The Life of Pi Story

“The Life of Pi” is an enthralling tale of a young boy and his troubles at sea. It’s about his fight for survival with a Bengal tiger. The boy also struggles with his religion and identity. Readers can take the messages presented to them in the story and apply them to everyday lives. They will fall in love with its colorful cast of characters and its deviation from usual story plots.

Since the author, Yann Martell, has been through many life-changing experiences during his life, it’s fitting to say that “The Life of Pi” is also life-changing in its quality and style.

Yann Martell was born on June 25, 1963 in Spain. He was born to Emile and Nicole, who were in Spain at the time when Yann was born due to his father’s pursuit of a doctorate degree. Martell did not spend a lot of time in his birthplace, as his parents soon joined the foreign service. He grew up in France, Costa Rica, and Mexico, before settling in Canada to go to college. These places where he grew up would have most likely influenced the setting of his literary works. In 1987, Martell graduated from Ontario’s Trent Univeristy with a degree in philosophy, which could have also influenced Martell’s style and the meanings of his books. From there, Martell worked as a tree planter, dishwasher, security guard, and many other jobs before becoming a writer at the age of twenty-seven. Even though he lived Canada, Martell still traveled, visiting many exotic places around the world. Such places include Turkey, Iran, and India, where Martell gained many of the ideas for his future works, which would later capture the hearts of many people around the world.

During his travels, Martell wrote his first book, called “The Facts behind the Helsinki Roccamatios” in 1993. It was actually a collection of short stories that dealt with themes such as grief and death. Many of these themes would reoccur in the Life of Pi, published about eight years later. Three years after the publication of “The Facts behind the Helsinki Roccamatios”, Martell published “Self”. “Self” was a cleverly crafted story of a young boy struggling with his sexuality and identity. According to Jeffrey Hunter, “The novel works as a study on subjectivity and identity, and Martel has been praised for his investigation of gender roles and the subjective nature of self” (Hunter, 2012). Five years later, Martell published his most well-known book, “The Life of Pi” in 2001. The book was so good that it was met with widespread acclaim from all across the globe. According to Hunter, “ The critically acclaimed novel has been compared to the work of Jospeh Conrad and Salman Rushdie” (Hunter, 2012). He received the Booker Prize for his outstanding literary work. On top of that, he was asked to teach at a university in Berlin, Germany.

“ The Life of Pi” manages to break the mold of many stories that have preceded it. It manages to stray significantly from cliché or regular adventure stories. The author of this amazing book, Yann Martel, blends together vivid feelings, colorful imagery, and inspiring messages into one uplifting journey. This creates an inspiring tale for many generations.

Characters are deeply flawed and relatable, rather than perfect, flawless characters. The characters display raw, unfiltered, and pure emotions that have a very large influence on the reader. For example, in the story, sixteen year-old Pi Patel seems like another perfect character on the outside. He is smart, does very well in school, runs a zoo with his family, and is a deeply religious individual. However, Pi’s character flaws lie within his religious identity. He believes in three different religions. He has many flashbacks regarding his faith, such as being in a religious house or remembering previous journeys around the world that pertained to his faith. These conflicts always haunt him and he is forced to deal with them every day. On top of that, Pi has an avalanche of work to do every single day. Such things include running the zoo his parents own and keeping up with his work in school. This makes his problems about faith even more overwhelming. Being overwhelmed is something that many people experience daily, so this makes Pi’s situation more relatable to readers of all ages. However, Pi always makes the best out of every situation he faces, no matter how difficult it is. That is a lesson that everyone should live by.

As the story continues on, Pi and his family must move to Canada. They pack their animals onto a boat called the Tsimtsum. However, the boat sinks killing everyone except Pi and a few animals including a zebra, an orangutan, a hyena, and a tiger known as Richard Parker. Richard Parker eats all the animals except for Pi, who must fight for survival at sea. In order to stay alive, Pi creates his own section of the lifeboat that they are riding in. He must catch fish for food and depends on the rain for water. This struggle shows how fortunate many people around the world are to have lots of food and water and a roof above their heads. We take these things for granted and do not think about thousands of other people around the world who are suffering from lack of food, water, and shelter.

The settings in the story are also key elements that bring the novel to life. The settings are so vividly described and seem so real that readers feel like they are actually in the story. Pi’s fight for survival at sea lasts for months, but during that time he also visits a beautiful island along the way, full of otherworldly life. He encounters lush, glowing vegetation and colonies of meerkats that span farther than the naked eye can see. However, after the sun sets, the island reveals its carnivorous true nature to Pi and Richard Parker, forcing them to retreat to the sea. The island shows how deadly nature can be at its worst times and how it can surprise you at any second. According to Pi, “ I preferred to set off and perish in search of my own kind than to live a lonely half-life of physical comfort and spiritual death on this murderous island” (Martell, 2001, p. 283).

Many more months pass until Pi and Richard Parker arrive in Mexico. Richard Parker then wanders into the jungle, leaving Pi to fend for himself. Pi is then interviewed about what happened in his ordeal at sea. When his interviewers did not believe the real story, he replaced the animals in the lifeboat with humans, asking which story they preferred, which then concludes the novel. Pi tells the reporters, “ You can’t prove which story is true and which is not. You must take my word for it” (Martell, 2001, p. 317). The skepticism of the interviewers highlights the last message the story has to offer, which is pertaining how humans trust one another.

