Ignorance In Yann Martel's Life Of Pi

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Life is in every individual and we are hard-wired to protect; whether it is with tooth or nail because the act of living is out of our conscious control. As a result, it causes our thinking to become involuntary and our words to become action. In reality, this concept is simple because instinct overrides intelligence. This is shown in Life of Pi, by Yann Martel with the story of a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker, and a boy titled Pi, struggling at sea after a shipwreck. During this catastrophic event, it leads them to become stranded on the ocean with each other. Life swiftly becomes grim but it is Pi’s perseverance with Richard Parker that triumphs in the end. This proves how in order to survive under pressuring circumstances, an individual…show more content…
As a swarm of fish fly over the boat, Pi grabs one to butcher. He brings the hatchet down on the head of the animal several times, and becomes mortified with himself, “I was now a killer. I was now as guilty as Cain.” (Martel, 231). When Pi slaughters the fish he makes an allusion to Cain. In the Genesis, he is a man who kills his brother Abel. This connects to how Pi overreacts to the situation, making him believe killing an animal is equivalent to killing a human. His thoughts express his innocence, but his need for food drives him to turn into a murderer. Further into the story, Pi encounters a Frenchman and begins conversing with him. It is not until he starts choking Pi when Richard Parker immediately appears and executes the man. In this situation, Pi states, ”This was the terrible cost of Richard Parker. He gave me a life, my own, but at the expense of taking one. He ripped the flesh off the man's frame and cracked his bones. Something in me has died then that has never come back to life.” (Martel 321). In a sense, Richard Parker is a mirror of Pi’s survival instincts. They defy basic mortality and is merciful and ferocious. For the sake of survival, Pi’s instincts prevail over the Frenchman but with a cost. Pi becomes scarred and believes he can no longer forgive himself. This leads him to forever forget the feeling of innocence but to always remember the weight of guilt. With these results, it…show more content…
When Pi worries over where his family are after the wreck, he encounters a new emotion, “I was not wounded in any part of my body, but I had never experienced such intense pain, and a ripping of nerves, such an ache of the heart.” (Martel 122). For being the lone survivor of his family, Pi experiences an emotion that devastates his soul. After living in the comfort of his family, Pi loses a part of the people who reside in his memories. Furthermore, when Pi tries to save a drowning Richard Parker by encouraging him with his whistle, he stumbles upon a thought, “My heart was chilled to ice. I felt ill with grief. But there was no time for frozen shock. Something in me did not want to give up on life, was unwilling to let go, wanted to fight to the very end.”(Martel 123). His empathy for his family is the shred of innocence and mortality that holds him back from moving forward and accepting his instincts. He must endure the agony of loss and prevail over his childhood innocence in order to have the determination to mature from the experience and

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