Life of Pi

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Blake Solberg
Animal Ethics
Dr. Patricia McEachern
December 4, 2012
Life of Pi
When I arrived at the theatre to see the movie Life of Pi¸ I was exhausted. I had an architecture project that was due and I was on little to no sleep. I thought that the movie was going to be a bore and I would take the time to take a nap, but when the move started after the twenty minutes of commercials, it started to get to me. After the ship wreck the director had my full attention. Even though I was hungry and bought a large soda and popcorn so then I was guaranteed free refills I wasn’t leaving my seat. The simplicity of the movie was engaging and the moral ethics behind how Pi survived while he was at sea was magnetic. I was just in awe the whole time. Right from the beginning God and religion are brought into the film. Pi is dared to enter a Christian church and drink the holy water, but when he enters and after he drinks the holy water a priest approaches him and offers him water. Pi then proceeds to ask why God would give up his only son to save the lives of other people. The priest explains that it was because he loved all of the people on earth and he wanted to save them from all of their sins. Hope. Never, ever, lose hope. Hope was the driving force in helping Pi as he was bearing through all the hardships and difficulties that were bought upon him. Even when his family was taken away from the ship wreck he never lost hope, even when he was above the jellyfish and a whale sends his supplies floating away, he never lost hope. If it wasn’t for the hope and faith that he had he would have never made it. To also help himself stay sane he never gave up hope that his family was still out there and also that people were looking for him. I am not sure if he knew that his family all actually drowned, and he is just trying to have faith, or if he truly believed it. Freedom is a huge part in the movie. Freedom refers to one being free to live their life the way they choose too. Pi relates zoos to people on earth. Although we have freedom and we have the abilities to survive even if we do have restriction on what we can and can’t do. Just like the animals in the zoo, they have the ability to be free and survive but with minimal restrictions.

The Relativity of Truth
Science and Religion
Loss of Innocence

The main parallel that Pi draws between these two things is the true freedom that both provide, even in seeming to restrict it. He says that detractors argue that zoos restrict animals’ freedom and so make them unhappy, and the rituals and rules of religion can similarly be said to restrict human freedom. Pi argues, however, that zoos, by providing an animal with its survival needs, in fact give that animal as much freedom, for it is content, safe, and wouldn’t want to leave. Similarly, the rules and ritual of religion in fact give people what Pi sees as their spiritual essentials, and thus a more significant kind of freedom. Although Pi claims to have never lost faith in God, this faith clearly becomes less important to him while he is in his desperate fight to survive. Most obviously, he talks about God and his belief much less than in the chapters that deal with his life before and after his ordeal. He becomes to weak to perform his religious rituals with any regularity, but even more, he allows his need to survive to overpower his moral system. That is, he eats meat, kills living animals, and even goes so far as to eat human flesh. Belief in God

Belief in God is clearly a major theme in Life of Pi, and has been the most controversial in reviews of the book. Throughout the novel, Pi makes his belief in and love of God clear—it is a love profound enough that he can transcend the classical divisions of religion, and worship as a Hindu, Muslim, and Christian. Pi, although amazed by the possibility of lacking this belief, still respects the atheist, because he sees him as a kind of believer. Pi’s vision of an...
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