While most of the book is of extraordinary quality, there are some parts of the book that are not worthy of praise. For example, part one of the story was slow and lacked the thought and emotion of the latter parts. Of course, this part was necessary because it set up the characters, setting, and other important elements of the story. Nevertheless, the boring part did not change the outlook of the story as a whole. It was still an enjoyable book to read.

In conclusion, Yan Martel’s “ The Life of Pi” is a heartfelt, inspiring, and entertaining tale that is sure to entertain readers of all ages. There are many things that made this story a success, but the most important was its characters and setting. Without these driving forces of the plot, there would be no story to begin with. Nevertheless, Yan Martell poured his heart and soul into writing “ The Life of Pi.” His passion and dedication to his work truly shine through when you read it.

Works Cited:

Langer, Adam. “”The new paper tiger: Yann Martel. (Ten Who Made It Big in 2002).”” Book, Jan.-Feb. 2003, p. 37. Literature Resource Center, Accessed 27 Nov. 2018.

“”Life of Pi.”” Novels for Students, edited by Ira Mark Milne, vol. 27, Gale, 2008, pp. 129-155. Gale Virtual Reference Library, Accessed 28 Nov. 2018.

Stephens, Gregory. “”Feeding tiger, finding God: science, religion, and ‘the better story’ in Life of Pi.”” Intertexts, vol. 14, no. 1, 2010, p. 41+. Literature Resource Center, Accessed 28 Nov. 2018.

“”Yann Martel.”” Contemporary Literary Criticism, edited by Jeffrey W. Hunter, vol. 315, Gale, 2012. Literature Resource Center, Accessed 27 Nov. 2018. 

“Life of Pi” by Yann Martel

In Life Of Pi author Yann Martel describes characters who use hope and resourcefulness in a stranded ocean trying to survive.

The story centers with characters Pi, and a tiger Richard Parker, who all have hope, even though they’re stranded in a ocean after their ship sunk. When Pi saw that his ship was snapped and beginning to sink all he could do was hang on a oar. In front of him was an adult tiger and sharks beneath him, and a storm raging about him. Pi noticed that Richard Parker was out of sight so he stills hangs on a oar with sharks prowled but they didn’t lounge at him the waves splashed on him but did not pull him off. He looks for his family, a lifeboat, and other survivors anything that could give him hope but he found nothing.

Only rain, marauding waves of black ocean and the flotsam of tragedy. Pi was starting to feel pain in neck, back, and head but he needed to see if there were any other lifeboats. Pi uses everything he can to survive the storm. He founds out that Richard Parker is dead so he said God preserve me! Pi said the only thing that could calm him down was Richard Parker he looks around the horizon for a perfect circus ring for Richard Parker to hide in but he found nothing. Pi finds water and other supplies that he needed to survive and he drunk and drunk until his panic ws gone, hiLife in an extreme environment requires a sense of hope and the intelligence to use all available resources. In the story Life Of Pi,s fear was dominated. Survival was at hand. It came to be: Plan Number Seven: Keep Him Alive.

The author effectively conveys the challenge of this extreme environment through details of the characters’ reactions. Pi and Richard Parker’s hope and resourcefulness will help them survive. Hope and resourcefulness are powerful tools to survive any challenge that life brings you even if it’s hard to accomplish work hard to survive it.

The Theme of Survival in Life of Pi

Life of Pi is a novel by Yann Martel that illustrates man’s will to survive and an unlikely alliance that rises as a result. This is a story that plunges deep into every aspect of human nature, giving the reader an experience that is hard to forget. I recommend this book for those who need a new adventure in their life, as the mesmerizing words, phrases, and heart-stopping moments woven within the pages of this story are a blessing to the mind and soul.

The story opens on the colorful life of Piscine Patel, an Indian boy whose family owns a popular zoo. Although his family business already gives him a remarkable title to bear, Piscine is quite the character all on his own. For instance, at only age fourteen, he practices Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam, melding the three religions together by finding what connects them all to each other. He is as equally faithful to one practice as he is to another.

Although this is frowned upon, Piscine is content with his faith and his life, with one exception: his name. It is often misheard, said incorrectly, or made fun of. When Piscine begins attending a new school, he introduces himself as “Pi”, and that is how he is known or the rest of the story. Over time, Pi’s parents grow unhappy with the Indian government. They wish to find freedom and a new life, and so they make plans for their many species of animals and set out on a ship to Canada, taking the creatures with them. But on the third night, Pi is awoken by a sound that is alien to him. Searching for an answer, he makes his way up to the main deck, where a state of pandemonium occurs. The ship’s crew are all hustling and bustling about. When Pi finally has a chance to recollect himself, he asks a few crew members what is going on, only to have a life jacket thrust into his hands and be thrown overboard, landing on one of very few lifeboats. There are no other human survivors. Pi’s family is lost. Pi is now trapped on a lifeboat in the middle of the Pacific, along with one hyena, one zebra, one orangutan, and one bengal tiger, who is called Richard Parker. Before Richard Parker, who has been hiding under the lifeboat’s tarpaulin, even shows himself, the hyena soon has both the zebra and the orangutan dead within several days.

