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Survival In Yann Martel's Life Of Pi And The Story Of Keesh

1088 words - 4 pages

In the short story, “The Story of Keesh”, and the novel excerpt, “Life of Pi”, the authors develop characters who have the will to survive in extreme environments. “The Story of Keesh” is mainly about a teen boy, named Keesh, who has to find the strength to live in an extreme arctic environment, long ago, on the rim of the polar sea. Similarly, the “Life of Pi” is mainly about a young man named Pi who makes an effort to survive in extraordinary circumstances after a shipwreck at sea. Both characters must find the courage and strength within themselves to survive in these extreme environments.
Throughout the progression of the story, Keesh faces many challenges that he must overcome. For example, after his father, Bok, died, people forgot the deed of his father, which was to end famine in the village. Keesh and his mother came to live in the poorest igloo and they didn’t have the same quantity and quality of meat as the strong hunters. They received meat that was old, rough and had an unusual quantity of bones. In addition, when Keesh showed the “blood that ran in his veins and the manhood that stiffened his back” and confronted the elders, both the elders and Keesh got angry. The council threatened that “Keesh should have no meat at all and promised him sore beatings for his presumption.” This was a problem because at the time, women and children didn’t have a say in council. Finally, the last challenge Keesh had to overcome was when people accused him of witchcraft because he was bringing a lot of good meat to the village being just thirteen years old.
These conflicts were resolved when Keesh becomes a successful polar bear hunter. At the end of the story, Keesh lives in a large igloo where he and his mother, Ikeega, lived in comfort. According to “The Story of Keesh”, “the igloo was built accordingly, on a generous scale, which exceeded even the dwelling of Klosh-Kwan.” Furthermore, Keesh is no longer accused of witchcraft when he explains to the council his hunting techniques. Keesh made the bear chase him and while he was chasing him, Keesh dropped little round balls made of blubber and whalebone. When the bear swallows the little round balls,the blubber melts and the whalebone, with its sharp ends standing out straight, makes the bear sick. Then Keesh just kills the bear with his spear when it is very weak. Keesh’s intelligence and courage helped him get food for his village and survive while hunting dangerous polar bears.
The main character from Yann Martel’s novel the “Life of Pi” also has to face many difficulties in order to survive in such an extreme environment. After the shipwreck, Pi states “I was alone and orphaned, in the middle of the Pacific, hanging on to an oar, an adult tiger in front of me, sharks beneath me, and a storm raging about me.” One problem Pi faces in this extreme setting is finding food and water. On page 80, paragraph 7, Pi states “ I thought of sustenance for the first time... I had not had a drop to drink...

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