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Coping With Fear In Life Of Pi

1758 words - 7 pages

There are many conventional methods to coping with one’s fears but the most effective is by facing it. In the novel, Life of Pi, the main character, Pi, is one of astonishment; even through the darkest points in his life, he is still able to somehow remain both faithful and hopeful. Pi clings to his religious faith as a way of coping with his fears as opposed to acknowledging conventional methods. He is able to do so through praying, storytelling and various interpretations.
Fear takes a lot out of an individual as it can be the very substance that destroys them. As the Japanese proverb goes, “fear is only as deep as the mind allows.” That being said, fear is not as easy to let go of, as with anything else produced by the mind, it takes psychological stamina to get rid of. Whereas faith on the other hand, is the utmost hardest thing to possess in this world yet it is the most important thing. Faith is “the human capacity to believe what is unbelievable” (Cockeram, 4). Without faith life would have so many limitations that creativity and imagination would be merely seen as phantoms. Pi realizes that fear is “life’s only opponent” (Cockeram, 4), and so he manages to desist his fears through his faith in religion and god.
Praying is a form of communication between oneself and god. It is important because it helps to strengthen that bond one has created with god through his/her faith. Pi uses prayers as not only a way to communicate with god but also to cope with obstacles and problems that arise during his ordeal. His faith is shown through this act because of the way he expresses himself. Pi prays at least five times per day and he tries to face Mecca. Even though he does not know in which direction Mecca is, he believes it is the thought that really matters. He also admitted to not understanding the Arabic words of the prayer or even being able to pronounce them but he feels it. Knowing something theoretically does not make you right or dedicated for that matter. Many times it is the desires toward something or someone that truly matters and that makes all the difference.
Storytelling is a form of human expression; when something cannot be said outright, storytelling is often utilized. This is due to the fact that, it is interactive, it calls for an imagination and it tells the story the author really wants to tell. Pi uses storytelling to mask the realism of his condition, in other words, to sugar coat what is actually happens to him. Through storytelling he is able to pick and choose exactly what he wants to accept and change what troubles him so that he can remain both faithful and fearless. Throughout his entire order, Pi never accepted anything at its face value; he always added a twist to make himself feel better. “In both stories the ship sinks…which story do you prefer.” (Martel, 352). Pi asks the two detectives which story they believe since it makes no difference; they both liked the one with the animals. It goes to show humans choose...

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