Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs And Life Of Pi

901 words - 4 pages

By looking at Life of Pi by Yann Martel, one can see that an individual has a limit to how much physical and emotional strain they can endure before they are forced to resort to doubting their beliefs and values, and when they are forced into isolation, may become mentally unstable and create their own version of reality. Martel portrays this idea best through the main character, Piscine Patel, otherwise known as Pi. Pi unwillingly embarks on a strenuous voyage in the Pacific Ocean in a lifeboat after most of his family dies in a shipwreck during their move to Canada to escape the political situation on India in the 1970s. The emotional pain at the loss of his family is indescribably ...view middle of the document...

” (p. 87) Pi did eventually question his faith in God, just as the sea was stormy and unforgiving, but also still and peaceful. Water would be his salvation, but there is also water that is far too saline for human consumption, it requires the perfect balance. When Pi was stocked up on food and fresh water, Pi gave his thanks to God and prayed for his rescue. When Pi had lost hope of his survival, he accepted his death and his drifting into oblivion, often switching between the two, very insecure in his thoughts.
Pi tells two parallel stories to his interviewers, one in which he anthropomorphizes animals from his father’s zoo onto the lifeboat with him to dull the pain of the loss of his human companions. The main rival animal in Pi’s story is Richard Parker, a Royal Bengal tiger, of which is a character foil of himself. Richard Parker ate, drank, and hunted for survival along with Pi, but with Richard Parker being the one to commit murderous acts out of necessity, and Pi differentiating that part of himself from his whole. Along with Richard Parker, there was a zebra with a broken leg, a hyena, and an orang-utan on board the lifeboat with Pi. Pi eventually tell his two Japanese interviewers another “story, one without animals.” Pi eventually consents to tell them a tale in which he zoomorphizes humans; the zebra is a Chinese sailor, the hyena is a French cook, the orangu-tan is Pi’s own mother, and Richard Parker is Pi. Martel described Pi’s account of the death of the orang-utan as instant heartbreak, as if Pi was unnaturally...

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