The Life of A Pi by Yann Martel

Essay by Ater DengUniversity, Bachelor's March 2004

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Elements of Fears

In Yann Martel's novel "Life of Pi", Pi seems to be shocked and terrified by many fear factors such as the sinking of his ship, being alone with Richard Parker (The Bengal Tiger), the death of zebra, the death of hyena and so on. All these fear elements that haunted Pi during his long journey also taught him survival techniques.

While on his 227 days through the shark infested waters, Pi encountered many ordeals which at a time made him hopeless and at a time made him to ask different Gods / faith for example Vishnu (Hindu God), Muhammad ( Islamic Prophet) and Jesus ( Christians God).

Some of the evidences of his fear includes his description of the tiger teeth, his intention to make a raft so that he can use and abandon Richard Parker, his dilemma decision as to whether to jump above the tiger or hover over the sharks and repeated words about his plan # 6, use of similes especially when he compares his fright to that of Sage Markandya who fell out of Vishnu's mouth while Vishnu was sleeping.

Although Richard Parker scared him to death Pi later said that RP's company occupied his mind and didn't therefore think about the fate of his parents. Pi added that RP was both his nightmare and his happiness (p.181).

The first fear element that shocked Pi the most was the sinking of his ship. This was a big nightmare and the beginning of all terrors that haunted Pi. His father was an atheist and because of this incident, he tends to different religious faith for rescue. This is in fact one of the ironies in this story for an atheist son to turn to faith / religion for a help.

The second...