Life of Pi Essay
Richard Parker and the other animals? In the realistic story Pi encounters a number of challenging, horrific, and life altering events. In the ‘better story, Pi tells how Richard Parker attacks and eats humans, has no morals and is very savage. But once the realistic story is told, it is understood that Richard Parker and Pi are one in the same, and it is really Pi who committed the crimes that he faults on Richard Parker in the first story.
Richard Parker acts as an escape for Pi through allowing him to mask his sins, forget negative emotions, and overlook his immoral actions.
While on a lifeboat for an astounding 227 days Pi commits many sins. While being a devote Christian, Muslim, and Hindu these sins would not be tolerated under any form of desperation within these religions. Pi creates Richard Parker to mask his barbaric actions. In the second story after only a couple weeks at sea Pi and the Chef stole food without Pip’s mother knowing, Mayo selfish monster! ‘ screamed Mother. The only reason we’re running out of food is because you’re gorging yourself on it! ‘ ‘He had some to,’ he said, nodding my way’ (Marten 340).
Pi was so hungry that when the Chef offered him a ration he ate it without thinking of the consequences. It was very selfish on his part and regret did not hit him until he saw his mother’s disappointment. After the Chef kills his mother, Pi takes the next open opportunity to kill him, “Then we fought and I killed him” (Marten 344). Murder is not accepted under any of Pip’s religious beliefs but is also against the law in many countries. Pi contradicted his religious beliefs, the one thing that molded his character until the shipwreck. Pi becomes cannibalistic once he kills the Chef, “I ate his liver. T off great pieces of his flesh” (Marten 345). At this point in the second story Pi is thirsty, starving and now alone, he loses complete touch with his compassion becoming very primal. Being an honest and noble boy Pi would not able to live with himself without an outlet after committing such sins. Pi creates Richard parker as a figurehead to escape and take blame for his primitive moments. Richard Parker, as Pi describes him, is violent, impulsive and much like Pi in his immoral moments on the lifeboat. In the second story Pi becomes brutal and primitive.
Once he reaches land Pi does not want to acknowledge such negative and embarrassing behavior. This is his motive for the ‘better story’ where Richard Parker exemplifies all these negative traits instead of Pi. Pi loses a turtle, which results in the Chef getting angry and killing Pip’s mother, “We were starving. I was weak. I couldn’t hold on to a turtle. Because of me we lost it. ” (Marten 343). Pi blames himself for his mothers death. Although the blood was not literally on his hands he feels he is the directly responsible for his mothers’ death.
Pi becomes very anger and hurt when the Chef kills his mother: “He killed her. The cook killed my mother'(Marten 343). Pip’s mother was the last member of his family. It is understood Pip’s father and brother died in the shipwreck, and now his mother is also dead. For the first time ever Pi is truly alone and without guidance, he continues to lose touch with his humanity. Pi becomes ruthless and violent after killing the chef, “His heart was a struggle- all those tubes that connected it. I managed to get it out. It tasted delicious, far better than a turtle. ” (Marten 345).
The story becomes graphic and gruesome, but gives perfect depiction Of Pip’s desperation and how far he has strayed from his morals. These traits that Pi displays are not his true character. These traits arise because of his desperation and he is under extreme conditions. It makes sense for Pi to create Richard Parker as a scapegoat, he is ashamed of what he has become and never thought he could possess such immoral traits. Throughout the second story Pi loses his sense of morality. A young Chinese man with a broken leg is a passenger on the lifeboat. His leg becomes infected and the
Chef convinces Pi and his mother to help amputate it, “I can still hear his evil whisper. He would do the job to save the sailor’s life he said, but we would have to hold him”(Maritime 338). Amputating was against Pip’s morals, and he was well aware it would ultimately kill the sailor. As a result of the amputation the sailor died a painful and horrible death. Pi becomes selfish, primitive and purely survival driven. While aboard the lifeboat Pi is forced to dismiss his vegetarianism, “It came easier to me. Found hunger improved the taste of everything. “(Marten 343).
The reader would think being a devote vegetarian his entire life would make him want to resist the urge to eat meat. Pi is so hungry and so he is pushed to refute his ethics that he has lived with his entire life. The reader wonders, how strong Pip’s moral compass is with disowning his vegetarian ways so easily. The Chef is brutish and violent, although Pi still accepts him, and sees him as a friend. Richard Parker is an easy passage in Pip’s mission to escape his sinful actions. Richard Parker allows Pi an outlet to immoral and unethical behavior that would not be tolerated in Pip’s natural world.
But we couldn’t ignore him entirely. He was a brute, but a practical brute. He was good with his hands and he knew the sea. He was full Of good ideas. He was the one who thought Of building a raft to help with fishing. If we survived any time at all, it was thanks to him. (Marten 342) Even after butchering the sailor and eating all their rations, Pi accepts the Chefs help even though his methods go against his morals. Under the pressure of the sea Pi quickly and easily dismisses his morals, strays from humanity and becomes annalistic.
Richard Parker acts as a perfect guarded, the typical tiger possesses the traits and emotions Pi wants to avoid. Richard Parker acts as an escape for Pi through allowing him to mask his sins, forget negative emotions, and overlook his immoral actions. Pi see’s himself before the ship wreck as a holy, positive and honest being, but quickly dismisses all his morals in the light of survival. He becomes primitive, immoral and very annalistic. Pi uses Richard Parker to represent his instinctive mind and serve as an escape from the horrific level of savagery he sank to on the lifeboat. Pi creates Richard Parker as a coping method.