Pi leads himself to believe that it is only himself and the hyena left aboard, until Richard Parker brings the creature’s life to a sudden and violent end. Terrified, Pi constructs a raft out of supplies found on the lifeboat, and attaches it to the end of the boat, putting as much distance between himself and Richard Parker as possible. For a while, Pi accepts the inevitable probability of his imminent death. And then he discovers something within himself; a fighting warrior who drives him to face his fear, and place his life back into his own hands. From then on, he decides to become dominant over Richard Parker, realizing he has nothing to lose. He works every day to show that he is superior, while also using some of his resources to keep Richard Parker alive. Soon, his fear is vanquished, and he and Richard Parker seem to be living in a civil manner, a relationship that, although rocky, depends on mutual trust.

They grow not only to tolerate each other, but to need each other as well. Remarkably, Richard Parker becomes the only thing keeping Pi’s sanity in check. Things are going well, until they find land. Their relationship, or alliance, or whatever it might be called, was unfortunately at an end. Pi was quickly rescued from the island, whereas Richard Parker, his only companion for months, stayed behind to begin a new life in the vast jungles of the island they had discovered. Confused, half out of his mind, and heartbroken, Pi watches with weary eyes as his last friend, the last connection to his past life, grows farther and farther away. For the rest of his life, he is forever grateful for this unexpected friend, who turned out to be the only thing keeping him alive through the tragic accident. Even as an old man with a family, he knows with every fiber of his being that Richard Parker is the reason he is still standing there today. Life of Pi may be fiction, but its effects on the human spirit are very real and very beneficial. If you love to read, and even if you don’t, this story is one that will keep you intrigued and intellectually stimulated. Yann Martel has created a masterpiece that will remain timeless forever.

Life of Pi Analysis

Life in an extreme enviroment requires a sense of hope and the intelligence to use all available resources. In the story Life Of Pi, author Yann Martel describes characters who use hope and resourcefulness in a stranded ocean trying to survive.

The story centers with characters, Pi, and a tiger Richard Parker, who all have hope, even though they’re stranded in a ocean after their ship sunk. When Pi saw that his ship was snapped and begining to sink all he could do was hang on a oar. In front of him was an adult tiger and sharks beneath him, and a storm raging about him. Pi noticed that Richard Parker was out of sight so he stills hangs on a oar with sharks prowled but they didn’t lounge at him the waves splashed on him but did not pull him off. He looks for his family, a lifeboat, and other survivors anything that could give him hope but he found nothing. Only rain, marauding waves of black ocean and the flotsam of tragedy.

Pi was starting to feel pain in neck, back, and head but he needed to see if there were any other lifeboats. Pi uses everything he can to survive the storm. He founds out that Richard Parker is dead so he said God preserve me! Pi said the only thing that could calm him down was Richard Parker he looks around the horizon for a perfect circus ring for Richard Parker to hide in but he found nothing. Pi finds water and other supplies that he needed to survive and he drunk and drunk until his panic ws gone, his fear was dominated. Survival was at hand. It came to be: Plan Number Seven: Keep Him Alive.

The author effectively conveys the challenge of this extreme environment through details of the characters’ reactions. Pi and Richard Parker’s hope and resourcefulness will help them survive. Hope and resourcefulness are powerful tools to survive any challenge that life brings you even if it’s hard to accomplish work hard to survie it.

Film “Life of Pi” by Ang Lee

Life of Pi The film, Life of Pi is directed by Ang Lee, but the script was written by David Magee. Ang won Oscar for the best film life of Pi in 2012. The movie is about a boy named Pi.

He and his family were on a boat that canted in a storm. The waves were so big that the boat sank. In the boat there was also many animals from the zoo that Pi’s family owned. Pi survived and got into a lifeboat. In the boat there is a hyena, a zebra, an orangutan, and a Bengalitiger called Richard Parker. They are stranded in the Pacific Ocean for 227 days. During the trip only, Pi and the tiger survived. The other animals were eaten. No people tend to live with a tiger for 227 days. According to the true world, no people had overthrown it. No people had managed to live with a tiger in the way Pi did. If it had been in the true world, the tiger had killed Pi.Religion to PiIn the time Pi is stranded in the Pacific Ocean he makes reflections about his life, and he also take a spiritual journey. Pi has always believed in Hinduism since he was little, but when he became older he wanted to explorer new religions. Religion has been a part of his life, but what he remembers best is when he was in a Hindu temple. From the temple he remembers the coolers, smells and sounds.

The father of Pi introduced him to Martin, a Catholic priest who showed him that to be a Christian is based on love and faith in God.Pi wanted to explore and learn more about religions, so he studies servals religions. What he learned was that there were many ways to God and that in every religion there is love. Pi has respect for all religions and he does not combine them.The difference between the animal story and the human storyPi tells two stories at the start of the movie, one that is a human story and the animal story. He begins to tell the animal story. He was on a boat with all the animals from the father’s zoo. When the ship crashed, he had to flee in the lifeboat where he ended up with a zebra, a hyena, an orangutan and a Bengali tiger. The only one who survived the journey was the tiger and pi. Pi tells in the human story when he lived with his mother, the ship’s cook and a injured Japanese sailor. In the human story, the mother was an orangutan, the sailor was a zebra, the hyena was the chef and the tiger were Pi.Pi was called ?«pissing?»When Pi went to St. Joseph’s School, he was bullied, and his nickname was pissing.

