Theme Of Isolation In Life Of Pi

Improved Essays
Charles Sanders Peirce once said, “The essence of belief is the establishment of a habit; and different beliefs are distinguished by the different modes of action to which they give rise.” In other words, what one believes in is defined through the ways they act; Different courses of action leads to people with different beliefs. In the novel The Sea Wolf and the film Life of Pi, both works force their protagonists to adapt to the hardships of isolation; Humphrey Van Weyden focuses more towards philosophical conflicts, while Pi is forced to focus solely on physical survival. This difference in circumstance and central conflict causes each protagonist to undergo different changes in beliefs and personalities.
Both protagonists commence their
…show more content…
Humphrey commences the novel believing in two ideas; All human life have value, and men should act on what they believe is morally correct. Upon being rescued by the Ghost, Humphrey is presented with a new reality, where its rules are completely opposite of what he lives by. For example, the first incident occured when a sailor was asked to do something life threatening.“They were capable of snapping a man off like a fly from a whip-lash. Harrison heard the order and understood what was demanded of him, but hesitated.” (London chapter 6) Humphrey could not comprehend as to why put a man’s life at risk. He further internally reasons that it was Harrison’s first voyage and he did nothing to deserve this lethal command. This leads the protagonist to consult Wolf Larsen, the captain of the Ghost, and discuss their different perceptions of their values of life. When Wolf Larsen questions Humphrey’s philosophy, that all life has value, he falters. “The sacredness of life I had accepted as axiomatic. That it was intrinsically valuable was a truism I had never questioned. But when he challenged the truism I was speechless.” (London, chapter 6) The protagonist soon realizes that he is in no match to Wolf Larsen’s philosophy, and must accept the realities that the captain had set on the ship. In addition, this event shows the dominance of Wolf Larsen as a character and how he can manipulate his powers to retain control of the members on the Ghost. Because of this, Humphrey keeps his beliefs silent within himself, unless it was Wolf Larsen who initiates the conversation. Humphrey’s second belief is questioned when he is in a philosophical argument with the captain. His money was stolen and is now in the possession of Wolf Larsen who believes he has all the right to keep the money.

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    Although Yossarian was the protagonist in Catch-22, he did not represent the archetypes of a typical hero. Yossarian’s primary goal throughout the novel was to avoid risking his own life. The author writes, “Yossarian was a lead bombardier who had been demoted because he no longer gave a damn whether he missed or not. He had decided to live forever or die in attempt, and his only mission each time he went up was to come down alive” (Heller 29). Throughout the text, Yossarian’s character is defined as selfish and aimless and thus he valued himself more than anything else.…

    • 1251 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    While planning Jim’s rescue, Tom takes control, making the plan overly complicated and dramatic Huck knows the plan might get them “all killed besides” (234), but decides that “it warn’t no use to say any more” (235). Huck resigns himself to playing Tom’s sidekick, returning to his philosophy of least resistance. Being thrust back into the environment he escapes from at the beginning of his story confirms nothing has changed. According to him, if Tom decided to do something, he “couldn’t help it” (235). All of his decisions have led him to where he started, so he believes that there is no use in making decisions.…

    • 963 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Oedipus has a very confident and ignorant personality so he believes that he can never do wrong. Tiresias warns Oedipus, “You and your loved ones live together in infamy, you cannot see how far you’ve gone in guilt” (Sophocles). Oedipus is warned early in the play about the truth, but he refuses to believe the possibility and he rejects Tiresias help, which ends up causing him more trouble in the future. Henry ford once said, “if you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.” This quote contradicts Oedipus’s actions since he believes that he is right but in reality he is actually wrong. Anderton also has his own set of fatal flaws.…

    • 1091 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Ahab however, still aware of the insanity of his scheme, continues to execute it. By doing such, he neglects the safety and concerns of his crew, and ultimately brings on his own demise. “It feels like going down into one’s tomb,”-he would mutter to himself, “for an old captain like me to be descending this narrow scuttle, to go to my grave-dug berth.” (pg. 110). Ishmael also acknowledges Ahab’s hamartia in his thoughts “everybody supposed that this particular heedfulness in Ahab must only be with a view to the ultimate chase of Moby Dick; for he had already revealed his intention to hunt the mortal monster in person.” (pg.…

    • 863 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    In Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury presented Montag as a very nonchalant character that wasn’t worried about anything but his job. He started out talking to Clarisse and discouraging her passion for learning about the past and books, but then his own curiosity got the best of him while doing his job. He wanted to believe that the government was right, but human nature made him start on his journey to finding out what books were about. Eventually, when he was caught and almost arrested, he killed Beatty in self defense. While reading the story it seems like a totally unreasonable thing to do, but at that given moment he was under a lot of pressure.…

    • 800 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    His shipmates beg him not to say anything more, but Odysseus continues to taunt the giant, leading to another near-capture. Odysseus’ trust in his own cleverness and tact causes him to believe more in his own skill than in the advice of his shipmates. Soon after their narrow escape, Odysseus is gifted with a bag of winds by Aeolus but does not tell his crew what is inside. Communication is a sign of trust, and the absence of an explanation from Odysseus indicates that he does not trust his comrades. He does not take any blame for himself; instead, he calls his crew “mutinous” and begs Aeolus for more assistance.…

    • 1261 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Racism In Black Like Me

    • 766 Words
    • 4 Pages

    A reinforcing quote from the author, “He who is less than just is less than man,” really helps drive home how strongly he felt about ending racism in the United States. As Griffin completes the final stages of preparing for his experiment, he already knows the risks involved in what he is about to do. However, not even Griffin’s level of competence and confidence can prepare him for what he is about to go through. “I was imprisoned in the flesh of an utter stranger, an unsympathetic one with whom I felt no kinship. All traces of…

    • 766 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The paperweight, which is an antique, is an icon for Winston’s love of the past. It is symbolically shattered when he was being taken into the Ministry of Love because with Winston out of the picture, there is no way the past can be preserved now (Brannigan). Even though it was shattered it still represented the life that Winston could have salvaged (Dickstein). The diary that Winston kept is a symbol of rebellion; he is not supposed to even think about purchasing it much less write in it. His intended reader was O’Brien, so he got what he ultimately wanted (Quinn).…

    • 1423 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Sarcasm In Hamlet

    • 1575 Words
    • 7 Pages

    To the argument of man, Hamlet is actually sane. Hamlet before any of his questionable actions happened, occurred only after he met the ghost of his father. This meeting led to the ideas of hamlet to act irrationally only because the ghost wishes him to revenge his murder. This is proven when Hamlet tells Horatio, "How strong or odd some'er I bear myself That you at such times seeing me, never shall with arms encumbering thus or this headshake, or by pronouncing of some doubtful phrase"(I.v.190-195). That quote is where Hamlet literally says the he would be acting irrationally in a later time, which would excuse him of insanity at towards Horatio and Marcellus.…

    • 1575 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Evident of his pride taking over him would be during scene four when he refuses to hand over the false confession by screaming out “ Because it is my name! Because i can not have another!” (133). This proves that his pride in his name and refusal to blacken his name with a lie is a complete shock compared to his previous actions with Abigail which is the reason to why his name is currently bad. Proctor would rather giveaway his life and die with pride. In conclusion, John Proctor is to blame for the witch trials because he wasn’t able to confess what he has done during the witch trails, his tragic flaw took over him and he prioritized his reputation over his integrity.…

    • 769 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays