The 450 pound Bengal Tiger, also known as "Richard Parker", has been Pi's companion throughout his survival journey. Richard Parker's name also plays a major significance to the story. The major theme that his name is intertwined with his the will to survive and the nature of religious belief. The origin of his name is represented by the will to survive. Richard Parker was said to have gained his name from a clerical error, which was mixed up with the hunter's name "Richard Parker"(Martel, pg.166). A hunter is trained since childhood to possess the ability to hunt for survival and protect their loved ones. The hunter acknowledges that if they do not possess the will to survive, they cannot proceed to their future. They must have hope and courage at all times. Similar to these characteristics, Richard Parker, carrying the hunter’s name, represents the will to
The Life of Pi, written by Yann Martel, is the story of a young man, Piscine, or Pi for short, who experiences unbelievable and unrealistic events, which are so unrealistic ambiguity is aroused amongst the reader. Duality reoccurs over the course of the novel through every aspect of Pi’s world view and is particularly seen in the two contradictory stories, which displays the brutal nature of the world. Martel wonderfully crafts and image of duality and skepticism though each story incorporated in this novel.
“Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual's conscious life, the blacker and denser it is. At all counts, it forms an unconscious snag, thwarting our most well-meant intentions” (Carl Jung). The archetype of the shadow self is the darker, animalistic self that a person represses and is forced into the unconscious by the ego. In Life of Pi by Yann Martel, the protagonist, Piscine Molitor is stranded in the middle of the Pacific with a Bengal tiger. It is on this journey that Pi encounters his shadow self. Unfortunately, in an effort to survive, Pi goes against most of his beliefs; and resorts a level of savagery by giving in to his shadow self, Richard Parker. Thence, Pi’s plight is quite challenging for his fruitarian, gentle, kind hearted persona; therefore, Pi would not have survived if he repudiated his shadow self, projected as Richard Parker.
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.
Likewise Martel’s use of ambiguous imagery validates how Richard Parker in the beginning of the book is going to be Pi’s survival side. When Richard Parker was first introduced in a black and white photo Martel gives Richard parker an ambiguous appearance by giving the animal a human name and by saying “Richard Parker, can you believe what has happened to us”(Martel 97) . Giving a human image to the readers mind early on conveys that Richard Parker is in fact a human an human that us reader’s want to “extract personality from appearance”(Martel 87), but the appearance that Martel wants the people to extract from is Pi himself. For Pi has this survival side that he does not need at the time and that is why Richard Parker is not described in great detail so that the people can know from the beginning that Pi has another side to himself. Alternatively when being stuck on the boat with this tiger Pi begins to distance himself, because of the overwhelming side of himself in which makes him say “Let go, I don’t want you here”(Ma...
The son of a zookeeper, Pi Patel has an encyclopedic knowledge of animal behavior and a fervent love of stories. When Pi is sixteen, his family emigrates from India to North America aboard a Japanese cargo ship, along with their zoo animals bound for new homes. The ship sinks. Pi finds himself alone in a lifeboat, his only companions a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra, and Richard Parker, a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon the tiger has dispatched all but Pi, whose fear, knowledge, and cunning allow him to coexist with Richard Parker for 227 days while lost at sea. When they finally reach the coast of Mexico, Richard Parker flees to the jungle, never to be seen again. The Japanese authorities that interrogate Pi refuse to believe his story and press him to tell them "the truth." After hours of coercion, Pi tells a second story, a story much less fantastical, much more conventional — but is it more true?
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.
Thesis: Pi’s journey is characterized better in the movie because it gets rid of excess information to get the story line along, has major effects to visually represent the story, and finishes with a definite conclusion.
Pi Patel in Yann Martel’s Life of Pi is a young Indian boy who is put through a tremendous traumatic experience; he gets lost at sea! Not only does he lose all his family, but he is forced to survive 227 days at sea with very limited resources. This ordeal causes great psychological pressure on Pi and causes his mind to find ways to cope with all the stress. When asked to describe what happened, Pi tells two stories: one with him surviving with animals including an adult Bengal tiger named Richard Parker, and a parallel story with humans in which Pi is forced to bend morality. Pi’s story of his survival with Richard Parker is a fiction that he creates to cope with a reality that is too difficult to face.
In Life of Pi, the use of symbolism seems to be easy to find. There are multiple symbols used throughout the novel, one being Pi’s nickname. The word Pi has multiple meanings, such as the mathematical pi, using decimals, and the greek meaning of pi. Yann Martel gave Pi that nickname because Pi confuses himself by following multiple religions and believe in a numerous amount of ideals and rituals. Since the word pi has multiple meanings, Pi would be considered a multi layered kid because he has many layers of religion in his life. The lifeboat talked about in the novel serves as Pi’s and Richard Parker, the tiger, home, but also considered an important symbol. It provides support and hope for Pi by allowing him to survive and get to lane, but the lifeboat also changes his perception of Richard. He trains the tiger to behave and to be his friend. Richard Parker, the tiger becomes more than just a tiger to Pi. “If I still had the will to live, it was thanks to Richard Parker. He kept me from thinking too much about my family an...