In Life of Pi, his long journey and ardent will to stay alive can alone discribe pi’s transformation from a confused and sheltered boy, into a young man who is now mentally broke but somehow uses his psychological experience to strengthen himself. Pi’s spirituality and religion pushes the reader to shift its perspective.
Friedrich Nietzsche once stated, “To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering.” In the novel, Life of Pi by Yann Martel a young man, Pi, is forced to survive through suffering and endure the grievances of a shipwrecked human being. After embarking on a journey with his family from India to Canada aboard a ship, the Tsimtsum, which holds a variety of zoo animals sinks. Pi faces the bitter truth that he does not have a family anymore. He is left with a boat of ferocius animals and hope. In the novel, Pi is an archetypal hero because a traumatic event changes his life forever, and he suffers from his journey.
His need for the supplies on the lifeboat are what cause him to decide to try and train Richard Parker. Without his need for the lifeboat, he never would have chose to do something so dangerous and with such low odds of succeeding. Later on while training the tiger, Pi says “my behavior was not an act of insanity or a covert suicide attempt, but a simple necessity. Either I tamed him, made him see who was Number One and who was Number Two--or I died the day I wanted to climb aboard the lifeboat during rough weather and he objected” (206). He reinforces the idea that to train Richard Parker is a necessity and that his need for the boat overwhelms his fear or the tiger. Later on in the same instance during Pi’s training of the tiger, he tells of how the wild animal would make a point by knocking him off of the boat with one swipe of it’s paw. He describes his retaliation by saying, “Then I made my point, feet on the gunnel, boat rolling, my single-note language blasting from the whistle, and Richard Parker moaning and gasping
Life of Pi shows that humans and animals should do anything necessary to survive whatever challenges they face to live instead of just accepting death. Whatever ways that help one to survive are necessary, even if they compromise personal values, are vicious, or are wicked. Pi, a human; a hyena, and a blind man all fight to survive in a variety of ways that are examples of this thesis.
Pi is alone with Richard Parker on the lifeboat and they both starve and suffer with dehydration. Pi starts catching fishes for both of them. He always gives the biggest share to Richard Parker as he is the strongest. One day, he decides to eat the largest part. He wants to calm his desire for hunger. He does not want to share anything with Richard Parker. Pi starts eating like an animal. Pi tells, “It came as an unmistakable indication to me of how I had sunk the day I noticed, with a pinching of the heart, that I ate like an animal” (Martel 183). The innocent boy is now as dangerous as an animal that can do anything for the food. His yearning for food makes him selfish. It is in pi’s hand not to sacrifices his integrity, but he chooses to sacrifice because he knows that at this critical situation it is right to do. Even though Pi loses his integrity, he gains the power of being the strongest one on the
While on the road to nowhere, Pi starts to acquire water from the rain and obtains food to stock up while he’s worrying about the 400 pound tiger that’s on the lifeboat while Pi is on a small raft. When Pi starts to tame Richard Parker he can finally call him a friend and now has a purpose. As a Hindu, Pi does not eat meat but that went out of the window when he catches a fish and eats it raw to stay alive. When it comes down to survival there is no preference in what to eat.
When Pi is trapped on a lifeboat, his only company is a Bengal Tiger. It was in this circumstance that Pi understood the animal need for survival. Pi says of his transformation from a strict vegetarian into someone who expected to kill to survive, that, “I descended to a level of savagery I never imagined possible.” (218). Everyday, Pi felt like he was at a crucial point in his life, since he didn't know whether he would live to see tomorrow, especially with Richard Parker on the lifeboat. This is when Pi’s animal instincts kicked in and mirrored that of the tiger’s. The animal inside of him, and his survival instincts ended up plainly evident in his battle for survival.
Yann Martel manipulates the narrative style and structural devices within this passage to support the will to survive theme that is present in Life of Pi. Before the shipwreck, Pi was a spiritual individual with a strong appreciation for the joy and peace in life. Pi commonly experienced cruelty and doubt from his family and friends; however, he remained calm by following the guidance from his three religions. After the shipwreck, the spirituality within Pi’s life was tampered with because the chaotic and brute actions of the animals threatened to separate Pi from his peaceful demeanour. At first, Pi maintained his interaction with God, but as the days passed and the conditions worsened, Pi’s animal instincts began to develop.
