The Monomyth Cycle In Yann Martel's Life Of Pi

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In Yann Martel’s Life of Pi the reader is introduced to Piscine Patel. On route to Canada aboard the Tsimtsum with his family, the ship sank. Pi then recounts two different versions of the following events. These events closely follow the path in which Joseph Campbell dictates as the Monomyth Cycle of a Hero. The cycle is said to have three stages, separation, initiation, and return; which each have five of their own substages. This cycle bears massive resemblance to the theme of loss of innocence, which follows Pi throughout the novel, within the three different parts of the novel itself. As Pi follows the hero’s cycle, he is in turn losing his innocence throughout the entirety of his journey; while he is in Pondicherry, the Pacific, and in …show more content…
It is in this portion that a majority of their trials are faced, and generally has the capacity to contain a majority of the darkest moments the hero will encounter, due to it encompassing the journey before the hero begins the return portion of the cycle. Pi is an obvious testament to this, as after the Tsimtsum sinks, and according to his first recountment of events, he is thrust into the lifeboat, only to allow Richard Parker aboard. Richard Parker has always been a metaphor for danger within Pi’s life, beginning from the moment Pi’s father tells him “I want you to understand that you are never—under any circumstances—to touch a tiger[...]” (Martel 37) and shows him how vicious they are by feeding the tiger a goat in front of Pi and his brother Ravi. This metaphor continues, even before Richard PArker is officially upon the lifeboat, and Pi makes an attempt to stop him from boarding as he shouts “Let go of that lifebuoy, Richard Parker! Let go, I said. I don’t want you here, do you understand? Go somewhere else. Leave me alone. Get lost. Drown! Drown (Martel 109) and Pi is trying to hold onto some shred of his innocence, only for it to be ripped from him as Richard Parker climbs over the side of the lifeboat. This situation runs in parallel to the first stage of initiation, the ‘road of trials’ as Pi is now faced with the struggle of surviving on the lifeboat in such situations as battling his vegetarianism, and being forced to eat fish, which he clearly takes issue with as he states “I wept heartily over this poor little deceased soul” (Martel 203) therefore dictating that his belief in vegetarianism, and belief in god that all life was sacred meant a great deal to him, and by killing another being he faces a clear trial, and if he hand any innocence left, at this point it is clearly gone. Pi then steps through the other four trials to the stage, and makes his way into the final stage of

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