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Creativity And Persistence In Life Of Pi By Yann Martel

June 23, 2022 by Essay Writer

Creativity is one of the most crucial traits one can have. It allows original, artistic ideas to turn into reality. This idea of being creative in desperate times, when one is isolated from resources is common among many people, although using it should not just stop there; creativity allows people to grow, it helps with problem-solving, and even mental health. During a crisis, one may feel mentally blocked if they can not find a solution. Meanwhile, creative thinkers can easily come up with solutions to their problems. Creativity builds lifelong learners, however this simply does not get practiced through formal education. Before young children are old enough to go to school, they build rocket ships, imagine themselves as a veterinarian, but most importantly, they ask questions. Once school starts, however, everything is as it seems, the opportunities to escape reality become limited. In Yann Martel’s novel Life of Pi, however, these escapes are executed frequently. Pi showcases his creativity being used by always looking for ways to solve issues in his life. From the days he is bullied in school and finds refuge in his creativity, to the extensive time he spends on a boat, forced to overcome obstacles using his creativity, he always seems to make the most out of experiences. Pi repeatedly creates utopias for himself, including an imaginary companion, a place to escape reality, and a way to express himself. By doing so, he is able to learn to use his creative side when it is needed most; during desperate times.

At the young age of eight, Pi is exposed to the danger of being anywhere near the deadly tiger. Hence, this beast becomes a huge part of his life. Being stranded on a boat right after losing his family, his mental health had gotten to state that mimicked the violence of a tiger. After personifying it into an actual tiger, Pi quickly realizes that he is in fact terrified of this side of himself, and considers just giving up:

The voice said, “I will not die. I refuse it. I will make it through this nightmare. I will beat the odds, as great as they are. I have survived so far, miraculously. Now I will turn miracle into routine. The amazing will be seen every day. I will put in all the hard work necessary. Yes, so long as God is with me, I will not die. Amen’.

By using his fear to motivate him, Pi is able to find a reason to live. Pi wants his violent side to be pushed down and controlled, and this vision that he wants to pursue ends up being one of the many aspects that keeps him busy. The reason this control is so important to him is because he has devoted his life to three peaceful, ethical religions. By losing control of his violent side, it would be a complete disgrace to his values. In fact, he even mentions that God has his back, which shows that his moral, religious side is already overpowering his primal state. However, along with ferocity, Richard Parker also encompasses Pi’s strong side, which is crucial for survival, but is something he sometimes lacks. He shows appreciation for the tiger by saying, “It was Richard Parker who calmed me down. It is the irony of this story that the one who scared me witless to start with was the very same who brought me peace, purpose, I dare say even wholeness”. After spending a considerable amount of time with Richard Parker, Pi realizes the importance of balance in his life. His violent side, something Pi had always rejected, created a sense of completion to him, much like yin and yang. One of the most important reasons why Pi has the urge to create a figure to be on the boat with him is for the sake of loneliness. Reminiscing is one of the many pastimes Pi has on the lifeboat, but this eventually gets to a point where it saddens him rather than entertaining him. So, he says, “If I still had the will to live, it was thanks to Richard Parker”. When forced into survival, mental health plays just as important a role as physical health; losing oneself to nature is just as deadly as losing oneself to their thoughts. Creating this figure helps him, as Pi said, have a will to live. It is so helpful to the point that Pi becomes emotionally attached to the “tiger”. When Pi finally lands in Mexico, Richard Parker had seemed to disappear, and Pi weeps; the tiger had been personified to the point where the idea seemed like a true friend to Pi. When sharing the story of his miraculous 227-day long journey, Richard Parker always makes an appearance, because this companion shapes him to be ethical, balanced and rational. The painful memory of his family could have been another reason why he decides to personify his violent conscience. So, he says, “If I still had the will to live, it was thanks to Richard Parker”. When forced into survival, mental health plays just as important a role as physical health; losing oneself to nature is just as deadly as losing oneself to their thoughts. Creating this figure helped him, as Pi said, have a will to live. It was so helpful to the point that Pi had become emotionally attached to the “tiger”. When Pi finally landed in Mexico, Richard Parker had seemed to disappear, and Pi wept. The tiger had been personified to the point where the idea seemed like a true friend to Pi. The “two” had gone to so much together; they had caught countless turtles and dorados and found new ways to get water.

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