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Pi's Constant Faith In Religion In Yann Martel’s Life Of Pi

872 words - 3 pages

In Yann Martel’s international bestseller, Life of Pi, Piscine Patel battles many hardships soon after becoming stranded in the Pacific Ocean due to a shipwreck. In the course of Piscine’s (also known as Pi) grueling voyage in hopes of finding a safe haven, he experiences many troubles within himself. He starts going against his morals in order to survive, and questioning his faith in all religions. As Pi’s time as sea progresses, however, he comes to sudden realization: the only real elements keeping him alive is his faint but growing relationship with Richard Parker, and his faith religion. The teachings and morals of religion and hope of a higher being kept him alive. Pi’s constant faith in his three religions, Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam, is what pushed him to continue living through the hell-like experience he went through. Many events show this throughout the story.

Many elements in the story test Pi’s faith, one being when he becomes stranded on a lifeboat with four animals: a zebra, an orangutan, a hyena, and a tiger. While they are all on this twenty-six foot long boat, the atmosphere is very hostile, and Pi has a strong fear that once the weaker animals are dead and gone, he will be the next victim. This, however, does not happen. Pi knows how to keep himself relatively far from harms way with the help from his morals, instincts, and zookeeper father’s teachings. Through the terror and hostility during those first several days on the lifeboat, Pi managed to keep his faith, and refer to it almost constantly. This test of Pi’s faith was only the first of many to come.

Another instance where Pi’s faith was tested was when he and Richard Parker came across a blind man who had also been drifting in the Pacific. At this time, all of them were blind: Pi, Richard Parker, and the French man. When Pi had heard the man’s voice, he immediately came to the conclusion that it was either his inner self or Richard Parker, and that he was going crazy because he was so close to death. This was not the case, though. Pi and the man started talking about food and how they enjoyed each other's company, but this man’s intentions quickly turned dark and twisted. The French man leaped on Pi, trying to kill and eat him. Before he achieved this task, Richard Parker grabbed and killed him instantly. During this point in the story, Richard Parker is almost like a hero or savior to Pi, and Pi...

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