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Yann Martel's Novel the Life of Pi

Essay by   •  July 9, 2011  •  Book/Movie Report  •  509 Words (3 Pages)  •  2,037 Views

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In Yann Martel's novel The Life of Pi, it is not the strongest or most intelligent that survives, but the one that is most adaptable to change. Throughout the novel, there are many different themes of survival and relates to the definition of survival itself. Survival can be defined as the continuation to live or exist in spite of an accident or ordeal. The protagonist in this book, Pi Patel, is a 16-year-old Indian boy who spends 2es call him, but teachers as well. Knowing that "the sound would disappear, but the hurt would linger, like the smell of piss long after it has evaporated" (Martel 22), Pi eventually invokes change and switches schools. He cy to adapt to the presence of other animals is the most important, as it can make a difference between life and death. By adapting to the restricted environment on the life raft, Pi is able to avoid being eaten by the hyena or the tiger named Richard Parker, as wells more problems, as people from all religions force him to choose only one, or deny him practicing in the respective altar. Pi believes that "religion is about our dignity, not our depravity" (79), and chooses to keep his integrity by continuing to practice all three religions. The opinions of Pi's peers prevent him from practicing all the religions just like before. However, Pi still manages to attend a temple to practice religion. While on the boat, Pi has a very restricted food source, mainly meat. By practicing Hinduism, he has to sacrifice heating meat all his life, until thes him survive the torments of others, and to retain his religious beliefs. Although integrity is a necessary quality of survival, integrity alone will not be enough to keep one alive.

The first thing that is usually thought about when discussing the qualities necessary for survival is stamina. Stamina is described as having determination, the will to live, or even having the physical ability to endure one's situation. After many days on the Pacific Ocean, Pi mentions that he will die, but his subconscious mind keeps him going, and realizes he has a fierce will to live. His reasoning is that "we fight no matter the cost of battle, the losses we take, the improbability of success ... It's something constitutional, an inability to let go" (164). This subject is what keeps him going throughout his ordeal lasting 227 days, and with the help of Richard Parker, he is able to survive. Richard Parker is the individual that keeps Pi stable throughout his ordeal, because without him, Pi would transition from loneliness, to an extreme state of insanity, eventually losing all hope of rescue, and ultimately the will to live. The many objects surrounding Pi also highlights Pi's determination and stamina. At the beginning of his life on the lifeboat, he is surrounded by treme situations, one does not necessarily have to be physically powerful or intelligent, but instead should have qualities that would

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