Life of Pi’ is a story that is mainly focused on the aspect of survival. Being trapped together with Richard Parker, a Royal Bengal tiger, Pi’s odds seem to have been pulverized to nothing. Yet as the story progresses, Richard Parker begins to give Pl hope and a reason to survive. Pi’s will to survive returns; If he can survive while living together with a Bengal Tiger, he can survive anything.
Although seeming a huge threat to Pl at first, Richard Parker unintentionally takes on the role of ghost and rotects Pl against the vampires that he faces, glvlng him moral support, and thus the will to survive.
At the beginning of the story In part two, Pl Immediately faces his first vampire: the hyena. Being trapped on a lifeboat together with an Injured zebra, an orangutan and a hyena, It quickly becomes evident to Pl who stands at the top of the food chain. It does not take long before this vampire starts to rejuvenate Itself by feasting on Pl’s companions.
Right when the hyena has set its gaze on Pi, Richard Parker (the ghost) omes into play and kills Pi’s first vampire, unintentionally protecting Pi in the process. Though scared at first, Pi learns to deal with Richard Parker over time and eventually even becomes blessed with his presence. ‘It was Richard Parker who calmed me down. It is the irony of this story that the one who scared me witless to start with was the very same who brought me peace, purpose, I dare say even wholeness.
‘ – Chapter 57, page 204.
Richard Parker proves to be Pi’s motivator again and again throughout the story, especially when Pi encounters his next vampire: the Pacific Ocean. The saying; the ocean gives and takes’, can be taken quite literarily in this book. The ocean has given Pi basic offerings, food and water mainly, but seeps the life force out of him simultaneously with its strong razor sharp winds, bone crushing waves, and scorching sun. The ocean tries to break Pi’s spirit several times. For example when Pi spots a cargo ship, resulting in the slightest of hopes only to have it all taken away again as the ship passes and does not notice him.
Richard Parker is yet again the one thing that keeps Pi going by merely being there and giving Pi moral support In the arkest of times. “l love you! ” The words burst out pure and unfettered, infinite. The feeling fluttered my chest. “Truly I do. I love you Richard Parker. If I didnt have you now, I dont know what I would do. I don’t think I would make It. No, I wouldnt. I would die of hopelessness. Don’t give up, Richard Parker, dont give up. I’ll get you to land, I promise, I promise! ” – Chapter 86, Page 294. Even though Richard Parker does not know It, he yet again serves as a tremendous motivator to Pl.
Last but not least Pl meets his last vampire in Its purest form: the algae Island. Pl becomes enchanted with the Island and It almost seems Ilke he falls under some sort of spell or glamour, luring him Inside with Its delicious edible algae and fresh drinking water. Pl decides to spend his nights on the Island Instead of the boat, yet Is scared that Richard Parker might attack him in his sleep. He therefore decides to sleep In the trees and makes the gruesome discovery that the island feeds on its inhabitants at night.
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