If you were trapped on a boat with animals, would you be able to recover? In Life of Pi, Martel suggests that humans must reevaluate their morality in order to survive and thrive. Pi studies and practices three different religions, in this book it is definitely important that Pi keep his faith above all else. In the book, Pi's mind reveals an internal struggle between his survival instincts and his mental struggle to do what is morally right. Pi has already suffered a lot and to grow he needs to understand how to motivate his suffering to survive. Pi will live with every choice he made, even if he never forgives himself for what he did.
Pi has kept his hope alive through religion, though he can only believe that keeping his faith intact is important because it gives him hope. He talks about having dignity above all else and being proud to believe in the religions he represents. He also tells the stories from Part 1 about how he was initiated into each religion. He often compared his religious views with his views on zoos. What other people considered a cage or limits, he believes is something to motivate and keep going. Your religion keeps you positive.
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“I practiced religious rituals, adapting them to the circumstances: solitary masses without priests or ordained hostesses, darshans without murtis and pujas using turtle meat for prasad, acts of devotion to Allah without knowing where Mecca was and misinterpreting my Arabic. You brought me comfort for sure. But it was hard, oh, it was hard Believing in God is an openness, a letting go, a deep trust, an act of free love, but sometimes it was so hard to love. Sometimes my heart sank so fast with anger and despair and exhaustion that I feared it would sink into the Pacific and I couldn't get it back. (2.74.1) Martell
Pi continues to practice his religion in the sea. It may seem that Pi's faith is strong and unshakable, at least in the early part of the book. But getting trapped on a boat with animals is a huge test of faith for Pi. During his suffering, Pi often loses hope. In this way, his faith in God is hard-won. He has both an element of lightness and heavy combat. Also, Pi talks about zoos and how people don't like them, here's an example.
"But I don't insist. I don't want to defend zoos. Close them all if you want (and I hope the remaining wild animals can survive in what's left of the natural world). I know zoos are no longer good for people." A religion faces the same problem: both are plagued by certain illusions about freedom. (1.4.8)Martell
Therefore, Pi believes that zoos don't lock up animals and make them miserable. Pi believes that a wild animal is more circumscribed than a pawn on a chessboard. Predator-prey relationships, according to Pi, restrict the movement of the animal. Pi believes that a zoo enclosure is like a sanctuary for animals. That's what people think of when they think of religion, they see it as a cage. In fact, Pi says that it is a home and home for the believer.
"I'll be honest. It's not atheists messing with my stuff, it's agnostics. Doubts are useful for a while. We all have to go through the Garden of Gethsemane. If Christ played with doubt, so can we. If Christ Played with doubt, the dying night in prayer, he broke out on the cross: "My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?" (1.7.4) Martell
Pi focuses his life on science and religion, he loves both, but he has no proof that God exists, which annoys him. Pi thinks that believing is a beautiful act of human life. Otherwise, without giving credit to the eyes of Pi, people would live static. Pi chooses to believe so he doesn't get caught up in a mindset that leads irrevocably to nowhere. In short, religion drives Pi's hope in this book. Martel portrays religion as something to be believed in. He follows the morality of his religion, but understands that there is no proof. Everything about the religions that he studies is something that he has to believe in. This allows Pi to survive through his belief in the gods.
Throughout the novel, Pi's mind reveals the internal struggle between his desire to live and his own belief in what is morally right. She is fighting to keep her sanity on this ship. He is watching another animal in this boat catching flies and eating them, it makes him very hungry, but how can a vegetarian eat when there are only animals, fish and insects? He makes her wonder when hunger starts to take over. This is the scene I'm talking about.
“But there he was, waving his arms and catching flies and eating them greedily. He was immediately afraid of hunger ”(2.92.16) Martel
This begins his fight for survival when he sees how other animals behave when it comes to life and death. This initiates his moral questions, how would God forgive him for the sins he would commit.
