Life of Pi: Significance of Color

Topics: Yann Martel, Life of Pi, Canada Reads Pages: 2 (850 words) Published: June 16, 2013
A woman once said, “There is no life without color.” This is just the case with the main character of “The Life of Pi”, Pi Patel. Pi is a cast away on a lifeboat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with a tiger, an orangutan, a hyena and a zebra. There is one color that was mentioned multiple times throughout the story, the color orange. In the novel “Life of Pi” by Yann Martel, this color is used as a symbol for hope and survival.

To hope means to wish for something with expectations of its fulfillment. Pi’s case is a pristine example of hoping for something. He has many instances when he gains hope throughout the novel, including building a raft, landing on the island, or even finding the food in the locker of the lifeboat. The most important, is the hope Pi is given through his companion on the lifeboat, Richard Parker, a four hundred and fifty pound Royal Bengal tiger. Being the color orange, the tiger becomes an example of hope throughout the book. Pi realizes, to keep himself, Richard Parker, and the will to survive alive, he must tame the tiger. “I had to tame him. It was at that moment that I realized this necessity. It was not a question of him or me, but of him and me. We were, literally and figuratively, in the same boat. We would live--or we would die--together.” (Martel, 164) Keeping Richard Parker alive would allow Pi to constantly remember that he is not the only one suffering and he has someone there for him, whether he can answer or not. Although Pi has many reasons to be hopeful, the author gives the reader reasons as well. Prior to the scene of the sinking of the Tsimtsum, an interviewer and reporter that is talking to Pi about the sinking of the ship describes visiting Pi later in life at his home in Canada. He meets Pi’s family and mentions that Pi’s daughter, Usha, holds an orange cat. “Leaning against the sofa in the living room, looking up at me bashfully, is a little brown girl, pretty in pink, very much at home. She’s holding an...
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