Power Dynamic Between A Years Old And A Bengal Tiger

1360 WordsMar 24, 20176 Pages
The Power Dynamic between a Sixteen-Year-Old and a Bengal Tiger Who has the power? A sixteen-year-old or a Bengal tiger? Power is typically concerned with who or what has control over someone or something else, so the question almost seems silly, because what could a young teenage boy have over a carnivorous, wild animal? Although it may seem obvious that the wild animal would have control over the boy, the answer is not as definite in the Life of Pi by Yann Martel. In the novel, the tiger, Richard Parker, and the teenage boy, Pi Patel share power. In other words, the two characters share power because of the unusual dynamic of equals between them. As a result of their dynamic, it brings up the question of how this situation came to be…show more content…
My agency was pure and miraculous. It conferred power upon me” (Martel 248). To further support Pi’s claim, Pi even provides evidence for why Richard Parker’s reliance on him gave him power: “Proof: I remained alive day after day, week after week. Proof: he did not attack me, even when I was asleep on the tarpaulin. Proof: I am here to tell you this story” (Martel 248). If Pi Patel had not been on that lifeboat with Richard Parker, the chances of survival of the tiger would have been slim. Richard Parker would have eventually died of starvation or dehydration if Pi had not been there taking care of him. Thus, Richard Parker’s reliance on Pi gave Pi power over Richard Parker. The way in which Pi assumed this power over Richard Parker was by establishing himself as an equal to him. As Pi brought food to the tiger, Pi would use whistles to remind Richard Parker of who provided him with food and water: “…not forgetting to blow the whistle hard several times, to remind Richard Parker of who had so graciously provided him with fresh food” (Martel 206). This method Pi had developed proved to be successful on his mission to become equals with Richard Parker when Pi “stared into [Richard Parker’s] eyes, wide-eyed and defiant, and [they] faced off” (Martel 246). Pi knew that if he looked away and backed down, the tiger would never see him as an equal, because Richard Parker would see
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