Life of Pi, by Yann Martel, focuses on the physical journey of Piscine (Pi) Patel, the protagonist of the story, and the challenges he faces throughout his adventure. While the novel chronicles Pi’s voyage and survival, it also depicts his process of maturation. Pi’s journey begins with the sinking of a cargo ship, the Tsimtsum and continues for two hundred twenty seven days until his rescue in Mexico. Throughout the course of the novel, the reader is able to witness Pi’s spiritual growth, which leads him to possess a more mature and developed spiritual outlook on life. This process of Pi’s spiritual maturation includes a tremendous increase in his faith in God, through observing multiple religions, and developing his own unique system of beliefs. Pi’s maturation is also seen when he becomes less dependent on his parents and more self-sufficient over the course of his journey. Furthermore, he further develops his intellect on his journey, which allows himself to outlast the sea with a Bengal tiger and few supplies. Over the course of a life-threatening voyage, Pi is able to mature in various ways to become more spiritual, independent and worldly.
As a Hindu, Pi is a vegetarian; therefore, dismembering the bodies of sea creatures is proved to be a challenge and a fear for him. However, Pi faces an even greater fear, starvation. The first time he murders a fish on the lifeboat, guilt runs over him; nevertheless, he dismisses the guilt through appreciation to Lord Vishnu, the supreme god of Hinduism, by shouting,“ Once you saved the world by taking the form of a fish,” (p204) and “ …you have saved me by taking the form of a fish.”(p204/205) It is Pi’s religious beliefs that give him the inner strength to face the difficulties during his voyage. At the time his life is threatened by the beasts on the lifeboat and in the sea, he prays to all his gods from Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam by saying, “ Jesus, Mary, Muhammad and Vishnu!” (p166) or just simply，“God preserve me!”(p155). After receiving mental relief from the gods, Pi is able to take actions to counteract the danger, which he develops plans to establish his superiority over Richard Parker. For example, he trains Richard Parker like a circus animal by blowing his whistle as loudly as he can. He also makes strong eye contacts with Richard Parker during the tense moments. Generally, Religion helps Pi to abandon his vegetarian status and to gain superiority over Richard Parker during his
“The presence of God is the finest of rewards.” (Yann Martel, Life of Pi 63) In Yann Martel’s riveting novel “Life of Pi” The basic plot of survival unfolds, however, this essay will show how the hidden yet the dominant theme of religion throughout the story is what helped the main character Piscine Molitor Patel (Pi) survive.
Life of Pi is so compelling to read and yet it is such difficult concept to truly understand. Yann Martel's novel, Life of Pi, is the about of Piscine Patel, who prefers it as Pi. At his age of sixteen, he survived for 227 days on a lifeboat in the Pacific Ocean with a hungry tiger to worry about. There were other inhabitants on the boat as well, a zebra, a hyena and an orangutan. Yann Martel is such a great author that he has masked one story over the other story though the work of Pi. Pi hides his second, true story by trying to give the people on the boat different appearances, in his devout triad of religions, and disembodying himself from his own thoughts. Pi hides his second story, in the first story, by trying to disembody himself from his own thoughts. To do so he had used physical look of Pi’s emotions, religion, and though circus acts.
In the Novel “Life of Pi” by Yann Martel talks about a character name Pisine Molitar and how he debts which religion is right for him.In the novel's faith plays a significant role in shaping Pi’s personality, its significance of Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam.
