Yann Martel's Life Of Pi

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In the novel Life of Pi by Yann Martel, survival is one of the most, if not the most important themes in the book. The protagonist of the novel, Piscine Molitor Patel otherwise known as Pi was raised up with the Hindu religion, and then later he discovered Christianity and Islam. At the age of 16 Pi ends up stranded on a lifeboat in the Pacific Ocean with a Bengal tiger (Richard Parker) and no family for 227 days. Science along with religion were both massive themes linked to Pi's survival. Pi's knowledge of zoos and his deep faith in God helped him survive the hardship of being stranded at sea. Despite the fact that those themes were essential to his survival, Pi would not have survived if it were not for Richard Parker. With his prior knowledge,…show more content…
At the beginning of the novel Pi's father's teachings of how dangerous tigers or predatory animals are is a huge aspect of Pi's survival. “I’m going to show you how dangerous tigers are,” he continued “I want you to remember this lesson for the rest of your lives”(43). Pi’s father fed a tiger a live goat in front of Pi and his brother. This was shown to them so that they can see for themselves that a tiger can rip you up to pieces in a split second. These examples become useful to Pi on the lifeboat, as Pi never underestimates what Richard Parker is capable of doing and when he is capable of doing it. He treats Richard Parker as the dangerous animal that he is. This keeps Pi aware and ready at all times, which contributes to the reason of his survival. Furthermore, Pi understands the concept of alpha males. Pi knows that he must establish that he is the alpha male on the boat, not Richard Parker. “When he looked up, I stared him aggressively in the eyes and I blew on the whistle a few times. He disappeared under the tarpaulin” (209). Pi understands that his power of alpha male helps him win over and dominant Richard Parker. In addition, Pi understands how animals communicate as he says: “Tigers make a variety of sounds. They include a number of roars and growls.... Tigers go woof when they are caught unawares... When they charge, tigers put out throaty, coughing roars. And tigers hiss and snarl” (205). Due to his past knowledge on tigers, Pi knows exactly what Richard Parker's next move will be because of the various sounds he makes. He also knows how’s what Richard Parker is thinking and trying to say. This is shown when Richard Parker makes the “prusten” sound which is a way of a tiger saying that they are not harmful. Given these points, Pi's knowledge of animals allows Pi to know when the right time is to approach Richard Parker and keep up his power of alpha male

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