"Life of Pi" by Yann Martel - literary essay

Essay by xo_babycakes_oxHigh School, 10th grade April 2007

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Being stranded on a life boat with wild animals could work to one's advantage. At least this is the case for Pi who is marooned with Richard Parker and other uncivilized predators. Richard Parker becomes a lifeline for Pi on three different occasion. He protects Pi from a vicious hyena, kills a sailor that is after Pi, and keeps Pi sane by keeping his mind occupied. Richard Parker is a part of Pi and is necessary for his survival on the boat.

It is common sense that, when stuck on a ship with a hyena one is obviously going to be petrified, that is, unless you have an adult tiger as additional company. Three is a crowd for an emotion as discomforting as fear. The minute you face another challenge you have these three options to choose from:1) Give up and perish at the first opportunity.

2) Let the adrenaline kick in when it is needed most.

3) Realize who/what is really the most terrifying and forget about all the other problems that do not measure up.

Pi clearly chose option three, "To be afraid of this ridiculous dog when there was a tiger about was like being afraid of splinters when trees were falling" (Martel 195). No longer being frightened by the hyena also gives Pi courage, "It was ten feet away, yet my heart didn't skip a beat" (195). Courage is one of Pi's most prized possessions. Without it, he would not have survived on a carnivore infested boat. The hyena kills Orange-Juice, which causes extreme hatred towards it by Pi. Another way Richard Parker saves Pi's life is by killing the hyena. Pi expects lots of noise and defence when it was time for bloodshed; however, he was mistaken, "It happened practically in silence" (216). It...