Symbolism In Life Of Pi

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Humans have fundamental requirements that need to be satisfied. These instincts follow Maslow 's Hierarchy of Needs, a psychological theory. In Life of Pi by Yann Martel, Pi involuntarily focuses on Physiological, Safety, Social, Esteem, and Self-Actualization needs to get him through his early adolescence. Pi concentrations lead him through all the stages of Maslow 's Hierarchy of Needs. On board the lifeboat Pi is on the edge of physical survival scouring fresh water and food. He stays away from helping the zebra for his own safety. Pi enforced himself to find a means of "getting… food, clothing, and shelter"(Martel 108) since he knew that the "supplies of water would not last forever"(Martel 190). Once Pi establishes his physiological …show more content…
Each person has a similar yet different interpretation of each symbol and its role throughout a book. In Life of Pi by Yann Martel, the ocean is a major symbol of life, death, and survival. The endless ocean is a major symbol of life. The ocean is what feeds Pi physically and mentally. The numerous fish and turtles give the marooned characters food. Below the boat there are vast "highways…of dense, glassy and flecked… fish"(Martel 194) obscured from the surface where it is calm or stormy. The ocean is a new beginning in the unknown for Pi. This symbolizes a rebirth or baptism of sorts. However, while in the ocean his instincts guide him into savagery and thus losing his innocence. The imagery of death is closely related to the ocean. "There [is] nothing" in the ocean "only rain, marauding waves of black "(Martel 119) and "sharks every day from the blackest of nightmares."(Martel 241) Death is lingering and at any moment may strike lethally. The ocean has a connotative meaning of life. There are both high points and low; spectacular view and plain view; life and death. Nevertheless, survival is key in the ocean where conditions change drastically. Pi survived 227 days stranded at sea, forcing him to become mature about all situations. Before Pi knew the sea, he thought "it was terrifying to be in the water… [which] was black and cold and in a rage"(Martel 117). He put his faith in God, understood what he was …show more content…
It is up to the interpreter to establish its meaning in our lives. Using Life of Pi, Yann Martel relates religion and fiction as a story. Religion is similar to fiction since both interchangeably make our lives meaningful. Life is very much a story. God is the author that guides the character as people through his or her journey of life. It is the readers choice what to believe in. In a fiction book, "love is hard to believe" so as a believer "God is hard to believe"(Martel 330). It is how we are guided and what we perceive that makes it true. However, we as the reader can choose our own story. We as humans have the freedom of thought to choose any book or religion. Usually “[people] believe what [people] see” (Martel 327) making stories hard to disperse. Only with God one has a better story. As the author of our lives, God guides us to find the purpose in all of his creations. God illuminations the wrongs of humans and corrects it. When God “saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become” (Genesis 6:5) He unleashed a flood to save humanity of evil. Obviously, the “better story is believable” (Martel 352) since it gives the reader a greater impression of the truth as well as a better story than the brutal reality. Different faiths give different images of God, but like fiction one must confront the reality that to believe is to live. Religion resembles fiction since believability makes the impression

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