Piscine Molitor Patel, after floating on the ocean for 227 days, was discovered exhausted and pale. There is no abnormalities in vital signs discovered, which indicates that with proper cares and rest, his body will function well. In spite of his physical health, his mental health should be particularly examined in detail. Without precedent case, more details and aspects should be included to consider, when evaluating if Pi is suitable to integrate to society again. Furthermore, since the incredible survival is told by Pi in first person point of view, we have reason to take a skeptical attitude on the truth of the story.
It is best to present both pros and cons before jumping into the judgment. Regarding the opinion of pi developing an even stronger personality, evidences are obvious. The survival fully proves that Pi kept wisdom and logic under such terrible condition. Being with the fiercest animals and floating on the ocean for 227 days, most people can not suffer the mental pressure, and collapse even before they get to land. People are defeated by loneliness, desperation and mental disorder caused by physical illness. Pi is not one of them.
Base on the fact that he not only survived but also is able to tell and remember the whole experience, it is unquestionable that Pi went through the hardship with an active and positive attitude. He himself even claimed that “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. (Chapter66)” In addition, Pi thought about helping others in the future, while his own destiny was still a mystery. In Chapter 71, he provided nine advices for those who should ever be in the same circumstance as he did.
It suggests that Pi was sober enough to even consider contributing back to the society in the future. Although Pi underwent miseries and adversity, he overcame all the challenges and developed a stronger personality to face the life in modern society. Nevertheless, more worries and suspicions are discovered. Pi will face the grief of losing the whole family, which he ignored due to the desire for survival.
Meanwhile, he also has to envisage the fact that being a vegetarian; he committed the unpardonable crime, killing animals. Moreover, aking into the consideration of mental disorder; some parts of the dictation would be doubted as psychological disorder, such as delusional disorder. To begin with, when he saw the death of zebra, it reminds him again of his family’s death. He was over whelmed when he mourned his family, as he said “It is like losing—I’m sorry, I would rather not go on. I lay down on the tarpaulin and spent the whole night weeping and grieving, my face hurried in my arms. (Chpater46)” Losing family is hard and cruel to accept. When he was on the boat, life was on the top of the list.
However when he came back to modern society, without accompany, the horrible memory would torture him to death. To make the situation even worse, Pi still held hope that his family somehow is alive when he saw the ship. Hope collapses when he discovers the truth. Not only he has to face the fact that everyone he loved and loved him dead, but also, he as a vegetarian inevitably has to confess his guilty of killing animals. No matter whether he keeps being a vegetarian or not, Pi suffers from repentance and ambivalence.
After getting used to kill, he repented by saying “To think that when I was a child I always shuddered when I snapped open a banana because it sounded to me like the breaking of an animal’s neck. I descended to a level of savagery. ” When Pi returns to modern society, how should he persist what he used to believe? Above all, according to the dictation of Pi, he suffered from the illness during the drifting; it is likely that Pi developed delusional disorder. When Pi cheered for the appearance of a ship, he blazed with joy. However the ship missed them and even bore down on them.
It is had to believe that such conspicuous lifeboat could be missed as there was a tiger on it. As people lost in desert see mirage, Pi might also saw the ship because his desire for survival was so strong that it drove him crazy temporarily. Based on the diagnosis criteria of delusional disorder, “Apart from the impact of the delusion(s) or its ramifications, functioning is not markedly impaired and behavior is not obviously odd or bizarre. ”(1), we suggest that Pi take a series of examination to determine whether he is mentally healthy. As was previously stated, such experience with no doubt is a life-changing experience.
Although adversity stiffened his spine, Pi’s psychological health was unconsciously devastated. The sudden change of environment would result in the failure of self recognition. His formal value of life was destroyed during the disaster. However he himself also can not accept the way of life in wild. We conclude that bring Pi back to society requires a series of procedures and treatment. With proper Psychological counseling, Pi would be able to reconstruct his life and value, until then, we do not suggest Pi get back to society immediately.
Courtney from Study Moose
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