Life of Pi Essay

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In the book Life of Pi, by Yann Martel, the main character gets stranded in a lifeboat in the Pacific Ocean with only his imagination to cope with. Piscine Molitor Patel, also known as Pi, uses a figure of his imagination to make a horrific situation better, by changing his perspective on the entire ordeal. When Pi gets isolated with his mother, a cruel cook, and an injured sailor, Pi transforms all of them into animals out of fear, disbelief and justification.

Throughout Pi’s experience, he is very fearful. He is not only afraid of all the death cruelty around him, but of himself as well. Pi states in the book, “I was filled with a mix of rapt admiration and abject fear” (308). Pi starts becoming very fearful and troubled as soon as the cook on board the lifeboat starts performing grotesque feats, such as amputating and eating the injured sailor’s leg, and eventually the sailor’s body once he died. It was the cook who also cut off his mother’s head and caused Pi to fear his own life being lost. Pi also started fearing himself as soon as he noticed the animal side of him develop. This is when he created the Bengal tiger, Richard Parker, as the animalistic and cruel side of himself. When Pi had finally found land, he let Richard Parker go free because he was in civilization again and he would no longer need that side of him to obtain food and protect himself.

Pi also creates the story involving animals as a way of disbelief. He was shocked at the experiences and trauma that he had on the lifeboat that he didn’t want to belief the reality of it. The reality being that the cook, or compared to as a hyena, aboard the lifeboat was a vicious and cruel being that killed and ate the injured sailor, and caused Pi to hold the capacitated head of his own mother. It was through these actions that caused Pi to murder the cook himself, which is when the tiger Richard Parker was born into Pi’s imagination. He did not want to believe the uncivilized behavior all around him,...
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