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In Life Of Pi, How Does The Relationship Between Richard Parker And Pi Change As The Story Progresses? What Is Its Significance?

1124 words - 4 pages

As the final chapter of Part Two comes to an end, Pi breaks into tears, crying the following words: "Richard Parker, a companion of my torment, awful, fierce thing that kept me alive, moved forward and disappeared forever from my life." In the world today where civilization exists, the idea of an innocent sixteen-year-old boy surviving his ordeal with a feral Bengal tiger lies beyond our concept of reality. However, it cannot be denied that the relation between Bengal tiger and Pi is depicted with great amount of detail that makes it consistent and plausible, due to the author's awareness that the intricate relationship will serve as an important role throughout the story in literary aspects. In the novel Life of Pi written by Canadian author Yann Martel, a relationship develops between a Bengal tiger and Pi, who are stranded on a lifeboat after a horrific shipwreck Richard Parker and Pi seem to be full of opposites as the ordeal at sea begins. Nevertheless, there are specific intentions of the author in placing these two living beings on the lifeboat which become apparent as the story progresses. The developments in the relationship are significant to the novel as a whole, as they effectively convey the author's message and themes, and contain symbolism that has great importance.The gradual development in the relationship between Richard Parker and Pi implies the most noteworthy themes of the novel. In the beginning, when Pi realizes himself and the Bengal tiger are stranded in the ocean, he feels enormous fear towards Richard Parker. However, ironically, when Pi admits his death is inevitable, he stops worrying about the future; he can instead be soothed by knowing what will happen, regardless of how horrible the fate is. To his surprise, Pi finds out the tiger's willingness to negotiate by the unexpected snort of prusten, which is a tiger's way of stating that he has no malicious intentions. Consequently, Pi is distracted from his horrible loss of family, by training the tiger. "This was the way to tame him!" an exhilarated Pi exclaims as he finds a possible way of cohabiting safely with the tiger. Thus, their physical distance lessens, and this movement toward one another becomes notable. They share an interdependent relationship, which is shown through examples such as Pi catching food for both himself and Richard Parker, and the tiger protecting Pi from the attack of the French man. This cooperation in the most primal of animals indicates the close similarities in the behavior of man and animal, under an adverse situation where civilization does not exist. It is here that the author implies what a relationship between man and beast should be. Although Richard Parker is undeniably seen as a danger, Pi's experience provides a sense of connection with the animal world; Pi has a sense of respect and love for Richard Parker as well as many other creatures he encounters. From another degree of interpretation, Richard Parker and Pi--characters who...

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