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Life of Pi

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A Close Analysis of Chapter 53 (Pages 150-153) In chapter 53 of the novel 'Life of Pi' Richard Parker surfaces. In this chapter, Yann Martel writes in a very descriptive style and uses many literary devices such as imagery, repetition and similes which allow the reader to realise the themes of the novel. Throughout the novel the question is raised whether Pi is actually Richard Parker, which is an alternative reading to the text. In this section that I have chosen to analyse, Pi encounters Richard Parker for the first time and from this point forward readers wonder whether or not Pi and Richard Parker are in fact two separate entities. Several themes are explored in this section such as religion, the will to survive and the loss of innocence. From the moment Pi invites Richard Parker on the boat is the moment when Pi loses his innocence, "A tiger aboard and I had waited three days and three nights to save my life!" (page 150) Pi allowing the tiger on the boat represents Pi reaching out for what Richard Parker symbolises and that is his own survival instinct. ...read more.


The in depth analysis of Richard Parker's appearance allows readers to believe that Pi looks up to the tiger and considers him to be superior, like a God. As Pi is a true believer, he has a wide imagination and would believe in anything if it could help him stay alive. The repetition of the pronoun 'he' is also significant as it represents Pi's continuous reference to Richard Parker and the way he looks and moves, "He was panting...", "He raised his head high..." and "His feet were wide apart." The sentences at this point are very simple and short as well which creates tension and speeds up the pace of the story which is effective in this section as it could symbolize Pi's racing heartbeat. A lot of imagery is used in this chapter to give a more vivid, clearer description about Richard Parker, "His carrot orange face had a broad bridge and a pink nose, and it was made up with brazen flair." The versatile use of imagery creates a piece that captivates the reader because the reader is able to clearly see what the writer is trying to describe. ...read more.


He knows that he needs the tiger because he depends on him for companionship and strength, "I looked about the sea. Only great, gentle swells." There was nothing left for Pi at sea; all he had was Richard Parker. Although, at first Pi is afraid of Richard Parker, he grows to learn that he is similar to his companion and this makes his fear gradually erase. As Pi starts to act cannibalistically in order to stay alive, he is starting to become Richard Parker, a tiger, and he loses his innocence because he knows that the will to survive is vital at this point in his life. 'Life of Pi' is an entrancing, adventurous story where humans and animals are seen as superior to one another. This section of the novel clearly proves that Pi is wanting or is in desperate need to become Richard Parker. Yann Martel is able to provide readers with imagination and belief. He allows the readers to decide whether or not they believe that Pi is in fact Richard Parker. When Pi no longer needs his survival instincts, Richard Parker disappears as Pi is rescued and no longer requires his presence. Word Count: 1,173 ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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