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The Significance of Richard Parker in Life of Pi

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Picture yourself in a peaceful sleep. Suddenly, you are awake. The crackle of lightening and the swaying of the boat startle you. You get up to see what all the commotion is about. Now you are standing on the deck with the wind knocking you down. The skies open up with buckets of rain smacking against your skin with the cooling mist from the high waves are gently falling upon you. A piercing alarm and the screaming of people scratches at your ears. A second later you are standing in water up to your knees. Then in a blink of an eye you are alone. In the darkness, with nothing but water surrounding you. That is exactly where Pi was in Life of Pi. Sitting in a lifeboat in the middle of Pacific Ocean watching the Tsimtum go down not knowing if his family survived. The only things around him were a hyena, orangutan, zebra, and Richard Parker, who is a tiger. The other animals on the lifeboat did not have names, so why would this one particular animal have a name? Why is this animal so important that it gets a name, let alone a name that was made for a human? The name, Richard Parker, was not just chosen at random. It has too much meaning and history behind it to not just be a coincidence. Martel definitely chose that specific name for a reason.

Richard Parker’s original name was Thirsty, but due to a mess up in the paper work, his name became Richard Parker. The name, Richard Parker, has many meanings that describe exactly how the “tiger” acts. The name has been brought up multiple times in history and they have all involved the sea. The first time the name appeared to the public was in a novel written by Edgar Allen Poe. After the novel was published, there have been many shipwrecks with people named Richard Parker over the y...

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