Primary Themes Of Survival In Martel's Life Of Pi

1236 Words5 Pages
Nathanial Mendes
Philosophy in Literature
One of the primary themes in Life of Pi is that of survival. Much of the struggle is against both internal and external forces; Pi is at the center of it all. The book highlights – primarily through Pi’s journey in the Pacific Ocean – that Pi will need to change and adapt to survive. Though readers should recognize that he will live in the end, the constant tension between staying true to oneself and fighting to survive keeps up the pressure of the novel on each decision Pi makes. While some may say that Pi's journey was luck, Martel highlights the extremes that living things will go to survive, sometimes fundamentally changing their natures. He exemplifies how a person may furnish undesirable manifestations to help compensate for their lack of will to survive, how individuals are forced to leave their preferences made available to them in the cultured world for their survival, and how the struggle to survive can lead individuals to commit deeds of great heroism and horrible gruesomeness. Richard Parker symbolizes the extremes an entity is willing to go through.

While Richard Parker can be interpreted as a real tiger, where he will be considered as a manifestation of Piscine’s mind. Part one of
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Pi must challenge himself throughout his journey – he eats mean, kill beings, two things which he has always been opposed tow prior to his life being at stake. His survival ultimately trumped humility, even for an individual such as Pi who is deeply devout. When Pi details his story in “dry, yeastless, factuality” the idea of a manifestation of survival instinct is born, highlighting the theme even-more-so because he matches his own will to survive to Richard Parker. Although some may disagree that Richard Parker was physically in the boat with Pi, the very facts that Pi divides himself from the inhumaneness of survival show the power of such an instinct to

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