Essay On Archetypal Hero In Life Of Pi

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The idea of archetypal heroes finds its ways into countless prominent religions, literature, films, and epics. There are many types of heroes, dating all the way back to ancient times, namely Hercules of Rome or Prometheus of Greek mythology, to modern heroes, such as the Spiderman or the Hulk. However, one may perceive some characters in a story as heroes, while others may not. These characters may own some key attributes of a hero, but may lack others. An example of this is the main protagonist of the novel The Life of Pi, Piscine Molitor Patel, by Yann Martel. After selling the zoo in India, Pi and his family decide to move to Canada. During their trip to Canada, their cargo ship encounters a storm that sinks the ship. In the wake of the shipwreck, Pi is the sole human survivor as he boards a lifeboat, and spends what seems like an eternity out in the Pacific ocean in the company of an adult tiger. Throughout his 227-day journey, Pi becomes a clear archetypal hero. Pi and his family…show more content…
During the trip, however, the Tsimtsum crosses path with a massive storm and begins sinking. The crew members throw Pi overboard, but Pi, amidst the chaos, miraculously is able to board a lifeboat. From the lifeboat, Pi sees “the ship [sinking, making] a sound like a monstrous metallic burp” (Martel 97). Pi witnesses his whole life and family sink into the great depths of the Pacific ocean before his eyes. This traumatic event scars Pi mentally with an unhealable wound.Very much like an archetypal hero, Pi leaves his familiar world and crosses the threshold into a foreign world as he prepares for his strength of will to be tested. This forces Pi to embrace ordeal upon ordeal in the middle of the Pacific ocean through physical pain and mental suffering. One such ordeal is fighting the awareness of certain death and the mental torment associated with

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