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Life of Pi Literary Essay

  • Date Submitted: 06/06/2010 02:46 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 64.6 
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Life of Pi - Literary Essay
The important thing isn’t that we can live on love alone, but that life isn’t worth living without it. In the novel Life of Pi by Yann Martel, the author shows that Richard Parker is part of Pi, and is necessary for his survival. This is shown at the end of the novel when Pi reaches Mexico with Richard Parker’s help of survival. However, there are two different versions to Pi’s story, and there is no physical proof of Richard’s existence other than his word. Life isn’t worth living without hope, Richard Parker is necessary for Pi’s survival because he gives him a reason to survive, provides companionship, keeps him from feeling hopelessness.
Firstly, Richard Parker is essential for Pi’s survival. He is essential for Pi’s survival because Richard Parker has the strength and viciousness necessary to survive. In the end of the book it is revealed that Richard Parker is Pi. Richard Parker is just a figment of Pi’s imagination a creation of Pi’s mind to help him cope with seeing his mother killed and the rest of the bad experiences he had after the ship sunk. Pi created Richard in order to conjure up those traits that he needs in order to survive; Richard is strong, fierce, and terrifying, whereas Pi is complete opposite. He creates a strong fierce animal with a personality that is capable of doing things he can't, but has to in order to survive. Richard Parker is just Pi’s dark side. He keeps Pi sane, despite of his terrible deeds. In other words, he imagines that the tiger is talking to him, showing that he and Richard share one mind: “I laughed.  I knew it.  I wasn’t hearing voices.  I hadn’t gone mad.  It was Richard Parker who was speaking to me!  The carnivorous rascal” (Martel 273).  It is not possible for an animal to talk, thus it is Pi’s collective imagination that manifests this conversation.  However, the two share many of the same needs and wants, so therefore their minds are able to collaborate subconsciously. 
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