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Life of Pi Spirituality Vs. Geography

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Essay title: Life of Pi Spirituality Vs. Geography

It has been said. "There is nothing more enticing, disenchanting, and enslaving than the life at sea." History and literature have proven this in many ways and Yann Martel's, Life of Pi is no exception. Pi Patel, the protagonist overcomes many challenges spanning from spiritual enlightenment to basic instinct and survival. Coming from an unbiased spiritual background and having a vast understanding of nature and its creatures, Pi is a compassionate and intelligent boy. Like the classical hero quest pattern, Pi is forced into surviving at sea with only animals as companions. It is a long journey filled with danger solitude and uncertainty, but most of all an exploration of faith.

Pi's family runs a zoo in India but flee to Canada (with the animals) because of the unstable political situation. Early in the voyage the ships sinks and all that is left is a life boat containing a zebra, an orangutan, a hyena, a Bengal tiger and a boy. "Jesus, Mary, Muhammad and Vishnu, how good to see you Richard Parker!" Pi Patel cries. The task that has been brought upon

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him won't be solved by the three religions Pi has become apart of. He slowly begins to realize that his faith and loyalty may not save him. With his family missing and no hope of seeing them again he falls into a depression. Now his fate will be decided by the sea and his will to survive.

In order to survive Pi must defeat the last member of his ill fated crew: Richard Parker. Everything he has learned as a zookeeper's son could not prepare him for his this. It may seem like becoming dominant over a 450 pound. male tiger would be his greatest task but it isn't. In order to do this he must defeat his own fear if he wants to survive. Pi asks the Gods for the courage to save his own life and the life of Richard Parker. Pi is surprisingly compassionate towards Richard Parker: He feeds the tiger on a regular basis and talks to him. As he tames the tiger he builds a close relationship with Richard Parker and believes he will not survive without his company. Pi is overwhelmed by the relationship they have developed and feels he owes this to the faith he had in himself and in the power of religious beliefs.

As the elements take a toll on Pi's body, he begins to question his faith. He doesn't understand how the God's he has loyally served could allow him to wither away. Both Richard Parker and Pi have been stranded for longer

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than Pi can remember and they are both too worn out to survive much longer. They

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