In Life of Pi, the main character is Piscine Molitor, though people call him Pi. Pi’s family was on their way to immigrate to Canada via ship, though the ship sinks in the middle of the ocean and the only survivors are Pi, an orangutan, a zebra and a tiger stranded on a lifeboat. Later on, the orangutan and zebra die, leaving a hungry tiger that is unpredictable and Pi who has limited resources, in the middle of the ocean. If Pi wants to not die and have a chance to survive, he must stay alive from the ocean and the tiger. Since Pi is stranded on a lifeboat with a tiger in the middle of the ocean with limited resources, Pi has to survive mentally and physically throughout the whole ordeal.
“The Real Story in Life of Pi The difference between fiction and reality is not always evident to those who are unable or unwilling to recognize the difference.”
Pi faces a very extreme environment and a very extreme situation when he had to keep the tiger alive. According to the text, “I was alone and orphaned, in the middle of the Pacific”, which was his only companion in the middle of the ocean on the lifeboat, to survive.(page 79) In the situation, even under the extreme circumstances Pi stays cool and collected and focus’ only on survival. With the mentality to survive, and wanting to end the pain of thirst, “I think it was this that saved my life that morning, that I was quite literally dying of thirst”(page 81), Pi decided that his life wasn’t going to end now. He
Life without meaning brings no hope. Life without hope brings no faith. If you have both it will lead you into the future. (statusmind.com) Pi had hope that allowed him to survive the journey but not all the time, he has lost it a few times when he thought he was going to be eaten by the tiger but it was his morals and his faith that keeps him going. Hope plays a big role in everyone's life. Hope is the belief of what could possibly be and Pi is not sure that he is going to make it out of the sea alive but it gets him to keep pushing when he feels like he is dying or that death is near.
The violent outbreak of Richard Parker, along with his silent departure at the end of the novel, portrays how futile it is to try to change a wild animal into a civilized being. Richard Parker seems, at first, to have experienced a spiritual breakthrough and transformation after Pi’s attempt to training. Even in the end, Pi’s ability to survive such a journey with a beastly killer seems evidence enough that Pi trained the tiger. Pi’s main goal, along with survival, is to establish a level of equality between himself
The saying “desperate times call for desperate measures” holds truth to an extent. In the award winning novel Life of Pi by Yann Martel, drastic measures are taken by characters in order to survive while stranded on a lifeboat in the middle of the ocean. Through his journey, main character, Pi Patel, endures many hardships and witnesses several deaths. Significantly, the death of the zebra accompanying Pi and the other animals establishes a generalization of human nature being sophisticated yet inherently vicious according to methods of survival.
Though Richard Parker proves vital for survival, he also reflects Pi’s character and helps further develop it throughout the novel. When first introduced, Pi was a teenaged boy curious in many different belief systems and also vegetarian. However, his experience with this tiger aboard a lifeboat after a shipwreck leads to necessary changes in Pi’s lifestyle and these dramatic changes in way of life are characterized through the tiger itself. For example, Richard Parker instinctively tears at animals and eats them in a barbaric manner in means of survival. Though Pi is disgusted by his animal-like behavior, he later resorts to the same methods of eating, “noisy, frantic, unchewing wolfing-down…exactly the way Richard Parker ate” for his own survival (Martel 225). As a previous vegetarian, Pi is not comfortable with the idea of killing animals to eat them but realizes “it is simple and brutal: a person can get used to anything, even to killing” (Martel 185). He even, later, uses human flesh from a passenger that Richard Parker killed for means of survival and food. He also kills birds by “[breaking] its neck [and] leveraging [their] heads backwards”, a harsh and violent murder (Martel 231). Pi’s ability to adapt to a more vicious yet necessary way of life reveals his inner animal