The Life Of Pi Essay

945 words - 4 pages

Madison Jordan
Phil 101

The life of pie

Based on the best-selling novel by Yann Martel, this remarkable film is an adventure set in the land of magical realism, and centers on an Indian boy named Pi Patel, the son of a cautious zoo keeper. The family decides to move from India to Canada, bringing many of the animals with them. When the vessel carrying the family hits a storm, Pi is left adrift on a lifeboat, lost in the Pacific Ocean, in the company of a zebra, a hyena, an orangutan and a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker – all striving in a ugly competition for survival. Some of the animals kill and eat each other, and Pi himself goes from being a vegetarian to eating meat in ...view middle of the document...

It is by surviving and making sense of all that goes wrong in the world, which uncovers the meaning of man.
The moral of the story is revealed at the end when Pi is forced to tell an alternative version of the story. Eventually we realize that all the animals are actually metaphors for real people. The zebra is the sailor, the hyena is the cook, and the orangutan is actually Pi’s mother, and the tiger, Richard Parker is Pi himself. It is a story within a story. The tiger is really an aspect of Pi’s personality. Pi is essentially responsible for some of the horrific events he has narrated, and the viewers can decide for themselves what kind of actions are acceptable to the human nature in a life-or-death situation.
The animal story is the metaphor of the reality of the situation, in which cannibalism and viciousness are gruesome and terrifying. It is almost like the story could be viewed as an abandonment of God…but at the same time it is evident that God was actually present at every moment. And at the end, Pi realizes that Richard Parker is actually his savior (the anger, fear, anxiety, etc.…all that lead him to survival). It suggests that God had plans for Pi and let him survive so he can go on telling others the impossible story.
By creating the character Richard Parker, Pi can reject the violent part of his personality that allowed him to survive in the ocean. There is a reason that at the end we are given two stories, and it is up to the viewer to choose which one to believe. It is a story about a higher power,...

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