Life of Pi Analysis

Life of Pi Analysis

Brandon Pierce
Mrs. Woodard
AP Lit.

In Yann Martel's Life of Pi; Piscine Molitor Patel, also known as Pi, went through a great ordeal. He was lost at sea for two hundred seventy-seven days with a tiger and a small amount of food. The things Pi had learned previously to this are what guided him throughout his ordeal. He was guided by three main things; religion, zoology, and his common sense. These three intricate parts of his life saved him out on the sea.

Pi's prior knowledge of zoology was the most important aspect of his survival at sea. His father was a zookeeper, Pi grew up living in his home inside the family zoo in India. During his time at sea, he had to deal with a hyena, a mortally wounded zebra, an orangutan, and worst of all, a four hundred and fifty pound Bengal tiger. Pi “had no forgotten [his] Father's words.” (116) He knew that a hyena is a vicious predator, who puts forth a great amount of effort to make a kill. He was able to tell when Orange Juice the orangutan was angry, and how the sharks circling the boat would react to different circumstances. His knowledge of the animals in the zoo was what insured his safety in the beginning days of his adventure on the open sea in a life boat. Pi was forced to fish in order to survive. He knew how to properly kill and clean fish from his experiences feeding the animals at his family's zoo. The greatest challenge Pi faced was Richard Parker, the full grown Bengal tiger. Pi used techniques taught to him by his father during his time living at the zoo to assert his dominance over Richard Parker. It took time but eventually Pi won the battle for dominance over Richard Parker. “Proof: [He] remained alive day after day, week after week. Proof: [Richard Parker] did not attack [him], even when [he] was asleep on the tarpaulin. Proof: [He is] here to tell [us] the story.” (223) Pi's extensive knowledge of zoology helped him survive the encounters with animals while floating on the sea.

Religion was a...

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