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Essay Richard Parker

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Richard Parker, in the novel Life of Pi by Yann Martel, emphasizes, through contrast, Pi’s survivalist qualities and values. This relationship allows Pi to regain the will to live and overcome his grief. During the first few days on the boat, Pi hardly moves. He is accompanied by an orangutan, zebra, and hyena. Pi soon realizes that his parents are not coming for him and that thought crushes his spirit. Combining that with his absolute fear of the hyena, pi wastes away his days on the tarp, sleeping. The first time that Pi realizes that Richard Parker is still on the boat, the author details Richard Parker’s appearance and contrasts that with Pi’s. The size difference of Richard Parker and Pi emphasizes the sheer helplessness of Pi and his…show more content…
Richard Parker is a carnivore, and Pi knows that soon Richard Parker is going to get hungry. So Pi goes against all his beliefs and fishes for food. Although Pi struggles with killing the first fish, he still manages to feed himself and Richard Parker. Pi would not have been able to survive on just the food storage in the boat; fishing for Richard Parker kept him alive. Throughout the middle part of the novel, Pi attempts to train Richard Parker in order to share the perceived luxary of the boat. Training Richard Parker not only makes the environment safer for Pi, but it also provides a distraction for Pi. By this point in the novel, Pi has given up hope that his parents are alive and is broken over that fact. Distracting himself with training Richard Parker and making a new goal of keeping the tiger alive allows Pi to focus on surviving, not on his parents. While Pi may never be completely over his parents’ deaths, the distraction Richard Parker gave him helped Pi survive. The relationship between Richard Parker and Pi was one of contrasts that illuminated Pi’s own survivalist characteristics. This contrast allows Pi to survive, not only the shipwreck and voyage at sea, but also the loss of his family and
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