How Pi's Character Is Baked Essay

985 words - 4 pages

Life of Pi, by Yann Martel, focuses on the physical journey of Piscine (Pi) Patel, the protagonist of the story, and the challenges he faces throughout his adventure. While the novel chronicles Pi’s voyage and survival, it also depicts his process of maturation. Pi’s journey begins with the sinking of a cargo ship, the Tsimtsum and continues for two hundred twenty seven days until his rescue in Mexico. Throughout the course of the novel, the reader is able to witness Pi’s spiritual growth, which leads him to possess a more mature and developed spiritual outlook on life. This process of Pi’s spiritual maturation includes a tremendous increase in his faith in God, through observing multiple religions, and developing his own unique system of beliefs. Pi’s maturation is also seen when he becomes less dependent on his parents and more self-sufficient over the course of his journey. Furthermore, he further develops his intellect on his journey, which allows himself to outlast the sea with a Bengal tiger and few supplies. Over the course of a life-threatening voyage, Pi is able to mature in various ways to become more spiritual, independent and worldly.

As described by his mother, Pi Patel’s religious zeal is “a mystery”. Pi’s beliefs begin to shift from his customary views, when he encounters multiple leaders from different religions. His religious journey begins at birth, by being born into a Hindu family. He considers Hinduism as “ the original landscape of my religious imagination”. He is able to develop a love for Hinduism that eventually leads to full devotion and observance to the Hindu Gods. When Pi is fourteen, he stumbles upon a Church in Munnar, which is the beginning of his belief in Christ. Father Martin, the priest at Munnar, teaches Pi the Christian way of life, which leads Pi to Christian observance and baptism. A year later, when Pi is fifteen, he begins to adopt Islam. As a result, Pi’s Priest, Imam and Pandit furiously question and challenge Pi’s faith in many religions. This causes Pi to develop his own unique system of beliefs, which allows him to counter their questioning. He realizes that all religions serve the same purpose, to bring happiness to its followers by believing in a higher power. Therefore, he decides to adopt each religion in an effort to bring him happiness. In this way, he shows his instinct to avoid conflict and make tough decisions.
Throughout Pi’s childhood years, he depends on various people to guide him and teach him. His imam, Mr. Kumar, his priest, Father Martin, his biology teacher, Mr. Kumar and his family help guide Pi to live a proper lifestyle. He depends on them for advice to connect with God, for life lessons, and for love. After the tragic shipwreck where Pi’s family is killed, Pi exclaims on the lifeboat “Mother, my tender guardian angel of wisdom, where are you? And you, Father, my loving...

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