Life of Pi, Shutter Island Essay

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Have you ever wondered what is it like to be insane? We often take our mental health for granted, but the novel Life of Pi as well as the movie Shutter Island encourage us to look deeper within ourselves and to truly be grateful for the fact that we—most of us—are mentally stable. That is just one idea that these two works explore. What are they exactly about though? Life of Pi, a novel by Yann Martel published in 2001, is about a sixteen-year-old Indian boy named Piscine Molitor Patel who experienced a horrendous shipwreck. Shutter Island, a movie directed by Martin Scorsese from 2010, on the other hand, is about a man named Andrew Laeddis who experienced his own traumatic event. Both of these works touch upon the ideas of alter ego, the …show more content…
It was therefore with this quotation that readers discovered that Pi’s alter ego was Richard Parker. In Shutter Island, Andrew also created an alter ego for himself. His alter ego was a man named Edward Daniels, which was an anagram for Andrew Laeddis. As with Life of Pi, this alter ego was not revealed to the viewers of the film until the end when Andrew faced Dr. Cawley in the lighthouse. Dr. Cawley said, “The names have the same letters. Edward Daniels has exactly the same thirteen letters as Andrew Laeddis, the same as Rachel Solando and Dolores Chanal. The names are anagrams for each other.” In that moment, it became evident that Andrew had created an alter ego for himself. The next similarity between the two works in relation to alter ego is the fact that the main characters both used their alter egos to distance themselves from the acts they committed. In Life of Pi, Pi used his alter ego to cover up his killing of the cook during the journey on the lifeboat. Pi did this because he could not believe that he allowed himself to stoop down to such low levels in order to kill a man. He expressed this when he said (referring to the cook), “He was such an evil man. Worse still, he met evil in me—selfishness, anger, ruthlessness. I must live with that” (Martel 345). The way that Pi coped with his crime was by creating his alter ego Richard Parker. In Shutter Island, Andrew similarly used his alter ego to disguise his…

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