Theme Of Isolation In Life Of Pi

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Envision being stranded at sea for two hundred and twenty seven days. Would you survive? This is precisely what the main character faces in Life of Pi by Yann Martel. The book tells the story of Piscine Motor Patel and his obstacles as he is stranded on a lifeboat with a 450 pound Bengal tiger named Richard Parker- they had been on a Japanese cargo ship called the Tsimtsum until it sank in a “monstrous metallic burp” in the middle of the Pacific ocean (121). Piscine, otherwise known as Pi, goes against all odds as he fights for his survival. Martel powerfully demonstrates that an individual’s humanity can be chipped away through traumatic isolation; throughout his journey, Pi digresses from predatory behavior to desperation to cannibalism. …show more content…

Pi encounters a French castaway; the castaway foolishly enters Pi’s lifeboat and is eaten by Richard Parker. After Richard Parker kills the French castaway, Pi starts using the leftover flesh for his own uses, such as fishing: “I will confess that I caught one of his arms with the gaff and used his flesh as bait” (322). In his isolated state, he thinks of nothing but survival and how he will receive his next meal. Soon after, Pi even goes to the extremity of eating the flesh of the mangled dead castaway. This deed of cannibalism barely registers in his mind as he admits, “... I ate some of his flesh. I mean small pieces… they slipped into my mouth nearly unnoticed” (322). Pi’s humanity dissipates, causing him to blindly commit such barbaric acts. In times of traumatic isolation, an individual’s humanity can fade away over time. In Life of Pi, Yann Martel depicts this loss of humanity through Pi’s predatory characteristics, desperation, and cannibalism during his days at sea. Martel links isolation to loss of humanity, a harsh reality evident in the world today. Those who have been isolated from society often carry out incredibly inhumane acts; the loss of community and connection to others can lead an individual down a dark path that eventually causes their humanity to

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