Pi tried also to skull the school because he was not well there. One day Pi would show what the number pi was. He got up on the board without the teachers permission and he did not care to start calculating it. The number pi is 3,14Pi did not have any good childhood as he had no support from parents or anyone else. He went to school but was bullied. Pi was a boy who liked to investigate and learn about new things. His experience maybe was the reason he could survive alone on the ocean without food and with wild animals. He was also very interested in religions and how they worked, he was very spiritual. That was also a reason that he manages to survive.


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Life of Pi: Ontology, Epistemology and Axiology

The movie Life of Pi shows what Hindu’s think of other deities not within their pantheon, while also showing samsara, and the three components of a worldview; ontology, epistemology, and axiology.

In the movie Life of Pi directed by Ang Lee, Piscine Molitor Pi Patel is confronted with multiple different religions. He was born a Hindu. Later, he accepted Jesus, and finally, he added Allah to his collection. Pi did not believe in just one of these religions but he believed in all of them. His belief seems to be misconstrued, instead of converting to a new faith, Pi added these other deities to his 330 million gods. Pi was enticed to Jesus after hearing his story. Pi heard many stories from Hinduism about gods that were strong and powerful like Vishnu or Ganesha but the story of Jesus is simple and kind. This kindness of the priest leads Pi to ask many questions about Jesus, ultimately leading Pi to the faith.

The only problem is that Pi added Jesus to his already massive list of deities to worship. This belief is directly against the Bible as stated in 1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Jesus Christ. Now if Pi had been taught this from the priest, he might have fully converted to the faith. Instead, Piscine continued to live in his Hindu tradition and his Islamic worship while also praying to Jesus. Pi’s actions reflect the beliefs of the author, Yann Martel, who wrote Life of Pi. Martel once said, If there is only one nation in the sky shouldn’t all passports be valid. This statement is controversial and does not work within most religious standards but this is the lifestyle that Pi chooses for himself within the novel.

The meerkat island scene from the movie symbolizes different parts of the Hindu religion. When the day ends and the night begins the island consumes what is left in the pool. Creation and destruction are represented on the island with the meerkats and the carnivorous pool just as Brahma and Vishnu create and preserve life. Shiva also destroys it. The island also represents Samsara because the island is a cycle of death, life, and rebirth. The island kills the meerkats. The island supports the meerkats’ life on the island. The meerkats are constantly being born and killed on the island. The tooth on the island also represents samsara and the struggle to break it. When Pi leaves the island and finds the beach in Mexico. Pi becomes enlightened and breaks samsara to achieve moksha or becoming one with the universe in his own way, which means going back into the world to live his life.

The three components of a worldview are evident throughout the movie. A big point at the end of the movie is Pi’s two stories he told the interviewers. His stories have the same essence but they have two different forms. His first story that consists of unlikely events and places has two survivors, Richard Parker and Pi. In the second story, Pi is the only survivor but he tells the story as though he was Richard Parker, the tiger. Piscine tells the stories asking his interviewer which one he believes. The reporter answers with the first one. This shows what the interviewer values, he does not value the more believable story but rather the strange story about a boy surviving with a tiger on a dingy. Piscine’s values change through the movie, first, he focused on religion and highly valued it. Later, when on the boat his greatest value was his survival because he neglected to pray while on the ocean. Finally when he came ashore, Pi cared about his family and once again his religion.

How Meta Fiction Influenced “Life of Pi”

To this day storytelling is the most important tradition humans can have. Family and friends pass down knowledge from generation to generation. Every story contains a lesson that can affect the audience differently in their own way.

Stories can teach us about appreciation of other cultures, languages, and religions. They also can offer insights into values and encourage creativity. Yann Martel’s novel contains metafiction where versions of Pi’s survival compete for the reader’s belief and imagination. As the author is wandering through India on his own adventure, he was in search of a theme. He meets an older man who tells him I have a story that will make you believe in God. Life of Pi is about a religious boy whose faith in God saves him from a tragic experience that becomes a story. Pi claims “”The world isn’t just the way it is. It is how we understand it, no? And in understanding something, we bring something to it, no? Doesn’t that make life a story?”” (Martel 3. 99)

Metafiction usually occurs in fictional stories and is when the story examines the elements of fiction itself. Metafiction can be playful or dramatic but always forces the reader to think about the nature of storytelling and how they are made. This literary device draws attention to the work of imagination, rather than reality, allowing the reader to constantly be aware that the novel they are reading is untrue. The Metafictional frame has an estranged effect, you are always reminded: don’t forget, this is only a story I am telling. Throughout the novel Life of Pi, Pi tells two different stories of his survival. This is an example of metafiction because Pi presents the stories both as true but asks which one seems more realistic and which one you would rather hear.

