Life of Pi: a Journey of Self-Actualization and Discovery

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Life of Pi is a novel by Yann Martel which tells the story of a young protagonist Piscine Molitor “Pi” Patel who goes through a life-changing experience. He managed to survive 227 days after a ship crash in the Pacific Ocean with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. Pi’s life epic journey is about a search of identity under extremely difficult conditions. The theme of religion appears to be central in this novel. In spite of Pi’s young age, the protagonist felt that he should find his way to become closer to God. In these terms, he was excited about religions in order to find and actualize himself.

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It is important to note that Pi’s idea of himself became evident only after a devastating fight for survival, however, the main idea of the story is about faith. What concerns Pi, he reveals that God never leaves him, even in the most hopeless situations. Moreover, due to the faith, he overcame all challenges and became the man we saw at the end of the story. For Pi faith appears to be something essential: “If you stumble about believability, what are you living for? Love is hard to believe, ask any lover. Life is hard to believe, ask any scientist. God is hard to believe, ask any believer. What is your problem with hard to believe?” (Martel). Interestingly, the turning scene of the novel is when Pi drifts into a major storm evokes associations with Truman show. The episode when he appeals to the sky in hope that God will hear him refers readers to the scene when Jim Carrey’s was on the boat trip in Peter Weir’s “The Truman Show.” The point was that Christof was hitting Truman over and over again with crashing waves and thunder and lightning. All these challenges were made to test how far Truman can go. Like Pi, the protagonist in Truman yells to the “creator” in the sky, actually without knowing whether somebody can hear him. However, the main point was that faith which took away all suspicions. Tremendously important fact is that Pi practiced in 3 religions, in particular Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam. These religions gave Pi an experience which consequently contributed to forming of his identity and helped him to come to understanding who he was. Pi liked Hinduism spirituality and beauty that is why it was his first religion. Afterward, he followed a Catholic church because the story of Christ inspired him. Later Pi accepted Islam as far as it was religion of “the Beloved” ( “Life Of Pi”). “I was giving up. I would have given up – if a voice hadn’t made itself heard in my heart. The voice said, “I will not die. I refuse it. I will make it through this nightmare. I will beat the odds, as great as they are. I have survived so far, miraculously. Now I will turn miracle into routine. The amazing will be seen every day. I will put in all the hard work necessary. Yes, so long as God is with me, I will not die. Amen” (Martell). Taking into consideration above mentioned quote the influence and meaning of religion in the life of Pi can not be underestimated. Every day of his journey was a miracle as far as it was tremendously hard for him to survive. In these terms, this journey challenged not only Pi’s body but soul to the same extent.

Ultimately, “Life of Pi” is a journey of self-actualization and discovery. Interesting that Pi’s belief in God seemed to be inexhaustible throughout all the story. Moreover, he had never seemed to call into question his faith. Pi’s deep faith is the prominent part of his life story and is a driving force of the novel at large. All the challenges he dealt with during his journey contributed to the idea of self-understanding. It goes without saying that he became more experienced and mature realizing all responsibilities of adult life. Thus, without a doubt, this journey established Pi’s identity. This challenging experience helped Pi to realize a sense of his life and establish important values in life. The protagonist left old Pi behind, opening the way for new life. Thus, this novel appears to be an exemplary work which demonstrates not only hero’s intelligence but an impressive author’s skills as well. Thanks to the author’s imagination and fantasy “Life of Pi” comes up with charming and astonishing images alongside with masterfully created characters which excites readers. On the one hand, the young protagonist is described in the minutes of the highest tension and desperation, but on the other, we see moments of joy and happiness he experiences. The narrator told “I have a story that will make you believe in God” what totally corresponds to the impression the novel makes(Martel). This life changing story brings faith to people’s hurts proving that miracles actually exist.

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