The Human Struggle in Yann Martel's Life of Pi Essay

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Humans generally face struggles in their lifetime. Such struggles could be within themselves or with someone or something else but commonly stem from some sort of opposition in lifestyle. In Yann Martel’s novel, Life of Pi, Pi’s passion for personal survival conflicts with his moral obligations to himself internally, morphing his external character.
Throughout the novel, Pi’s thoughts reveal and internal struggle between his desire to live and his own beliefs to what is morally right. Pi grows up on varying religious viewpoints because he studies different religions. His religious diversity forms a moral standard of “dignity not …depravity” (Martel 71). He values dignity and character over corruption of morals initially because he sees …show more content…

Even after he kills a fish in a seemingly careless fashion, in his sleep “[his] mind lit up by the…flickering of the dying [fish]” seems to haunt him with resentment (Martel 186). This subconscious image is a product of Pi’s internal conflict with his new methods of survival. Therefore, Pi is unable to completely eliminate his feelings while trying to survive due to his torn thoughts between morality and necessity. Though Pi’s conflict is internal, it affects his actions externally and eventually morphs him into savagery but also hopelessness. His conflict helps him realize how his beliefs limit his means of survival so consequently, he goes to extremes to abandon such beliefs. He even admits to himself that though it is “brutal…a person can get used to…killing” if done often enough (Martel 185). This realization Pi experiences causes him to focus on his methods of killing which leads to an overall comfort in the action. By abandoning his guilt, Pi finds himself able to “[grow] bolder and more agile” and “[descend] to a level of savagery [he] never imagines possible” (Martel 195-7). Not only does he kill more often, he also kills less carefully. Pi shifts from a gentle killer in regards to the victims to “an animal… [with a] noisy, frantic, unchewing wolfing-down” barbaric manner of murder (Martel 225). His evident change from a once caring and unaggressive hunter to a savage killing machine reveals how Pi reacts from his

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