“You will be amazed that in such a short time I could go from crying, to the drowning of a flying fish, to beating a dorado to death with glee. I could explain this by arguing that taking advantage of the navigation error of a pathetic flying fish made me feel shy and sad, while the thrill of actively catching a large bream made me feel optimistic and confident. But in reality, the explanation lies elsewhere. It's simple and brutal: a person can get used to anything, even killing. " (2.61. 9) Martell
Pi is desperate for basic survival needs like food and water. His difficulties lead him to do terrible things that will haunt him and make him feel guilty, like killing. He weighs his options and chooses to live, even if it goes against his ethical standards.
“Sir, to think that I am vegan. When I think back to when he was a kid, he used to wince when he broke a banana because it felt like snapping an animal's neck. I descended to a level of savagery that I never thought possible. (2.66.3)Martell
Pi must have been a sensitive child. Or a morbid one. How he talks about animals and takes their lives. On one hand, he cares about Richard Parker as a family. On the other hand, he hits plates and breaks the neck of birds. These two sides strongly contradict each other, he morally cares for animals and yet he violently kills the animals he cares about so much. Pi does what he needs to do to survive. He cries because he took his own life the first time, but then he decides he has to survive and beats a fish to death. Once his survival instinct kicks in, Pi abandons his morale. These quotes are the proof.
Suffering with the survivor, Pi will suffer the events of the sea for the rest of his life. In the book, Pi suffers greatly from the loss of morale to survive. Just when he's just lost all of his family and everything he's ever known, floating to his death in the ocean has never looked so grim. He was saved, but now he himself has nothing to hope for. The first thing he does is cry until he knows what to do, see page 122.
"I began to wait. My thoughts were swaying wildly. I was obsessed with the practicalities of immediate survival or paralyzed with grief, crying silently, mouth open, hands on head."(2.41.4) Martell
Pi stops crying as he works out the details of survival. She has reason enough to cry. Most of the time, Pi worries about Richard Parker. She just lost her entire family. Pi doesn't talk about the loss of her family so much as he does about Richard Parker and his coping methods, but that loss is still there. He couldn't save the family from him and that will stay with him even though it's not mentioned often. As Pi processes the death of his family, he remembers what he will miss most about them.
"They were dead; She couldn't deny it anymore. What must you recognize in your heart! Losing a brother is losing someone to share the experience of growing old with, who is supposed to have a sister-in-law and nieces and nephews, children, bring the tree of your life and give it new branches. Losing your father means losing the one whose guidance and help you seek, who supports you as the trunk of a tree supports its branches. Losing your mother, well, it's like losing the sun on you. […]. I lay on the tarp and spent the whole night crying and wailing, with my face buried in my arms. The hyena spent most of the night eating. (2.46.5)Martell
This quote talks about the suffering of Pi. He talks about what his family means to him and how much this accident will affect his future, but the hyena keeps going. We now know that while Pi cries, the hyena tears the zebra apart. Pi's pain along with the cruel eater is a metaphor for pain. Then Pi decides that there is no place for his suffering even though all these bad things have happened to him.
“For the first time, as I realized throughout my ordeal, between one fatal blow and another, I realized that my suffering was on a grand scale. I saw my suffering for what it was, finite and insignificant, and I was silent. My suffering didn't fit anywhere, I realized. And I could accept that. Everything was fine. (2.60.2)Martell
Pi assumes his situation; His family dead, his morals shattered, he faces little chance of survival, casting everything aside to contemplate the "greater environment" in which he finds himself. On this date, I think he learns to deal with his pain in a positive way. Even if Pi survives, he left part of him on this ship, part of his dignity is still on this ship. Pi must reevaluate what it takes to survive and realize that he did what he had to do despite suffering great losses.
In Life of Pi, Martel suggests that humans must reevaluate their morality in order to survive and thrive. Pi struggles with his religion on this ship, knowing there is no proof of God, he can only give him faith that God wants him to survive. What is morally right in Pi's eyes is hard for him to know, not only has he been on this ship and promised to follow the rules, but he also has to give them up in order to survive. The suffering of what he did on that ship, taking the life of an animal, making decisions and changing morals that will affect him forever. Finally, if you were Pi, if his religion wasn't there to give you hope, with what morality would you leave? Would Pi have survived and what do you think Martel is trying to say?