Life of Pi essay
Paper type: free essay
subject: English literature
Word count: 996
“Life of PI” is an adventurous novel written by Yann Martel. The novel rotates around a 16-year-old boy named Pi who along with his family gets stranded. The theme of the story is about surviving against all odds. In the story, only Pi and some animals manage to survive. The book has three parts. In part 1 of the book, after the author’s note, the book tells about Pi young’s life and his love and affection for animals and religion. The main part of the story is written in part 2 which describes the sinking of the ship which is carrying pi along with his family, crew, and some animals of the zoo. Pi’s family and Pi are left alone to survive the sinking of a ship with some animals. Somehow, he manages to reach the land. In part 3 he narrates the story of his adventures but is not believed so he tells it again using humans instead of animals. Now the reader is left to make his mind up regarding which story is more credible whether the story with the animals or the humans, you have to decide yourself. In the novel, the life of Pi the symbols play an essential part in the story.
Throughout the story, the color orange appears multiple times. The orange color symbolizes survival and hope in the story. Pi is hopeful about surviving when he is all alone on his lifeboat. No matter what it takes, he wants to survive in any situation. When the ship (Tsimtsum) sinks, the crewman gives him a lifeboat with an orange whistle. The lifeboat which was given by the Chinese crewman was orange. That lifejacket was essential for the survival of Pi. At the end of part 1, the author narrates visiting Pi and his family at Pi’s home in Canada before the sinking of the ship.
An orange cat is in her arms. Two front legs sticking straight up and a deeply sunk head is all that is visible of it above her crossed arms. The rest of the cat is hanging all the way down to the floor. The cat seems pretty relaxed about being stretched on the rack in this manner.
The daughter of Pi named Usha holds an orange cat. This gives a confirmation that Pi will survive the catastrophe. Richard Parker, the Bengal tiger is symbolized by the orange cat, who helps Pi to survive during the 225 days at the sea. The lifeboat, the whistle, the cat, the tiger, all are orange contribute to the survival of Pi at the sea and gives emotional support during the difficult times
Pi describes how zoology and religion are related and he uses zoos as a symbol for religion. I know zoos are not in people’s good graces anymore, so is religion.
Some people don’t believe in religion so they consider themselves free from any religion or belief, just like others misunderstand that the wild is not free for an animal. Zoos are often criticized because they take all the animals whether they are wild or noble, from their habitat and are kept in a cage. Pi totally disagrees because he thinks that animals are created in a way that makes it easy for them to adjust themselves in a cage and with a new environment. In the zoo, they are provided with their basic needs in a safe environment. According to Pi, a zoo is like a heaven for animals. Just like this, humans are also offered boundaries by their religion in which they feel safe and secure. When Pi was stuck in the sea in his lifeboat, he turned to religion. He had three religions Christianity, Hinduism, and Islam.
Pi says: I practiced a religion that I adopted according to the circumstances and situations I faced in the lifeboat. Despite not knowing any of the religions, I practiced all three religions and their rituals. Starting from solitary Masses without priests or consecrated Communion hosts, darshans without murtis, and pujas with turtle meat for Prasad acts of devotion to Allah not knowing where Mecca was and getting my Arabic wrong. They brought me comfort.
When you believe in the existence of God or have faith in God, then he surely gets you out of the difficult times. Unlike atheists, who do not believe in God and his existence, makes them uncertain. Pi adopts religion to get himself out of the circumstances.
There is another symbol in the novel which is “Pi”. Pi is the nickname of the character Piscine. The full name of Pi is Piscine Molitor Patel. When he was in primary school, kids would mock him and make fun of his name by calling him pissing instead of piscine. He got this name from the swimming pool in Paris.
When Pi started going to secondary school, to prevent people from calling him pissing, he decided to call himself Pi. This helped him in urging students to call him Pi and refrain from calling him pissing. It is an unusual name and brings an exciting deal of symbolism along with it. Pi is the Greek number for 16 and at the age of 16, Pi got shipwrecked.
In the story “life of Pi” we can say that symbolism has played a big and an essential role. The symbols used in the story helped us to understand how Pi fought for his survival. Along with that we also got to know how Chinese lifeguards helped Pi by giving him the lifejackets so that he can survive.