Life of Pi

Title: Life of Pi

By: Yann Martel

I am terrified of the sea. The thought of drowning and dying of thirst made me distant from the ocean for quite some time until I overcame my fear. Are you intimidated by the sea? Good. The Life of Pi is a perfect book for you! It will show you how disastrous the ocean actually is and gives you no sense of hope when one is stranded on a lifeboat with a predator animal.

The book started off with the childhood of the protagonist, Pi. He and his family own a zoo in Pondicherry, India. Pi has a particular interest in animals and their true nature. But, his father emphasized the danger of the wilderness and the nature of the predator animals. His father’s constant reminder couldn’t diminish Pi’s naivete. So, the father wanted to show him how cruel a tiger is by revealing slaughter of the goat by the tiger. This book dealt with the reality of the world and give us an idea of how the world is really like. For example, when Pi and his father talked about zoology, his father always mentioned that animals are not like humans. They will do whatever that they can to survive. However, his father also mentioned that humans are actually the most dangerous animal.

When Pi became older, he discovered religions and had continued to pursue different kinds of religion. Pi was exposed to Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam. He believed in all three religions simultaneously. He faced difficulties as religious leaders were outraged of his combined religion. As the story continued, his family decided to move to Canada because of the political unrest in India. They wanted to ship the animals to Canada as well and on June 21, 1997, they sailed on the cargo ships towards Canada. On the way there, they encountered a storm and the crewmember threw him on the lifeboat and he immediately tried to rescue the animals around him. Seeing the tiger, Richard Parker, his first instinct was to rescue it and help the animal onboard. As the ship slowly sunk down the ocean, he realized the only companions on the lifeboat were Richard Parker and some other animals. Pi eventually developed a relationship with Richard Parker and encountered endless difficulties together as they fight for survival.

Richard Parker in the Life of Pi was one of the most critical characters in the novel. Although it was an animal, its existence helped Pi stayed in sane. When Pi became conscious and found out that Richard Parker was in the boat with him, he focused on solving this issue. Lack of food and water and dangerous sea currents are all the problems that he had to face. However, realizing that he had to live with the tiger on the lifeboat made him forget other problems. Pi eventually dominated the tiger and gave him the confidence to survive. Richard Parker acted like a person for Pi because it kept him busy and pass the time. Without Richard Parker, Pi might have given up on life.

This book is recommended for people who like to pursue adventure and hopes find a chance in the smallest possibilities. When one finds himself hopeless, he should find someone who can talk to him about it. Richard Parker had given Pi hope and the will the continue to live. In the modern world, people have been stressed about their financial problems or other related issues. But, this book reminds us to have hope even in the worst situation.


By: Andy S.

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