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Faith Vs. Fear Essay

1090 words - 5 pages

There are many conventional methods to coping with one’s fears but the most effective is by counteracting it with faith. 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.
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 easily put away as with anything that is produced by the mind, it takes mental 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 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 with god that an individual creates 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. Pi believes that by praying, he is letting god know about his struggles. His faith is shown through this act because of the way he expresses himself. Pi often prays at least five times per day and he also 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.
For each of the religion that Pi claims, there is a story behind it that inspires him to fight for his survival. Having been born into Hinduism, Pi tends to make more references toward that religion as opposed to that of Islam and Christianity, however, he is still equally dedicated to the three. Through Hinduism however Pi makes reference to several occurrences as a way of coping with them. Having not eaten in days Pi begins to give up when he is presented with a Dorado. Pi is puzzled as to why the gods would send him something that would cause him to go against his beliefs. Hence, as a way of coping Pi justifies his decision by remembering the story of Vishnu coming in the form of a fish to save the earth. He then interprets it as Vishnu coming again in the form of a fish to save his loyal follower, Pi, from dying from starvation, hence, giving him...

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