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Similarities Between Human And Animal Characters In Life Of Pi

1034 words - 4 pages

As the reader examines the novel Life of Pi by Yann Martel, the reader recognizes the similarities between the story of the animals and the factual story. The main character Piscine Molitor Patel, known as Pi, goes through many struggles once he is stuck on a lifeboat in the Pacific Ocean which are shown between both of his stories. Throughout the novel, Martel describes to the readers the relationships the Pi has between the animals in the story of animals and the real people in the factual story. In Life of Pi, Pi meets many different animals on his journey on the lifeboat that influence him in many ways, including the zebra, which represents the Taiwanese sailor; the hyena, which represents the chef; Orange Juice, the orangutan, which represents Pi’s mother; and the Royal Bengal tiger, Richard Parker, which represents Pi himself.
A beautiful Grant’s zebra jumps onto the lifeboat while struggling in the water of the ocean; while doing so, he suffers a broken leg. The human character that the zebra represents is the Taiwanese sailor that survives through the sinking of the Tsimtsum. This character is a very shy, sad, and lonely character that only wishes that he could be safe once again, but knows the slight chance of that being the outcome of the horrible situation. The character of the zebra is shown to be a non dominant character when the author writes, “[t]he zebra [is] eaten alive by the Hyena from the inside” (Martel, 139). The zebra is weak in the situation and is not able to fight back because of his broken leg; this results in the death of the zebra. Relating to the story with animals, in the factual story, the sad, shy, beautiful Taiwanese sailor is represented as the zebra. As a non dominant or aggressive character, the sailor does not have much choice in what is done on lifeboat, especially when he has suffered an injury and has rendered himself useless. Animals on the boat are also shown as aggressive animals, like that of a hyena.
Furthermore, a vicious hyena is brought to the lifeboat through the waves of the Pacific Ocean and jumps on to join the rest of the animals. The hyena is said to represent the chef from the factual story in the story with animals. Hyena’s are very intense and aggressive creatures that kill when they have the chance. This is shown when it kills Orange Juice after she tries to protect herself and also when the hyena rips the zebras broken leg off, which is portrayed when the author writes, “[t]he zebra [is] eaten alive from the inside” (139. The hyena’s main goal is to torture these animals for the fulfilment of his life. Shown in the factual story in relation to the story with animals, the chef is the vicious human that only cares for himself. He ends up killing the Taiwanese sailor as well as Pi's mother, to he himself has a better chance of survival. Unlike the hyena, an animal is brought to the lifeboat who cares more about the life of others than...

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