Pi’s first story was a fun fictional tale that made the reader believe in strength and willpower of a man trapped in the middle of an ocean with animals. His original story is with a tiger named Richard Parker, a hyena, a zebra, and an orangutan named Orange juice. They all escaped the sinking ship and ended up together in the lifeboat. Throughout the first few days the hyena kills the zebra and the orangutan. Richard Parker then kills the hyena and eventually Pi tames him with a whistle. By the end of the story Pi considers Richard Parker his companion until they reach land in Mexico. Pi’s adventure ends once he is finally resting in a hospital bed where he is interviewed. The agents tell Pi that his first story is too unbelievable for them to write about and asks Pi for a more believable story, a story that makes sense. Pi claims “”I know what you want. You want a story that won’t surprise you. That will confirm what you already know. That won’t make you see higher or further or differently. You want a flat story. An immobile story. You want dry, yeastless factuality.”” (3.99.224) Pi tells them a second story which is more violent and realistic, exposing the darker side of a man and what survival drove him to do. Pi compares the animals from his first story to the people in the second who were actually on the boat. The hyena represents the cook who gave trouble to Pi’s mother from the beginning because he was opposed to her being a vegetarian. The zebra represents the sailor, and Orange Juice represents Pi’s mother. Richard Parker stands for Pi himself, and all the lessons Pi’s father gave him about animals when he was a child. The second story Pi told, the cook killed the sailor and his mother, then Pi killed him. This story is much more gruesome and leads to the question which story would you rather hear? Pi presents the idea that both stories hold truth, and that truth changes perception of what you’ve previously read. In both he was stranded for 227 days and was deprived of food and water. He constantly relied on God and his three religions to get him through his survival. Regardless of what story you decide to believe, the same lessons were learned.

Since I was a young girl my family has read to me the three little pigs in many versions which is also an example of metafiction. If you are aware you are a character in a book, you can even escape your own story and make a different reality. In David Wiesner’s Three Little Pigs the big bad wolf comes and the pigs get out of their stories allowing the reader to follow the three pigs on their own. In the true story of Three little pigs it’s told from the wolf’s point of view on why the wolf isn’t so big and bad. The wolf speaks directly through the text and claims he was headed to each pigs house for a cup of sugar so he could bake his granny’s birthday cake. He claims the huffing and puffing was just coughing and sneezing due to being sick. In the end of the story the wolf speaks from the jail cell claiming he was framed and is innocent. In the other version of The Three Pigs this story is told from the pigs point of view and focuses on the adventures the pigs have with other storybook characters rather then the ultimate goal of overcoming the wolf. Although this version takes out violence like the Life of Pi, they both hold truth. In both stories the pigs built houses out of straw, sticks, and bricks. The ending is the pigs settling in the brick house after they learned their lesson.

Yann Martel’s whole argument (a story that will make you believe in God) is that most readers prefer the version of Pi’s survival with the animals on the boat. If you choose to believe that story, you are choosing to believe in the impossible by having faith which is God. Asking to choose which story you rather believe in was for the purpose of serving a theological reflection. Whether you are a person who only believes in things that make sense or someone who has an imagination. Either way, there is no correct answer to that question because Life of Pi intentionally leaves it unanswered.

Life of Pi: Dramatic Story

Life of Pi is a wild and dramatic story about a young boy raised in India, who attempts to move to Canada on a cargo ship. Something goes awry, and the ship sinks. The main character, Pi Patel, is stranded in the middle of the ocean with an orangutan, a hyena, a zebra, and an adult bengal tiger named Richard Parker.

It’s a story about becoming an adult, and persevering even in the face of the toughest challenges and adversities. Pi has a lot of beliefs that formed in India, from past experiences and from family advice, prior to being stranded on the lifeboat. During his time on the lifeboat, a lot of those beliefs he had before are changed, either by his own doing or by an event on his journey that caused the change of that belief. Pi’s three beliefs were that: taming a tiger is too dangerous and impossible to do,that Pi would always be a vegetarian and would stick to his word, and that Pi would never have to be a leader and would always take the backseat to others. Those three beliefs that were modified on the lifeboat, and they were modified when: Pi realized Richard Parker was his most important asset on the lifeboat, when Pi had to kill a flying fish in order to eat, and when Pi decided that the only way that he and Richard Parker would survive is if Pi asserted his dominance over Richard Parker and deemed himself the alpha male of the boat.

Pi’s first belief, taught to him by his father in the Pondicherry Zoo, was that any person shouldn’t try to tame a tiger, much less approach one, regardless of their prior knowledge or information concerning the various behavioral changes and emotions of a powerful and dangerous beast like the Bengal tiger. When Pi was a child, his father decided that it was important for Pi and his brother, Ravi, to learn an important lesson about the animals in the zoo, especially the tigers. His father forced them to watch as one of their tigers ruthlessly mauled a helpless goat. Pi recalls that moment in a particularly blurred fashion in his story, saying that he didn’t know if he actually saw blood or simply imagined it, but it nonetheless, …it was enough to scare the living vegetarian daylights out of me. (Martel 36) Naturally, Pi never forgot this moment, and eventually had to challenge what it taught him, years later on the lifeboat.

