Life of Pi shows that we are entering a virtual age as Pi, a selfish murderer, is portrayed as a hero throughout the movie. In the beginning of the movie, Pi is portrayed as a smart, virtuous man – there is an emphasis on his strong faith in God, his love for his family and his knowledge of animals. However, later in the movie, Pi brutally murders a hyena after his family’s ship sank and manipulates the tiger that he was left with to do whatever he pleases. Although Pi faced anxiety because he was alone on a lifeboat with a tiger and with despair from thinking that he would die, these circumstances are not to blame for Pi’s awful behavior.
Pi has the freedom to make his own decisions and is able to express his emotions in whichever way he wants, making him fully responsible for the course of his actions. Once Pi is rescued, the whole world starts to see him as a hero for his survival, however they do not process all of his wrongdoings. To make matters worse, the journalists that Pi spoke with after he was rescued do not even use the first story that he shares with them – the one involving human beings – because they claimed it was too gruesome, bringing Pi to replace human beings with animals in his second story.
This also represents a virtual age because it sends the idea that wrongful actions are okay when they are presented using animals rather than human beings – truly showing the selfishness and carelessness of society. In conclusion, Pi’s inhumane actions are not acknowledged by the public, and furthermore Pi is being rewarded for his wrongdoings. In Life of Pi, storyteller Pi Patel explains the firsthand account of his adventures.
When his family’s zoo business fails in India, they embark on a sea voyage to begin a new life – however, one night aboard their ship in the middle of the ocean, a deadly storm hits, leaving Pi trapped in a lifeboat with several zoo animals. After several brutal incidents, including Pi murdering a hyena, Pi is then left to fend for himself in the company of a Bengal tiger. At the end of the movie, when Pi is rescued and questioned by journalists, he tells them two different stories about his journey: one involving human beings and one involving animals, leaving the journalists to publish the story involving animals.
Kierkegaard’s philosophy relates to this story because even though Pi is very religious, he is aware that he is free to put his wellbeing before God. While being stuck on a lifeboat with vicious animals, Pi does whatever he can in order to survive – even if that involves taking part in murder and manipulation. Pi chooses to murder a hyena because this animal killed his mother and would eventually kill him, as well as Pi chooses to hunt fish in order for the tiger to survive and to save himself from being eaten.
Pi also had to state dominance and mark his territory in the lifeboat, in order to prevent the tiger from hurting him. Pi is therefore the perfect example of putting the individual before God in Kierkegaard’s philosophy because he believes in God, yet he continues to live his own life with freedom as he makes rational decisions. Pi is also aware of the aggressiveness in his decisions, and continuously apologizes to God for all that he has done. By doing this, Pi gains strength and heals through God, as this is also a part of Kierkegaard’s philosophy.
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