Life He began to discuss how he

Life of Pi is a novel written by Yann Martel and
published in the year 2001 by Vintage Canada. Martel inspiration was first
asked in a 2002 interview with PBS, Martel “I was sort of looking for a story –
something that would direct my life.” He began to discuss how he was
lonely and through religion he could discover a new direction in his life which
lead to him writing a novel which met his needs. In Yann Martel’s Life of PI, the main character Piscine Patel,
known to all as Pi is an Indian boy who has been stranded in the middle of the
Pacific Ocean for 277 days. Pi’s mentality is beginning to change but through his religion is he
able to remain sane.
“Religion will save us”,
Pi, who is narrating most of the story, goes on to say, that religion had
always been close to his heart. In Yann Martel’s novel, Life of Pi, through
adverse situations, one’s religion is the most significant factor in the
ability for their survival. Pi’s uses the teachings from Islam, Hinduism and
Christianity to help him through his journey by helping him remain sane,
possess hope and depicts Richard Parker as a god – like figure.

In the novel, there were several moments of the
story where Pi had encountered traumatic and horrifying events, which could’ve
lead to a loss of an individual sanity and hope. Individual lose their ability to think and act in an
orderly manner. In the novel, Pi used his religious beliefs and his faith to keep
him distracted. Pi uses his teachings to allow him to fight insanity and hold
the truth which he believes. “I practiced religious rituals that I adapted to
the circumstances – solitary masses without priests… They bought me comfort,
that is certain. But it was hard, oh it was hard.” (Martel). This quote is explaining how his
rituals and teaching has helped him adapt to the circumstances and allowed him
to remain sane through the hardest of times. His religious beliefs are allowing
him to have subtle behaviour and allowing him to remain sane (repetitive) at all costs. Another example is shown when Pi
laid his hands on so many fishes and his religious beliefs helped him remain sane (repetitive) throughout. “I laid hands on so many fish that my body began to glitter
from all the fish scales that became stuck to it. I wore these spots of shine
and silver like tilaks, the marks of colour that we Hindus wear on our foreheads
as symbols of the divine” (Martel). This quote is expressing how Pi remained
sane through his silver like tilaks, which Hindus wear on their foreheads as a
symbol of divine. Pi could accept the fact that fish scales were on his body
and he remained sane through his religious beliefs. Religious beliefs keep
individual distracted from reality enables a sight of hope and happiness.
Throughout the novel, Pi was in circumstances which may had him to the wrong
path. Pi may have been going crazy and not acting in an orderly manner. Through
his religious encounters and beliefs, he could cancel out everything going on
in his life and able to remain sane.

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Piscine Patel was lost at sea for 227 days with
a Bengal tiger. Through his time, he was beginning to lose all hope but through
god and his religious beliefs he could possess hope which he needed for
survival. Belief towards religion allows individuals to obtain further
knowledge and hope which may help them through their toughest of times. In the
novel, Pi is having difficulty, hoping for survival but through his religious beliefs,
he remains hopeful and continues his journey. Religion is an key factor which
drives Pi’s motive and allows him to continue going. “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 will put in all the hard work
necessary. Yes, so long as God is with me, I will not die. Amen”(Martel).
This quote is expressing how Pi is beginning to give up and has lost all hope
but through god he is able to fight for survival and do anything to beat his
odds.  Pi has a deep connection with god
and religion. This connection is allowing Pi to possess all the hope which remains. ‘Jesus,
Mary, Muhammad and Vishnu, how good to see you. Come to the lifeboat. Do you
hear this whistle?… Swim, swim! You’re a strong swimmer. It’s not a hundred feet”
(Martel). This quote is showing how all these important figures of Pi’s
religion is giving him hope and allowing him to fight for survival. All these
important figures are giving Pi a sense of hope and belief. There are many
moments in the novel where Pi feels hopeless but through his religious figures
and beliefs he could possess and last hope which remained.

In the novel, Life of Pi, Martel uses symbolism
to tie in important parts of Pi’s life. Richard parker may be a clear
representation of a god or faith in the novel. Throughout the novel it was
shown that Pi had a hatred and love for the tiger. Pi mentions that “It was Richard Parker who calmed me down. It is
the irony of this story that the one who scared me witless to start with was
the very same who brought me peace, purpose, I dare say even wholeness.”
(Martel) God like figures in human’s lives are meant to be both feared and
loved. Pi had the same relationship with Richard Parker. He helped Pi be scared
and calm when required which helped him survive his journey. Similarly, Pi
always saw Richard Parker as someone who isn’t human but nevertheless, Pi
notices that “it was not so much the speed that was impressive
as the pure animal confidence, the total absorption in the moment. Such a mix
of ease and concentration, such a being-in-the-present, would be the envy of
the highest yogis” (Martel) Pi’s ability to be in awe of the non-human
qualities that Parker has, is similar to how humans are often in awe of a
god-like figure. This certainly helps show how Richard Parker is in fact, a
totally distinct figure from Pi. Throughout the novel, Richard Parker was shown
to be a representation of god-like figure to Pi and helped Pi in his ability
for survival.

Religion is the belief or system which is
designated towards behaviours and practices. Religion is a major theme in Life
of Pi. Pi focuses on different stories and theories from each faith. Pi
believes that belief is more important than the whole exclusive truth. It was
seen how Pi’s religious and spiritual attributes grow throughout the story. In
the novel, Life of Pi, through adverse situations one’s religion is the most
significant factor in the ability for their survival. Pi had witnessed this as
his religions helped him remain sane, possess hope and helped him depict
Richard Parker as a god-like figure. Religion helped Pi throughout story which
developed him as character. Religion is to mean faith in something outside of
this world, it is an explanation of things we cannot understand. In his
journey, without religion it would’ve been close to impossible for Pi to
survive as religion played a major role in the novel.