Pi realized on the boat that he simply would not survive on the boat if he couldn’t tame or restrain Richard Parker somehow. He knew that, eventually, Richard Parker would become hungry and eat Pi just like the goat many years before. He had to find a way to keep himself alive, but also keep Richard Parker alive with him, because he knew if Richard Parker died, he would be completely without company, alone in the middle of the ocean, and would most definitely give up and die. He also knew that he had all the things necessary to attempt to tame Richard Parker. As Pi says while pondering his options to survive, What was missing here to tame Richard Parker? Time? It might be weeks before a ship sighted me.. Resolve? There’s nothing like extreme need to give you resolve. Knowledge? Was I not a zookeeper’s son? Reward? Was there any reward greater than life? Any punishment worse than death? (Martel 165) Pi knew that taming Richard Parker was the difference between him living and dying. So, Pi composed himself, found a whistle on one of the lifeboats, and got to work in taming Richard Parker by asserting himself and making his presence known.

Pi’s second belief, formed by his past experiences and by his own decisions, was that he would always be a vegetarian and would never ever eat meat. There is no true explanation as to why he chose to be vegetarian, but one of the reasons could be that Pi grew up watching primary examples of the food chain because he lived in the Pondicherry Zoo. He watched the aforementioned lesson that his father taught him with the tiger and the goat, and he likely watched many other feedings along with it. It also could be contributed to him being a self-proclaimed Hindu. Many Hindus prefer to abide to a basic lacto-vegetarian diet excluding meat and eggs partly due to their beliefs. Pi had to confront this belief and inevitably change it in order to survive, much to his dismay.

Pi changed his second belief by adapting to the situation at hand and setting aside his past, knowing this was absolutely necessary for him to live. Pi’s first three days on the boat were very bad. He couldn’t find food and he was simply shriveling and dying. Eventually, Pi found a locker full of things he would later utilize, but the main two items Pi found were some cans of water and emergency rations. As Pi read the packaging for the rations, he noticed that the rations included animal fat. Pi is adamantly vegetarian, so, despite being disturbed, he pinched his nose and ate the ration. Later, however, Pi was blessed with a bundle of flying fish that had landed in the boat while jumping from the water. Pi knew that this was his main source of food, but his vegetarian morals prevented him from killing the innocent fish. Pi describes this moment in the book as, Tears flowing down my cheeks, I egged myself on until I heard a cracking sound and I no longer felt any life fighting in my hands I wept heartily over this poor little deceased soul. It was the first sentient being I had ever killed. I was now a killer. I was now as guilty as Cain. I was sixteen years old and now I had blood on my hands. (Martel 183) After this, Pi became accustomed to killing fish, and didn’t give it any second thoughts. He knew he had to do this in order to survive the rest of the voyage, so he adapted and got used to it, for the sake of his life.

Pi’s third and final belief, created from his lifestyle and his family, was that he would always be submissive and would follow in the footsteps of others. This belief originated due to living in the shadow of his popular and athletic older brother, Ravi, but also due to being ridiculed in his primary school days due to his strange name and its origin. He came to believe that he would never need to lead others because of his introverted nature and social obscurity in the public eyes. Nobody knew who he was, so nobody would want him to lead them. Pi gives us a glimpse of this in his first year attending Petit Seminaire, when he states, Ravi was already there, and like all younger brothers, I would suffer from following in the footsteps of a popular older sibling. He was the athlete of his generation…That I was a swimmer made no waves (Martel 21-22) Pi had to change this belief and take control of his situation. He knew he needed to step up and become the alpha of the boat, and take control of his fragile and fleeting life, and that’s what he did.

Pi changed his third belief by stepping up and becoming a leader. He made his own decisions in order to protect his life and Richard Parker’s life along with it. He gave up on eating emergency rations and began fishing for food and making clean water using rain catchers and solar filters. He then began to tame Richard Parker using a whistle and food as leverage to make Richard Parker not only acknowledge him as the alpha, but treat him as a friend and companion. He knew that Richard Parker was clearly hoping for him to be his companion, due to Richard Parker’s use of the prusten sound, indicating a desire for friendship. Pi took advantage of all of those signs, and used them well. He became the alpha and led Richard Parker to safety in Mexico using his intelligence to guide them. He saved the lives of both himself and of the adult Bengal tiger.

Pi needed to modify those three beliefs that he formed in India. If he didn’t, he would have starved and died very early in his voyage, or would have been killed by Richard Parker. In order to survive in Pi’s cruel and unforgiving situation, he needed to adapt and find a way around his problems. He certainly did that and more, not only living for months at sea with a dangerous Bengal tiger, but keeping the Bengal tiger alive and well along with him. Pi lost his family, cheated death multiple times, and came out with a phenomenal and nearly unbelievable story of overcoming the odds despite them being stacked so much against him. Pi was lucky enough to have the intelligence, knowledge, calmness, determination, and overall emotion to work hard enough to survive whatever was thrown his way. We can relate to Pi because sometimes things change, and you need to adapt to it in order to be comfortable in your new situation. Have you ever had to adapt and change your beliefs? Have you ever been forced to do so? Have you ever thought of the times where you could change your beliefs for the better, but you didn’t? Think about it as you reflect on this amazing novel and all that it means to you.

