device, the created thing! That moment of material revelation brought an intensity of pleasure -- a heady mix of hope, surprise, disbelief, thrill gratitude, all crushed into one … I was positively giddy with happiness." (p 205) Here Pi finds the much hoped for safety supply locker and obtains a spiritual uplifting and confidence boost. Although Pi had now satisfied the first level of needs and has created a certain amount of safety he was still stranded in the ocean. It is then that Pi came to terms with the fact that both humans and animals are territorial creatures so he established parameters within the boat which ultimately satisfied the need for safety to the best of his abilities.

As the first two levels are completed Pi has a lot of time to reflect on other things, things less basic then the fundamentals of life. Alone, stranded in the middle of the ocean Pi began to think of his loved ones. Some people believe that the animals in the lifeboat embodied certain characteristics that represent their human counterparts which served Pi as a