Pi And Richard Parker : The Life Saving Parallel Essay

Pi And Richard Parker : The Life Saving Parallel Essay

Length: 827 words (2.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Pi and Richard Parker: The Life-Saving Parallel
A defense mechanism is an unconscious process, as denial, that protects an individual from unacceptable or painful ideas or impulses. Defense mechanisms often come into use when one is in intense or insurmountable amounts of stress. Yann Martel, in his novel Life of Pi, uses parallels between animal and human characteristics within two stories – each of the same remarkable journey – where the reader is left to question which story is true. Martel’s anthropomorphic novel marvelously projects the characteristics of people into animals as a way for the main character, Pi, to deal with the harsh realities of his 277-day journey aboard a lifeboat.
Pi details the story of how he survived a shipwreck in which he and his family were traveling with animals from his father’s previously owned zoo. This epic tale of survival takes place primarily on a lifeboat, accompanied with four animals; a hyena, a zebra, an orangutan named Orange Juice, and a Royal Bengal Tiger named Richard Parker. Within this story, the hyena kills the broken-legged zebra and the orangutan before being killed by the Bengal tiger. In this point of the story, Martel leaves readers with only two characters aboard the boat: a desperate 16-year-old boy and an enormous Bengal Tiger.
When listeners are denial that a 16-year-old boy could survive 277 days in the middle of the sea with only a tiger and a lifeboat, Pi recounts a different story. In Martel’s second part of the story, there are no animals. This version has no Orange Juice and no 450-pound Richard Parker. Instead, Pi offers a story with a cook, a Buddhist sailor with a broken leg, his mother, and himself aboard a lifeboat. As the four humans come short of food, an...

... middle of paper ...

...nt of me on his way to the right. He didn’t look at me….Then Richard Parker, companion of my torment, awful, fierce thing that kept me alive, moved forward and disappeared forever from my life.” (Martel) Martel’s parallels as a defense mechanism are shown here as Pi releases the tiger inside of him, as he no longer needs to commit animalistic acts to survive.
“Without Richard Parker, I wouldn’t be alive today to tell you my story.” (Martel 164). The Royal Bengal Tiger saved Pi in more ways than one. Richard Parker symbolized hope, served as a companion, and projected the wild beast inside of Pi that he never knew he had. Martel uses the tiger, along with several other animal parallels, to transform Pi into a defensive, independent, and willful fighter for his own life, to which Pi must believe over the harsh realities that took place on journey aboard the lifeboat.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Symbolism Is Life Of Pi And Richard Parker Essay

- Symbolism is apparent in all of the novels and films that we see in the industry today. It’s a regular occurrence and has almost become a commonality. A novel in which we see an immense amount of symbolism is Life of Pi by Yann Martel, however, the mechanism that takes the symbolism to another level is anthropomorphism. We see this phenomenon primarily in the depth of meaning within the character Richard Parker. Within the novel, Richard Parker represents Pi and his dynamicity throughout the different stages of his journey....   [tags: Yann Martel, Life of Pi, Canada Reads]

Better Essays
886 words (2.5 pages)

The Significance of Richard Parker in Life of Pi Essay

- 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....   [tags: Life of Pi Essays]

Better Essays
1309 words (3.7 pages)

Symbolism Anaylsis Parker's Back Essay

- Life is not something simple as we often prefer. There are many different approaches and in most instances we will not find the desired fulfillment in any of them. In the short story “Parkers Back” written by Flannery O’Connor we have a multi-faceted view into the life of the primary character O.E. Parker. In addition we see into the life of Sarah Ruth, Parker’s wife and possibly into the life of author Flannery O’Connor, who died shortly after completing this short story. The characters in this story deal with Tattoos from totally different perspectives and get completely different results....   [tags: Parker's Back]

Better Essays
1283 words (3.7 pages)

Essay on The Role of Richard Parker in Yann Martel’s Life of Pi

- Richard Parker is the character everyone will remember from Life of Pi, if only for the fact that he’s a tiger. He is terrifying, beautiful and apathetic; he’s also possibly half-eaten by sharks at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean without ever having stepped foot in a lifeboat, depending on what story the reader prefers. This poses an interesting question to the reader of the novel; if Richard Parker is only present in one of the stories, the tale with a lifeboat packed with animals, what does he represent in the story devoid of zoo animals entirely....   [tags: Life of Pi Essays]

Better Essays
881 words (2.5 pages)

Pi and Richard Parker in Life of Pi Essay example

- Pi gives two renditions of his 227 days on the ocean. His second version, instead of involving animals, claims that other survivors from the ship are present. Pi witnesses and takes part in cannibalism, going against his vegetarianism and human nature. Pi also commits murder in this adaptation of his story, killing his mother’s murderer, a reality that is hard for Pi to come to terms with. Since this event is easier for him to cope with if is not the one directly involved in the killing, he replaces himself with Richard Parker....   [tags: Yann Martel]

Better Essays
1171 words (3.3 pages)

The Role of Richard Parker in Yann Martel’s Life of Pi Essay

- 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....   [tags: Life of Pi Essays]

Better Essays
1150 words (3.3 pages)

The Role of Richard Parker in Yann Martel’s Life of Pi Essay

- “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....   [tags: Life of Pi Essays]

Better Essays
1248 words (3.6 pages)

Sacrifice in Life of Pi, Pi by Yann Martel Essay

- ... To achieve happiness you will end up sacrificing. This can be either an object, mental state, physical well being, and even self awareness. There are many different ways to achieve being happy. In Life of Pi, Pi faced many challenges where he had to make choices to survive on the ocean. Since he was on the ocean for such a long period of time, there would have been a big change of his own criteria of what happy felt to him. Instead of feeling excited to wake up in the zoo everyday, he now felt excited to wake up alive after an untold night in the middle of the ocean....   [tags: happiness, richard parker]

Better Essays
544 words (1.6 pages)

Dorothy Parker's Bold and Controversial Legacy and Writing Style Essay

- Dorothy Parker’s poems in The Portable Dorothy Parker vary from humorous commentary on romance to social critique, but her format holds on to the rigidity of older styles. While several writers choose this time period to step outside of the normal confines of writing norms, Parker retains a vintage format of strict end-rhymes and polished line lengths. Her use of comedic devices lines up with the typical craft choices that emerged in the twentieth century; however, her approach is much different than anything else of her time....   [tags: The Portable Dorothy Parker, Poetic Analysis]

Better Essays
1567 words (4.5 pages)

Dorothy Parker's Short Stories Essay

- Dorothy Parker's Short Stories Dorothy Parker’s writings are connected to her life in many ways. She grew up in a time where women’s roles where changing in society. She spent most of her life in New York City and most of her stories setting are of that city. She was married young and divorced in a short time, just as the Hazel in The Big Blonde. She was outgoing, sarcastic, and witty in a time when women were supposed to be docile. This style is shown throughout her work but particularly in The Waltz, where the status quo is displayed through the character’s conversation and Parker’s ideals are made known through the woman’s inter monologue....   [tags: Dorothy Parker Essays]

Better Essays
2277 words (6.5 pages)