Life of Pi: Inspiration, Real Life Situations and Courage

Yann Martel’s Life of Pi, first a book, then later a successful movie. Book was initially rejected by many publishers, before being published and later became ones of the best sellers internationally. Life of Pi written by Yann Martel and directed by Ang Lee a touching story.

In discussing Life of Pi, the theme of survival, inspiration, bravery, curiocity, religion. Life of Pie, is written in a first-person voice. Piscine Molitor Patel (Pi) the protagonist of the story is young man who survives on a lifeboat with a bengal tiger named Richard Parker. The movie starts with a teenageer (Pi) living in India with his parents and brother Ravi. Pi is always searching for new things and exploring the religions. Pi’s father is a zoo owner, and mother is a devoted reader and introduces him to numerous literary works from which he learns the joy of numerous schools of thoughts. At the age of 16 Pi’s father decides to move to Winnipeg, canada for better opportunities. He sells the animals to various zoos in America.

The animals are loaded in the same same ship they are taking to reach Winnipeg. On the journey there has been a storm which he decides to go watch, where it turns out the storm is bad, and the boat starts to flood, he lands on a lifeboat. By this time he has lost both his parents and his brother to the storm. The next morning he finds himself with the company of a badly injured zebra, a vicious hyena, and a matronly orangutan named Orange Juice. Hiding out of sight, beneath the canvas of the lifeboat, is the tiger Richard Parker. The hyena wounds and eats the zebra, then goes after Orange Juice. The orangutan puts up a good fight, but the hyena ultimately kills her. Richard Parker finally makes himself known by killing and eating the hyena. Now only Pi and Richard Parker survive on the lifeboat.

How Pi and Richard Parker survive in the Pacific Ocean makes up the rest of the movie. An undetermined amount of time passes, and Pi and Richard Parker arrive in Mexico. Richard Parker runs into the wild and is never seen again. Pi is brought into custody, given food, and questioned for some time by two officials from the Maritime Department in the Japanese Ministry of Transport. No one is ready to believe his story, after a couple trials he changes the story that others accept. The theme of survival is one of the main themes portrayed in the movie/book. Without the will to survive, Pi would’ve died very early on in the book/movie. Instead of being negative and sad, Pi decides to try to make the best out of a bad situation, and his attitude throughout the entire agony is fascinating. We encounter survival from the beginning, Pi getting on the lifeboat, the fight between zebra and hyena. Later the hyena and orange juice. Later we see Richard Parker and the hyena. The life of nature, survival is crucial. Pi was a Hindu and vegetarian when the movie started, but as the time passes on the boat we see that he ran out of food, where he had to hunt for food to keep himself alive. The first time he kills a fish, Pi weeps, and that shows how emotional he was about it. But after a while, it becomes like second nature to him, and that shows how much he grew as a person over the entire time he was on the boat. Religion was another theme that was interpreted in the book/movie.

Pi was born a Hindu, but as he grew older he adopted Christianity and Islam. He practiced all the three religion. Praying several times a day like a Muslim, being a vegetarian like a Hindu, and he thanks Lord Krishna (hindu) for introducing him to Christianity. He is charmed by all the religion, that he learned about. In the very beginning we see that he questions a lot about God, then he got to known about Christianity, where he learned about Jesus and that God is one. Later we see him outside a mosque, where he learned about Islam. Every religion has its own beauty, which he is ready to admire and follow. Finally, I think religion, faith, and survival skills are important to know/learn in life. Inspirational stories, real life experiences is what teaches us what is necessary for living. How thinking changes, with hunger, frustration, lack of faith, sadness, happiness. One can only imagine how much pain Pi was in during his whole journey. What he must have felt like when he first saw land, people, cooked meal, shelter. Life has its own way of teaching what needs to be taught.

Life of Pi: Plot Summary

I have a story that will make you believe in God. (Yann Martel, x) That’s how the epic tale of Life of Pi begins. Our protagonist, Piscine Molitor Patel, grew up in Pondicherry, India.

He gives himself the nickname Pi, because of some cruel remarks by his classmates. At the age of fifteen, Pi decides to adopt Christianity and Islam, along with already practicing Hinduism. Bapu Gandhi said ‘All religions are true.’ I just want to love God. (Martel, 68) Throughout his whole life, Pi follow this precedent. In India, his family owned a zoo, where Pi learned very early on that all animals are dangerous. Starting at the top with the biggest of tigers, and the smallest of guinea pigs. … to grab a wild guinea pig with your bare hands would be like taking hold of a knife by the blade. (Martel, 39) As a result of a government catastrophe, at age sixteen, Pi and his family decide to move to Canada for a better life. Together they board the Tsimtsum along with most of the zoo’s animals to sell in the Americas. After a few days on the sea, Pi wakes to what he thinks may have been an explosion and walks out to the deck to find the Tsimtsum has been caught in a storm. Somehow, animals start flowing onto the deck, and everything quickly becomes chaos. Pi is the only human to make it onto a lifeboat and survive the sinking of the ship.

