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"Life Of Pi" By Yann Martel Literary Essay

1045 words - 4 pages

Being stranded on a life boat with wild animals could work to one's advantage. At least this is the case for Pi who is marooned with Richard Parker and other uncivilized predators. Richard Parker becomes a lifeline for Pi on three different occasion. He protects Pi from a vicious hyena, kills a sailor that is after Pi, and keeps Pi sane by keeping his mind occupied. Richard Parker is a part of Pi and is necessary for his survival on the boat.It is common sense that, when stuck on a ship with a hyena one is obviously going to be petrified, that is, unless you have an adult tiger as additional company. Three is a crowd for an emotion as discomforting as fear. The minute you face another challenge you have these three options to choose from:1) Give up and perish at the first opportunity.2) Let the adrenaline kick in when it is needed most.3) Realize who/what is really the most terrifying and forget about all the other problems that do not measure up.Pi clearly chose option three, "To be afraid of this ridiculous dog when there was a tiger about was like being afraid of splinters when trees were falling" (Martel 195). No longer being frightened by the hyena also gives Pi courage, "It was ten feet away, yet my heart didn't skip a beat" (195). Courage is one of Pi's most prized possessions. Without it, he would not have survived on a carnivore infested boat. The hyena kills Orange-Juice, which causes extreme hatred towards it by Pi. Another way Richard Parker saves Pi's life is by killing the hyena. Pi expects lots of noise and defence when it was time for bloodshed; however, he was mistaken, "It happened practically in silence" (216). It is a pitiful silent forfeit. Organs devouring in the tigers mouth is the only thing that can be heard. Having the hyena dead makes Pi feel uneasy, "The hyena's end had come, and mine"(215). Pi waits for his end to come now that he is the only live source of food on the ship. Richard Parker chooses to spare Pi's life for the hyena, for the time being. Having the hyena dead is like an evil dream-come-true. Pi thinks of the hyena as an "ugly, foul creature"(195) for killing an innocent creature, such as Orange-Juice. The hyena's death is solely based on Richard Parkers instinct of survival. Pi would not have survived this ordeal if Richard Parker did not kill the hyena. Pi says so himself, "It seemed the presence of a tiger had saved me from a hyena" (196). Without Richard Parker, Pi would not have survived with the hyena on board and the story would have had a much quicker ending.Out of all the predators Pi has overcome, he now has to overcome his own kind; a human. The chances of running into another stranded human in the middle of the ocean seems quite unlikely; however, this is exactly what happens. To Pi's unfortunate luck, the sailor he encounters ends up being a traitor just like the hyena. The...

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