Humanity In Yann Martel's Life Of Pi

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The Life of Pi is a Canadian fantasy adventure novel by Yann Martel. The protagonist, Piscine Molitor “Pi” Patel, an Indian boy from Pondicherry, explores issues of spirituality and practicality from an early age. He survives 227 days after a shipwreck while stranded on a lifeboat in the Pacific Ocean with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. Throughout the film, we see Pi grow as a human being as he faces the most adversity he has ever faced before. Just like Rushmore and The Graduate, Life of Pi is a film where we can clearly see where a character grows up. Pi, in Life of Pi, learns that tigers are extremely dangerous at a very young age when his father forces him to watch the zoo’s Bengal tiger devour a live goat. Later, after he has been reduced to eking out an existence on the lifeboat with a full grown tiger, Pi develops certain qualities as he uses his strength, will, and skills he …show more content…
While shipwrecked on the boat, Pi, in the beginning is compelled to share his space with four other animals. The first is the hyena. The hyena represents human cowardice, as it is characterized by its mysterious nature. This is similar to Miss Cross in Rushmore. I believe she has a mysterious nature to her as well. Throughout this film, Max is trying to figure her out. The second animal is the zebra, which is uniqueness shown by its black and white striped pattern. Zebras tend to have short lives. This symbolizes the shipwreck, which takes everything away from Pi, including his family. I think the similarity to this comes in Rushmore as well. Max’s mother died when he was 7, leaving Max distraught and loss. He goes to Rushmore to get his mind off things and tries to become a better person. However, the zebra also represents the alienation in coming of age films. Both Max and Pi are isolated in their own ways. Whether it is Max in school, or Pi at sea, both struggle each day and must learn to keep moving