Life Of Pi And The Ocean

Amazing Essays
Setting in Life of Pi: The Relationship Between Pi and the Ocean The setting of a story plays a major role in the development of the plot throughout the novel. In Yann Martel’s Life of Pi, the main character, Pi, is left without his family and only accompanied by an untrained Bengal tiger, Richard Parker. Surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, Pi is compelled to train the tiger for his own survival and faces several physical and spiritual challenges. The existence of these challenges is because of where the novel is set, Pi alone with the tiger, a lifeboat, a raft, and the Pacific Ocean. As a result of overcoming these obstacles, Pi is forced to change and further develop as a character. The significance of the setting is demonstrated through the …show more content…
Aside from satisfying his hunger and thirst, Pi must deal with Richard Parker and time. Pi, during a cold night of the ocean, ponders on how to survive with Richard Parker and concludes he must find a means of killing him to have the lifeboat all to himself. However, when Pi hears the “prusten” from Richard Parker, matters change, and Pi realizes that if Richard Parker dies, he “would be left alone with despair, a foe even more formidable than a tiger” (Martel 163-4). This demonstrates how Pi had developed to think more deeply and independently when preparing to take actions. Additionally, the enclosed surrounding teaches Pi responsibility, a key component to having independence. It can be noticed through the daily schedule that Pi creates. The fact that includes both his religious practices like praying in addition to maintaining the lifeboat for safety while also assuring that Richard Parker and he have breakfast, lunch, and dinner to satisfy their hunger and thirst. The extent of his responsibility is demonstrated when he gets “into the habit of cleaning up after Richard Parker” (Martel 210). Another example of Pi taking responsibility is the list he creates, of all the resources that he has along with him on his journey; the list includes physical items like “2 sea anchors” while also intangible items like “1 God” (Martel …show more content…
A conversation that Pi has with Mr. Kumar, the biology teacher foreshadows the value of faith. Although Mr. Kumar asserts that “[r]eligion is darkness,” Pi continues to believe that “[r]eligion will save us” (Martel 27). This foreshadows how faith will save Pi when he is alone in the ocean later in the story. An example of how faith helps Pi in the ocean is when he needs to be saved from the hyena and asks, “God, give me the time” and immediately afterwards, Richard Parker “had risen and emerged” steps in to kill the hyena which demonstrates the power of faith in survival. A literary critic, Paul Cockeram, similarly argues that his “faith, not his reason, enables Pi to survive” in such conditions (3). Cockeram supports his argument with a quote where Pi explains relying on reason would have resulted in his death. Another critic, June Dwyer, states that in the ocean, Pi searches to find companionship and “is simply grateful to have another sentient being sharing his ordeal” where Richard Parker satisfies these conditions (17). Both these critics imply that company was key to Pi’s survival, whether it was faith or Richard Parker, whom offer the support and hope that exists in

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