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Pi's survival

Did Pi survive only on th human will to live, or was it because he had hope?
by

Evie Helps

on 30 May 2010

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Transcript of Pi's survival

Hope in its simplest, most primitive form is what drives both human and animal to survive through their quest and live to the last breath. Pi could not have completed his quest without hope. Richard Parker and Pi's relationship Pi establishes himself as the alpha early on, which not only protects him from RP, but it instills confidence in himself. The basic idea of the quest pattern says that the character will overcome their fear/problem and become strong. Pi does this by dealing with RP. By becoming the alpha, Pi subconciously gains hope and strength because he is acting this way. "The circus lions don't care to know that their leader is a weakling human; the fiction guarantees their social well-being and staves off violent anarchy" (Pg95) This quote shows that although Pi is a human Richard Parker can sense his hierarchy, and therefore follows his lead for survival. RP gets a little bit of his old life at the zoo back from Pi. Pi provides him with food, structure and enough comfort that RP is not so worried about his survival that he tries to eat Pi. Does RP even worry about his survival or is he just so used to being taken care of that hope for him is only related to the next fish he is thrown? Losses of Hope normal in survival/life A loss of hope would have given Pi a chance to rethink what hope is to him. Is he hoping that his family is still alive or that he is going to just stay alive? Isn't there always a little spark of hope down there in everybody? However small, hope is a natural part of human nature. Humans hope for a better life and a better world. That is why they are so advances today. Pi's daily routine on the lifeboat is even filled withsmall hopes like catching a turtle. Pi's natural survival instincts come alive when he 'loses hope', but that hope still refreshes itself later. If he had really lost hope why would he go on living? Why wouldn't he just stop thinking, breathing, and surviving? "You might think I lost all hope at that point. I did. And as a result I perked up and felt much better." (Pg149) Main topic: Having hope to lose and regain is a step on the quest pattern. It represents the road of trials in the pattern. What is religion? It is hope in some sort of God. In Pi's case, 3 religions, and 3 places to turn to when he has a break from surviving. Spirituality is hope. "That is God as God should be. With shine and power and might. Such as can rescue and save and put down evil." (pg61) Pi had the power to believe when there was nothing visible to believe in. His open mind about multiple religions gave him the chance to see so much hope. His daily schedule, even on the boat, included praying. Without thinking about it he was giving himself something to hope for. God is just as real out on a lifeboat as in civilization. For Pi, there's no way that faith had sunk on the boat like his family. He lost hope that his family was alive, but not that God was out there. Spirituality
-Where Pi can always see hope "The hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man " (30).
-Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces

This is why the narrator says the story will make you believe in God. Through Pi's faith he is able to connect to hope that will stick with him the rest of his life.
Overall, it might seem to Pi like a loss of hope and the end of his survival, but fate worked in his favour enough times. In conclusion... The fittest survive, mentally. Pi was successful in creating a dominant role between himself and Richard Parker, which boosted his own confidence. Also, he never turned his back on faith and it was always there for him. Lastly, when he was barely surviving he held onto that small bit of hope and it kept him going. Pi's Survival By Evie Helps Orange Juice being abandoned by her owners is an example of when an animal loses hope. "Quickly it becomes depressed and gives up on life. It dies of hunger or exposure in the next few days." (Pg143) Pi said it himself, " I kept myself busy. That was one key to my survival. On a lifeboat, even on a raft, there's always something that needs doing." (Pg210)
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