How Does Yann Martel Use Conflict In Life Of Pi

1747 Words7 Pages
Life of Pi, by Yann Martel, is a popular novel released in 2001. In the story, there is a boy named Pi who is trapped on a lifeboat with a bengal tiger named Richard Parker, after a transport ship sinks in the middle of the pacific ocean. He must face hunger, thirst and the threat of Richard Parker in order to survive. The main theme found in Life of Pi is that when faced with with life threatening situations, humans must abandon there beliefs and religion in order to survive. Throughout the book, this theme is very prominent to the reader and can be used to better understand the book. The author supported this theme through the use of three literary devices: conflict, symbolism and characterization. In Life of Pi, the author uses conflict…show more content…
First, when Pi is in the lifeboat and the hyena is attacking the zebra, Pi wanted to do something to stop the hyena from killing the zebra, but he didn’t. He said “When your own life is threatened, your sense of empathy is blunted by a terrible, selfish hunger for survival.” (p. 151) In this situation, Pi could have chosen the risky option that involves him stepping in and trying to stop the hyena, or he could chose the selfish option of staying back and letting the zebra die. If Pi chose the first option of stepping in, he is risking his safety and survival for the zebra. Even when all three of his religions are completely against selfishness, Pi choses the option to let the zebra die while he stood back and did nothing. This is portraying a message that in times of desperation, Pi can’t follow religion because doing so will impact his survival. Next, as Pi’s time in the lifeboat becomes more like day to day life, he comes to a bitter conclusion that in the end will greatly help him with survival. “I had to stop hoping so much that a ship would rescue me. I should not count on outside help. Survival had to start with me. In my experience, a castaway's worst mistake is to hope too much and do too little. Survival starts by paying attention to what is close at hand and immediate. To look out with idle hope is tantamount to dreaming one's life away.” (p. 212) In the story, Religion is portrayed to us a hope for Pi, only to have this crushed when Pi realizes that hope will not save him. He can’t sit down all day hoping for a ship to rescue him, he needed to save himself. He learns throughout the story that he can’t rely on God for miracles that save his life all of the time. This overall strategy of dreaming less and doing more really payed off as Pi was able to train Richard Parker, upgrade the raft and overall survive the journey. Finally, after the shock of the tsimtsum sinking and Pi being

More about How Does Yann Martel Use Conflict In Life Of Pi

Open Document