Stranded and alone, he is stuck with four other survivors: a hyena, a zebra, an orangutan, and Richard Parker the tiger. While at sea, Pi faces many challenges, tragedies, and miracles. Only the reader can really decide how it all ends. Characterization of the Protagonist In Yann Martel’s Life of Pi, we meet protagonist Piscine Patel, also known as Pi. The story is told by a future version of Pi, who is now middle-aged and shy. In contrast to where we last saw him, he has a family and lives a happy life in Canada. As a teenager, Pi enjoys reading because of his influential mother and in school, he focuses on learning as much as he can about religion and zoology. If you remember, at the age of fifteen, Pi decides to adopt Christianity and Islam, along with already practicing Hinduism. He realizes these religions all share a common base: a belief in a loving higher power. In India, sis father owned a zoo, which sparked his interest in zoology. But when the Tsimtsum sinks and Pi are stranded at sea for 227 days, his whole world is turned upside down. He’s lost his family, home, and is left to question his values. No longer has he the luxury of being a vegetarian or someone to care for him. And not only that, but he is stranded with one of the most ferocious creatures to walk among us, a 450-pound Bengal tiger. With all hope lost, it’s Pi’s belief in God that inspires him to stay alive.

At that point, he realizes he has been given a miracle: God is with him. He quickly finds a survival guide and emergency provisions in a lockbox under one of the seats. He masters fishing and gathering fresh water. Miraculously, he manages to train his tiger stowaway, Richard Parker. And even through the hardship, he continues to pray every day. Analysis of Plot & Conflict In my opinion, Yann Martel’s, Life of Pi is equally engaging, exciting, and interesting. Although the story is told to seem like it is true, it is only fantasy. Martel has a talent for writing realistically while maintaining the ability to get his point across. Pi faces many challenges in this fabrication, including all three types of conflict. He struggles against himself when deciding what is more important: his life or staying true to tradition. Tears flowing down my cheeks, I egged myself on until I heard a cracking sound The flying fish was dead I was now a killer. (Yann Martel, 183) This quote describes how Pi chose to kill this fish for food, even though it went against what he believed. He was forced to go on like this throughout the tale because he had no vegetarian option. At a young age, he battles society when he chooses to be apart of more than one religion: Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam. Pi chooses this lifestyle because he discovered they all share a common belief in a loving higher power. He also quotes Gandhi when he says, Bapu Gandhi said ‘All religions are true.’ I just want to love God. (Martel, 68)

His society, as do most, frown upon believing in more than one religion, they have their differences, and it is the person’s job to choose the best. Finally, throughout most of the story, Pi scuffles with nature as he withstands the harsh conditions of the sea in order to survive. Through storms and infection, radiation and hunger, Pi perseveres. Another important nature factor includes being under the watchful eye of a tiger the entirety of his strandedness. True or not, this fantasy proves to be a groundbreaker, as the narrator perseveres with God. Identification of Theme Two themes that stuck out to me in the Life of Pi where the will to live, and the basis of religious belief, as one may put it. The topic of life and religion reoccur again and again throughout the tale, and so it only makes sense for these to be two main themes. The first theme I brought up was, the will to live. Yann Martel wants to show us how far we, and other animals, will go to survive. Tears flowing down my cheeks, I egged myself on until I heard a cracking sound The flying fish was dead I was now a killer. (Yann Martel, 183) Here we see how Pi abandons his luxury of vegetarianism in order to avoid starvation. ‘You just ate a piece!… He’s your own kind!… He ate another strip. (Martel, 308) In Pi’s human version of his story, he describes how the Frenchman turned to cannibalism to survive, a shameful act that shows how some of us will cross the line of survival. At the end of the novel, when Pi raises the possibility that he represents Richard Parker, the reader must decide what kind of lengths should be taken in a life-or-death situation.

The novel begins with, I have a story that will make you believe in God. (Martel, x) Making a reasonable theme, the basis of religious belief. It is said that Pi is a follower of three religions, Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam, Pi enjoys the similarities between beliefs. Remarkably though, Pi admires atheists. He [Mr. Kumar] became my favorite teacher at It was my first clue that atheists are my brothers and sisters of a different faith Like me, they go as far as the legs of reason will carry them (Martel, 28) To him, it is important to believe in something, and atheists believe in the absence of God. However, It is not atheists who get stuck in my craw, but agnostics To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation. (Martel, 28) Pi sees agnostics as lacking imagination, they claim it is impossible to know either way. Final Recommendations In Yann Martel’s Life of Pi, we follow young Piscine Patel, or Pi, on his unique journey across the sea, alone minus a 450-pound, ferocious Bengal tiger. I recommend Life of Pi to anyone who has the stomach for it.

This book does contain some graphic scenes such as, The zebra was being eaten alive from the inside. (Yann Martel, 125) With descriptions only getting worse, yet necessary. In addition to that, this book is somewhat complex and may be harder for younger readers to comprehend. Otherwise, this book is five-star. This fantastical tale makes you think about the world around you, from the nature of religion to man’s will to live. It is inspirational, and the ending will leave you satisfied, though there is a significant decision the reader needs to make. Overall, most people will find this a thrilling tale, and everyone should add it to their must-read list.