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Mert ErdenEnglish Life of Pi Essay The pacific waters twirl, colliding and repeatedly bash against the side of the lifeboat. No matter how far he looked, nothing could be seen but Richard Parker, the lifeboat, and Ocean. In Life of Pi by Yann Martel, the main character, Piscine Molitor Patel, is stranded on a lifeboat with an orangutan, hyena, zebra and bengal tiger in the middle of the Pacific ocean after a shipwreck on route to Canada. After the incident, Pi’s relationship with religion, faith, storytelling become both the key factors to his survival and the centralized theme. Life of Pi exhibits how the significance of religion affected Pi’s chances for survival and how it kept him occupied. Religion, being the theme that constantly emerges in Pi’s life, is used as a method of storytelling. It’s the moral booster that pushed him to survive out there in the far oceans. Being a man of three religions, he shows that it is possible to follow all religions peacefully without contemplating which is better than the other. Pi was able to find a balance between following multiple religions and seeing faith rather than organized religion. With that knowledge from the three religions, came stories. And so storytelling of religions is a way of relieving Pi on his spontaneous odyssey. Thus, it becoming a part of his daily routine.  Pi’s storytelling of religion is shown most prominently in scenes such as the Hindu gods seeing the whole universe from one mouth, or Stories of Muslim culture.These concepts were two of many stories and ideas that aided Pi in his survival. These stories from religion and the effect that it had on Piscine Molitor Patel didn’t just save his life, it transformed it.while stranded on the lifeboat in the middle of the order to keep his sanity and to actual absorbed what was happening, Pi had to create a daily regime. In his journal, Pi writes and explains what each day like was and managed to do it for 227 days. Pi knew that without a daily schedule, he would lose control everything including his state mind. “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,” (Life of Pi, pg 140). Everyday, Pi’s schedule divided into five separate sections: sunrise to mid-morning, mid-morning to late afternoon, late afternoon to early evening, sunset, and night. In the journal, he describes his routines such as writing, eating and checking on supplies. However the one activity that took place throughout the entire day was “prayers”. This prayer was a part of Islam tradition which is to pray five times a day and by doing so he was able to stay faithful and not give up devotion to his religions.  Pi considered that his prayers were just as important as all of his other tasks and was as essential as eating or breathing. Although, Pi had to give some religious traditions up, such as his vegetarianism to avoid dying of starvation, he “made it up to the Gods” by showing his faith through his praying. Nevertheless, Pi kept his faith, and it demonstrates how essential it was to hold on until end. Pi’s survival couldn’t just have depended on his schedule, he had to turn to religion during his darkest hours. At some moments, Pi almost considered completely giving up his will to live, but he soon realized that he could depend on Hinduism, Christianity, or Islam to push him through all the way. “I was giving up. I would have given up–If a voice hadn’t made itself heard in my heart. The voice said ‘I will not die. I refuse it. I will make it through this nightmare. I will beat the odds, as great as they are. I have survived so far, miraculously. Now I will turn miracle into routine. The amazing will be seen every day. I will put in all the hard work necessary. Yes, so long as God is with me, I will not die. Amen.'” (Life of Pi, page 148). This exprect divulged how Pi couldn’t have continued this burdening voyage without the support that the three religions offered.  If Pi had followed only one religion, he wouldn’t have had the strength to force himself to go against the odds. The understanding and praying relieved him of hardships, whether it be a symbolic message from Hinduism, Christianity or Islam, he was able to use that to his advantage and survive. Even though his family and friends disliked the idea and thought that he was out of his mind for being committed equally to three religions,but at the final stage, it was the deciding factors between life and death. Without Pi’s faith, he wouldn’t have been able to survive. Pi kept a daily routine and kept his composure with his strong belief in Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism in order to beat the odds. Without the aspect of religion in his life , Life of Pi’s finale might have ended much differently with Pi eventually losing his mind and dying of disorganization and non belief.

Categories: Traditions


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