Life of Pi Role in Religion

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Life of Pi Role in Religion

By | November 2008
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Pi Patel, the protagonist from Yann Martel's "Life of Pi" overcomes many challenges spanning from his spiritual learning to his basic instinct and survival throughout his horrific adventures at sea. The protagonist, an Indian boy from Pondicherry, explores the different issues of religion and spirituality from an early age and survives 227 days shipwrecked in the Pacific Ocean. Pi practices Hinduism, Christianity and Islam, having seen good things in all three religions. He says "I just want to love God" (Martel 69). His knowledge about religion and God helps him survive the multiple obstacles he faces on the lifeboat. His study about all three religions, serves as a great defensive safeguard from the difficult harsh situations of life. It is a long journey filled with danger, loneliness and doubt, but most of all an exploration of faith.

Pi maintains his religious beliefs while on the life boat through his daily ritual prayers, which helps sustain him. He is faced with physical difficulty, ranging from salt-water boils, to the threat of death by a tiger, to cold, to starvation, to dehydration and other difficulties. However, he continues to pray regularly, and must plead to God in order to survive his ordeal. He remembers the misery he felt after such a long time away from God, saying, "It was natural that, bereft and desperate as I was, in the throes of unremitting suffering, I should turn to God" (Martel 315). With Pi keeping his ritual prayers going, which helped him to survive. He was able to maintain somewhat the religious lifestyle that he had prior to the sinking of the Tsimtsum. He also makes many religious relationships throughout his journey. He made comparisons between Orange Juice and the Virgin Mary. "She came floating on an island of bananas in a halo of light, as lovely as the Virgin Mary" (Martel 111). Truly, Pi's religious faith remained strong throughout his journey on the Pacific Ocean.

Piscine Molitor Patel was raised as a simple...