Life of Pi: A Father's Lesson

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Taylor Hagenson
17 January 2013
A Father’s Lesson
Parents have the responsibility to teach and to protect their children. In teaching them while they are young parents hope to save them from making mistakes later in life. In the novel Life of Pi, Santosh, Pi’s father wishes to save his boys from future fatal blunders. His lesson was done in somewhat a harsh way but it was necessary, any other way may not have been effective, and it accomplished what he wanted it to.

Some would view this father’s lesson as harsh and a little much for two young boys. However when you know your children will be spending ample time around animals unsupervised, it is necessary that they understand how dangerous the animals are. Pi’s mother was upset at her husband for wanting to expose her children to such brutality. But his father feels it necessary since Pi is, “…at that age when boys run around and poke their noses everywhere. (Martel 32).” Pi and Ravi are both curious boys. Ravi is more on the mischievous side than Pi. And their father’s concern is that one day the boys might be curious about one of the animals, and may try to get close or even try to pet it as you would a domestic animal. Even though they may not ever think about touching a carnivorous tiger, they may think it alright to stroke the fur of a seemingly harmless spotted deer. “Life will defend itself no matter how small it is (Martel 38).” This lesson is necessary for them to learn as it could save their lives.

The way he went about teaching them this lesson was also crucial. There are not many ways to stress the dangers of animals. Unless you see firsthand what a hungry wild animal can do it does not affect you as much. Stories about other people’s mishaps are too far removed and do not seem real enough. The way that Pi’s father taught them to never touch the animals will stay with them forever. As Pi said, “It was enough to scare the vegetarian daylights out of me (Martel 36).” The images and sound of...
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