The Theme Of Survival In Life Of Pi

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Survival is a common theme that is imbedded throughout the book Life Of Pi this can be seen mentally through Pi, symbolically through Pi and also color. When it comes to survival, there is no plan, you’re just trying to get through the day. There is no time for preparation, only time to get into the right mentality for what’s to come. The novel Life Of Pi written by Yann Martel tells the story of a young boy stranded on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger struggling to make friends with the tiger Pi has to survive with.

For someone in a solo survival situation for a long amount of time the hardest thing to is to keep a strong mental health. During Pi’s journey of survival Pi says this, “Survival had to start with me. In my experience, a castaway’s worst mistake is to hope too much and do too little.” Soon after Pi comes across Richard Parker on the lifeboat, he then starts to take action for his plan for survival. Pi realizes that all this time he has been waiting for a ship to come along rather than himself save him. He then takes action by finding shade, learning how to control Richard Parker with sea sickness, figuring out how to stay sane with writing daily journals, talking to yourself, playing card games in your head, learning to fish to not only to feed himself but also Richard Parker.

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Rewind a bit, when the ship is sinking and Pi is in the water, he says this, “Something in me did not want to give up on life, was unwilling to let go, wanted to fight to the very end. Where that part of me got the heart, I don’t know.” When this is happening Pi is thinking two things, one, his parents and all his loved ones are gone and that he needs to survive. Yet, Pi thinks to himself, why he should even try to survive when he has nothing to look forward to, as a reader of this novel you can tell that Pi feels not only thel desire to not try to survive, but also a strong faith in God, which creates a power in himself to not give up. Due to his strong faith this makes Pi have the strength and determination to stirve forward.

In the book Life of Pi Yann Martel uses the color orange to symbolize survial. Early in the novel the narrator talks about Usha carrying a orange cat symbolizing that nothing bad will happen to Pi. Later in the story this comes to importance due to Pi being on a boat with a big orange bengal tiger named Richard Parker who goes on to help Pi survive for 227 days. An orangatang also shows up on the lifeboat with Pi as well who provides Pi with emotional support as well as a sense of support along the way. Smaller things like the whistle, life jacket and life jackets are also all orange symbolzing a reminder of hope along the tradegy happening right at his feet.

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The Theme Of Survival In Life Of Pi. (2021, September 14). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 19, 2024, from
“The Theme Of Survival In Life Of Pi.” Edubirdie, 14 Sept. 2021,
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The Theme Of Survival In Life Of Pi [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2021 Sept 14 [cited 2024 Jul 19]. Available from:

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