Life of Pi Essay

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Life of Pi Analytical Essay
In the novel Life of Pi, Yann Martel uses the protagonist Pi to demonstrate how faith, ritual and one’s will to live save one from the barbaric and carnivorous reality. Pi Patel, lover of faith and various gods and their beliefs loses his family after a shipwreck and drifts on the Pacific Ocean with a zebra, hyena, orangutan and a tiger, Richard Parker each struggling in their own way to survive. Yann Martel uses the protagonist Pi to claim that one retains his or her survival will through writing.

Martel includes the fact that Pi writes, “I die” as his pen runs dry because it symbolizes the break of his daily ritual. Pi unconsciously makes a ritual for himself daily to follow in order keep himself busy that he forgets the notion of time. Pi is able to survive because he makes an effort to forget the amount of time that passes (242). The element of time symbolizes the Pi’s despair but as he slowly forgets the existence of time, he also forgets his desolated situation. Pi dedicates himself daily to working hard to not remember or think deeply about how much time has passed. If Pi were to think about the amount of time that has elapsed, he would remember his loss of family and friends making him once again look forward to death. By nature, animals including humans favor consistency and dislike change and disruptions in their ritual. Pi unconsciously conducts his own religious rituals within his daily routine and grants him continued faith in God to survive. But Pi’s religious rituals also each lack a requirement necessary for example his Mass lacks Communion and his darshan lacks murti. As his routine gradually breaks apart, so does Pi’s confidence in sustaining life. The Communion and murti represents the disruption in Pi’s life but his routine of recording his everyday life at sea in his journal substitutes for the missing elements of his religious ritual and helps Pi sustain his will to survive.

Daily writing in the journal...