Richard Parker is a 450 pound Bengal tiger. Pi is shipwrecked in a life boat with this ferocious animal. However, wrapped up in the idea of this carnivorous, bloody thirsty beast, there is a secret: Richard Parker symbolizes Piscine Molitor Patel.
First and foremost, Richard Parker symbolizes the savagery within Pi. When Pi first enters the life boat, he is a civilized human being. During this time, Richard is under the tarpaulin, invisible to Pi. Yet, as the time Pi spends in the life boat augments, Richard begins to peak out. By the time Pi meets the blind man, Richard is all the way out, and in effect to this Pi eats the blind man.
Similarly, Richard represents Pi’s animal-like instincts. Pi has grown up as a