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Commentary on Pi's Character in Life Of Pi Essay


In the novel Life of Pi by Yann Martel, the protagonist, Piscine Molitor Patel, also known as Pi, experiences many things throughout the story. His biggest experience is spending 227 days in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with a 450-pound tiger on a lifeboat all by himself. This novel can be seen as a coming of age story. Throughout the beginning to the end of this novel, Pi develops dynamically from a curious and creative boy to a strong man; both physically and spiritually.

Pi uses his creative skills to build and maintain a safe distance from his biggest physical threat, Richard Parker, resulting to Pi`s development as a character. He says, I built a raft. The oars, if you remember, floated. And I had life jackets and a sturdy lifebuoy (Pg 164) This shows how Pi uses the utensils around him and creates a raft to protect himself. Throughout his first few days at sea, Pi grows into a creative boy by learning the basic survival skills to survive physically. Not only does Pi develop as a creative boy physically, but also spiritually.

In Part 1, Pi is a curious boy who practices and discovers the importance of Christianity and Islam which leads to Pis development as a character spiritually. It is a beautiful religion of brother hood and devotion. (Pg 67) Pi discovers the importance of Islam and also embraces the message of Christianity, love. When the priest, the pandit and the imam insisted Pi in choosing one religion he believed, All religions are true and he says, I just want to love god. (Pg 76) This clearly shows Pis love towards god and he appreciates all religions. Pi develops into a curious boy by discovering the importance of all religions and god. Pi becomes a curious boy physically and spiritually resulting into a strong man.

Pi transforms into a strong man as he continues to survive by killing sea life. Pi says, With time and experience, I became a better hunter. I grew bolder and more agile. I developed an instinct, a feel, for what to do. (Pg 216) This shows that Pi does not feel for animals thus making him a stronger man. Pi who grows up as a vegetarian all his life is limited in food choices which leave him to kill sea life. In addition to Pis development into a strong man physically, he also develops spiritually.

Pi develops into a strong man and his devotion towards religion contributes to his growth. I looked about. I was truly alone, orphaned not only of my family, but now of Richard Parker, and nearly, I thought, of God. (Pg 316) Pi loses everything, his family, companionship, food and etc. When he feels that he is orphaned, the presence of god reminds him of how he always has religion, which will never abandon him. Pi still embraces and loves God just like he did as a curious and creative boy. In result, Pi develops into a strong man spiritually.

Throughout this novel, Pi faces physical threats and spiritual conquests which lead to Pis growth and development from a curious and creative boy to a strong man. As a creative and curious boy, Pi practices and discovers the importance of religion. Due to Pis creativity, it protects him from his biggest threat. Pi dramatically grows and develops into a strong man because he becomes very talented at killing sea life and he realizes that religion will never abandon him. Although Pi grows and develops as a character; physically and spiritually, it contributes to his survival significantly.

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