Life of Pi Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 13 September 2016

Life of Pi

During Life of Pi, and Castaway, characters in each experience disastrous deaths of loved ones which play with their will to survive. However, their hope and determination pull through and overcome this heart- wrenching event. For Pi, from Life of Pi, there are numerous deaths that have a huge toll on him. Pi’s whole family dies when the boat they are travelling on sinks. Growing up in an Indian culture, Pi was very close to his family, and a part of Pi also died that day. “Every single thing that I value in life gas been destroyed. And am I allowed no explanation?

I am to suffer hell without any account from heaven? ” [OR SHOULD I USE “To lose a brother is to lose someone with whom you can share the experience of growing old, who is supposed to bring you a sister-in-law and nieces and nephews, creatures who people the tree of your life and give it new branches. To lose your father is to lose the one whose guidance and help you seek, who supports you like a tree trunk supports its branches. To lose your mother, well, that is like losing the sun above you. It is like losing–I’m sorry, I would rather not go on. ”] Although Pi is devastated he is determined to survive.

Likewise in Castaway, the protagonist: Chuck Noland’s plane crashes and he washes up to shore. While isolated, Chuck makes himself a companion out of a volleyball who he names Wilson. This ball becomes important to Chuck because it is the only object he has contact with for four years while on the island. He talks to Wilson as if he was a person and when he loses Wilson, he becomes wounded. This is a hard time for Chuck because all he had that was keeping him sane leaves. Nevertheless Chuck perseveres through the hardships and keeps moving forward with hope and determination.

Despite the battle of deaths these characters Pi and Chuck Noland were presented, they prove that with hope and determination to live it is possible to overcome their adversity if death, and any other difficulty that arose. Aside from the emotional destruction due to the deaths both protagonists endured, they also have to deal with the physical destruction as well. These events are what trigger both Pi and Chuck’s journey. In order to defeat the odds, characters must be courageous, obtain hope, and stay determined. In Life of Pi, Pi and his family are moving to Canada from India on boat.

When the ship sinks, Pi is the only one from his family to make it to a life boat. “The ship was sinking. My mind could hardly conceive it. It was as unbelievable as the moon catching fire. ” While this was happening, Pi is very optimistic. Although fear and negativity flowed through him, in the end Pi gains hope. Throughout the novel, Pi would constantly go through episodes of defeat and self-pity. However, Pi is determined to survive. It was through this determination and courageous acts that Pi beats the odds and lives through this destruction.

Similarly to Pi, Chuck Noland from Castaway also had an unexpected change of events while travelling. Chuck was on his way to Russia when he mentions to Kelly, his love interest “I’ll be right back! ” as he was boarding the plane. Little did Noland know that it was about to crash. This physical destruction is a gigantic catastrophe for Chuck, and after four years of being stranded on an island, decides to undertake the Atlantic Ocean back to civilization. To achieve this, after being isolated Chuck needed courage. Along with determination, and hope Chuck strives for salvation and saves himself.

With the unfortunate events Pi and Chuck are faced with, each made their way home relatively safe- considering the circumstances. The characters proved that despite the expectations of failure that were set for them, if they had courage, hope, and determination they would survive any tragic event that came their way. There is no argument that both the novel Life of Pi, and the movie Castaway are both tragedies- a sinking ship and crashing plane are tragic events. However, protagonists in each stay hopeful and determined to have a happy ending. Pi, from Life of I is a very obedient, sensitive person.

He follows his parent’s rules strictly. Pi was always very observant of his older brother, and strived to stay out of trouble. When Pi was stranded on the life boat alone, he lost life as he knew it. Pi experiences monstrous behavior, even going as far as to eat human flesh-cannibalism. Every rule Pi had been taught that human restraint has “gone out the window”. The way Pi viewed the world completely changed. Death is so real, so close to Pi, his views altered entirely. “By the next morning I had lost all fear of death, and I resolved to die. ” (page 268) Pi also had very strict rules when it came to religion, spirituality and faith.

Pi was a strict vegetarian due to his belief in God. While stranded, Pi had no other choice but to kill and eat animals. Because of this, he loses his innocence. “Lord, to think that I’m a strict vegetarian. 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 I never imagined possible. ” This proves how this tragedy made Pi lose hope in himself. He went against every standard he has ever believed in. Chuck from Castaway’s views on life and the world also changed drastically after the plane crash.

Chuck Noland’s whole life revolved around time and work before the crash. Once chuck had witnessed how quickly life could turn for the worst, he had a complete change in attitude. At the beginning of the movie Chuck really did not care about other people’s feelings. As chuck gained hope to survive, and determination to do so, he even treated Wilson- a volleyball with respect. By the time Chuck returned home, he had a genuine concern for people around him. With both of these characters, it is clear that the tragic experiences altered their hearts, and outlook on life.

Both the stories of Pi from Life of Pi by Yann Martel, and Chuck from Castaway are very similar. Each has experiences of death, destruction, and tragedy that take a great toll on both characters. However they resolve their adversities, and prove it is possible to beat the likelihood of failing by turning to hope and staying determined to survive. Each story ended with a new beginning for each character: the prize from the pain. The theme of hope continued to their future lives with Pi: through this wife, children, and new home, and new openings. In the same way, Chuck also had a chance to start over.

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  • University/College: University of California

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  • Date: 13 September 2016

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