While practicing Hinduism and the gods associated with the religion, Pi soon encounters Jesus Christ, “It was Lord Krishna speaking. I heard him. And I followed him…Lord Krishna led me to meet one man…I met Jesus Christ” (55). This point in the novel expresses character development because Pi Patel moves away from society’s norms of one religion and decides to follow multiple ones. As Pi Patel’s exploration of different religions began, he stated, “[it] bothered me, the less I could forget him. And the more I learned about him, the less I wanted to leave him” (63). Prior to learning the conventions of this new religion [Christianity], Pi Patel has built a close relationship with Jesus Christ and cannot forget his newly found beliefs. In fact, Pi states that he feels closer to god because he practices more than one religion. Ultimately, this indicates that Pi is willing to do anything in order to become closer with God to gain that sense of hope and faith. In the novel there are many Christian symbols, including: the fish at sea and the ship itself. In Pi’s journey to Canada he is aboard a ship which sinks, “The ship was sinking. My mind could hardly conceive it” (114). In Christianity, the ship is recognized as a symbol to represent a church. When the ship Pi and his family are aboard sinks, it indicates that the event was an act of god. God is testing Pi’s beliefs and his loyalty to god by
Pi has many traits that tend to enhance throughout the story, but we would like to elaborate further on his religious beliefs. It would be an understatement to say that Pi is simply a religious person. Pi’s initial religion was Hinduism, but as time went on he began to practice several ‘separate’ religions. Everyone told Pi that he could only have one religion to which he countered, “Bapu Gandhi said, ‘All religions are true.’ I just want to love God.” (87 Martel) At one time he asked his mother for a prayer rug and made this point, “If there’s only one nation in the sky, shouldn’t all passports be valid for it?” (93 Martel) Through all of the tragedy and sorrow that Pi had to endure, even through times of great doubt, Pi always came back to his
Pi is a very religious person who had many beliefs, which causes some issues with his family. At one point, all of his religious teachers were in an argument over Pi’s beliefs, in which he replies “Bapu Gandhi said ‘all religions are true’ I just want to love God.” (Martel, 69). This furthered Pi’s bravery when he was able to stick up for himself in
At the start of novel, and when Pi is a child, he is extremely religious. He devotes his life to loving God, and even practices three religions to do so. He practices Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity. His explanation for practicing all three is that according to Bapu Gandhi, “‘All religions are true’”(69). Pi explains that he practices all three religions because, “[he] just wants to love God”(69). Pi’s major religious values and faith in God continue to shape his life daily, until the shipwreck leaves him stranded on the Pacific, with a tiger for 227 days. Although Pi still remains religious and continues to praise God most days, the shipwreck does change Pi’s religious morals. Richard Parker is the factor that begins this change in Pi, because Pi knows that in order to survive he will have to fish to provide for Richard Parker if he wants to avoid being eaten himself. Fishing, however goes against the religious practice of Hinduism, which requires vegetarianism. Also, killing animals goes against Pi’s whole religious morals to not hurt another living being. Pi says the idea of killing a fish, and of “beating a soft living head with a hammer [is] simply too much”(183). It goes against everything he believes in. So, he decides to instead cover to fish’s head and break its neck (183). He explains that, “he [gives] up a number of times.
In drastic situations, human psychology uses coping mechanisms to help them through it. In the novel, Life of Pi by Yann Martel, Pi’s coping mechanism is his religions and his projection of Richard Parker. Martel’s Life of Pi shows how the projection of Richard Parker played a greater role in keeping Pi alive in comparison to his beliefs in his religions. During the period in which Pi was stranded on the lifeboat, Richard Parker kept Pi aware, helped Pi make the right decisions, and was Pi’s sub-consciousness.
Life of Pi begins with an author’s note in which Martel describes being told by the character Mamaji that Pi has “‘a story that will make you believe in God’” (ix). This essentially sets up the basis for the entire theme of the novel. The main character, Pi, claims to practice three religions simultaneously: Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam (Martel 81). Much of Pi’s explanation of his own childhood consists of his own religious journeys. He begins with an explanation of how his aunt introduced him to Hinduism upon ...
First of all, religion is a key component in Pi’s survival because it leads Pi to believe that he has to coexist with other creatures and they are all one entity. When Pi struggles with the storm on the lifeboat, he has the opportunity to abandon Richard Parker, but he doesn’t: “I could see his head. He was struggling to stay at the surface of the water. ‘Jesus, Mary, Muhammad and Vishnu, how good to see you, Richard Parker! Don’t give up, please. Come to the lifeboat. Do you hear this whistle? TREEEEE! TREEEEE! TREEEEE! You heard, right. Swim! Swim!’” (Martel p.121). Although Richard Parker
Imagine losing all of your family without being to say goodbye, only to be stuck in the middle of the ocean, and no one coming to your help. The story “Life of Pi” is a story that makes people believe in miracles. The protagonist name is Piscine Molitor Patel, but he calls himself Pi to avoid people mispronouncing his name. The first half of the book Pi talks about his background and his religions. The main story talks place in the second half of the book. His family is moving their zoo to Canada, so they decide to go on the boat with the animals. A few days later the ship sinks and Pi is the only one human to survive. Pi is stuck on the life boat with hyena, tiger, orangutan, and a zebra. He is lost at sea for 227 days and only he and a tiger named Richard Parker are alive. When he tells people about his survivor story they don’t believe him. Pi then tells a story that makes the animal represent humans and people start to believe him more. Yann Martel in “Life of Pi” uses conflict, character growth, imagery, and epilogue to make the audience think the story is real.
“When we are no longer able to change a situation - we are challenged to change ourselves.” This excerpt by Austrian psychologist and Holocaust Survivor Viktor E. Frankl describes the very essence of the Life of Pi. Piscine Molitor Patel is burdened with this idea of change and, as a result, is forced to completely alter his way of life. He adopts a new religion of survival; one with no limits or boundaries, only desperation to prosper. Pi undergoes a transformation that mimics a religious conversion to savagery during his time in unintended exile.