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Life of Pi: Symbolism and motifs

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eleni f

on 11 June 2015

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Transcript of Life of Pi: Symbolism and motifs

Symbols: Pi
Motif: Hunger and Thirst
Throughout their journey on the boat , both Richard Parker and Pi struggled with starvation and thirst. This struggle shows the sharp difference between Pi's former life and he more difficult one he had while he was on the boat. Pi was left to fend for himself, and that transition proved to be a challenge for him. Originally Pi was a vegetarian, but in order to survive in the open sea, he had to learn to kill fish and other animals (which he was reluctant to do at first) to eat.
Motif: Dominance
Towards the beginning of the journey, the hyena establishes it dominance by scaring Pi away and eating all of the other animals on the boat besides Richard Parker. Pi was inferior to he hyena because he let his fear take over him instead of fighting the hyena for control.
Symbolism: The Color Orange
In
Life of Pi
, the color orange symbolizes survival. Orange Juice the orangutan was orange, and she provided Pi with emotional support before she was killed by the hyena. Her company comforted Pi and helped him to survive. Richard Parker, the tiger, was orange with black stripes. Throughout the obstacles Pi endured on the boat, Richard Parker kept him sane. Their battle for domination of the boat and their complicated love/hate relationship kept Pi's brain active and distracted from the starvation and thirst they both faced on a daily basis. This activity kept Pi alive.
Eleni Forakis
Life of Pi: Symbolism, Motifs, and Irony
Pi is a Greek Letter. In the math world, it is an irrational, never-ending number that has so many decimal places that the human mind can't accurately comprehend it. In
Life of Pi
, some of the realities Pi faces are too complex or difficult to face, hence the nickname Pi.
Richard Parker, the tiger, was orange with black stripes. Throughout the obstacles Pi endured on the boat, Richard Parker kept him sane. Their battle for domination of the boat and their complicated love/hate relationship kept Pi's brain active and distracted from the starvation and thirst they both faced on a daily basis. This activity kept Pi alive.
The color orange (cont.)
Motif: Rituals
The motif of rituals is very important to Pi's survival. Each day, he has a routine that he completes to sustain himself. Animals by nature are creatures of habit, and if a habit or ritual is broken, animals, including humans, become uneasy. Rituals give structure to daily life.
Irony
Dominance (cont.)
After the hyena dies, Richard Parker became the dominant animal of the boat. Pi was rarely allowed to come within range of the tiger unless he had food. However, Pi later conquered his fear of Richard Parker and ended up training him with meat.
It was ironic that, while on the boat, Pi was surrounded by food and water, yet he still struggled with famine. The salt water and fish surrounding Pi taunted him. He wasn't skilled enough to catch fish with ease, and the only way he could get water was if it rained.
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