Mind Vs Human Nature In Yann Martel's 'Life Of Pi'
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Life of Pi: Mind versus Body
In Yann Martel’s Life of Pi, the idea of good versus evil and animal versus human nature is shown to be an integral part of the storyline. Martel questions the boundaries between human and animal nature and makes powerful statements for both sides. These themes are critical to the human condition, through this Martel is able to create a balance between the opposing sides.
Martel focuses on the frenchman throughout the novel, here we see the biggest conflict of good versus evil and the idea of where does human begin and animal end. This is present specifically when Pi has to kill the frenchman. Here it is observed that the frenchman does experience some regret, however it presents the question of whether this makes up for the fact that he has acted so viciously. “He let himself be killed, though it was still a struggle. He knew he had gone too far, even by his bestial standards” (344). When Pi compares the people to the animals, the frenchman is represented as the hyena. The hyena is seen as a scavenger and a low level animal, they are described as “ugly beyond redemption” (128), because of this Pi frequently questions how someone could be so evil and if we are born evil or good. This is important when he relates it to his own human nature and questions if he has seen this evil before. The first time Pi experienced evil in something he thought was good was when the religious figures are meeting and there is great hostility between the leaders, Pi reflecting on religion says “For evil in the open is but evil from within that has been let out.” (78). Pi “just want[s] to love God” () and be able to go to mass, however many religious people are trying to push him out when he has solely pure intentions of celebrating belief.
One of the main points Martel makes in Life of Pi is that animals will only attack when threatened, out of defense. On the other side of the spectrum Martel makes a statement about human nature: “Just beyond the ticket booth Father had painted on a wall in bright red letters the question: DO YOU KNOW WHICH IS THE MOST DANGEROUS ANIMAL IN THE ZOO? An arrow pointed to a small curtain. There were so many eager, curious hands that pulled at the curtain that we had to