Water's Impact on Pi in Life of Pi

Trapped by the vast Pacific Ocean for two hundred twenty-seven days is no mere coincidence for sixteen-year-old Piscine Molitor Patel. Varying from uncomfortable sea- sickness to deathly thirst, the element of water affects Pi constantly throughout the entire novel in numerous aspects. However, the greatest influence of the different types of water on Pi is in a spiritual and mental manner, in the form of his own mentality and attitude Piscine Molitor Patel’s name had been brought to life by a close family friend named Mamaji, who instructed Pi at a very young age to not be afraid of the water.

Pi defines the Piscine Molitor as “the only pool that made Mamaji fall silent, his memory making too many lengths to mention.” At the beginning of the novel, Pi describes the various pools with strikingly different features and conditions, symbolizing the uniqueness of each individual person’s feelings or mindset.

However, the luxurious and impeccable Piscine Molitor sticks firmly in Mamaji‘s heart and he intends to introduce the concept of water immediately, teaching Pi to be fearless of his own subconscious visions and inner voicesi The act of swimming was Mamaji’s method of reaching out to Pi and allowing him to fully interact with water and explore who he is as a developing individual, even if he has no control over it In his former Indian lifestyle, Pi was not limited in fresh water and he lived a spirited life, Regarding his childhood, Pi states, “1 have nothing but the fondest memories of growing up in a zoo.

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I lived the life of a prince.”  He was free from both constant physical and emotional pain, and lived his ideal life harmoniously and peacefully with his family and zoo animals. Fresh water brought a state of satisfaction, and Pi embraced his childhood memories in his mind regarding his family zoo and school encounters.

However, Pi Patel suffers his most dreadful tortures throughout the incredible survival tale aboard the lifeboat, surrounded by the endless and mocking Pacific Ocean. From blindness with a Bengal tiger to deathly thirst, Pi is on the terrifying verge of death, every moment hinting at his end. However, the predominant barrier he needs to face throughout the novel was no other than his own inner emotions and belief in himself. At sea, Pi struggles to endure the treacherous and brutal waves. Surrounded by the endless Pacific Ocean for two hundred twenty-seven days, Pi grants himself a significant amount of time to reflect on his family, self, his religions, the future, as well as Richard Parker, mostly in a negative fashion. Part of the survival manual states, “Do not drink sea water.” The manual suggests that in order to survive, one must not let their pessimistic mindset take possession over one‘s body and allow it to flow to their soul.

The salt water symbolizes his frustration with the death of his family, loneliness, as well as the mandatory and extreme isolation The irony is how the Pacific Ocean is the barrier that separates Pi from his ideal life. He has an ocean’s worth of accessible water within reach, yet could not drink or make use with the extensive amount of negativity surrounding him in mockery for two hundred twenty-seven days, The instant on the boat where Pi trickles the fresh drinking water down his throat represents his newly developed optimism and healthy attitude. He describes it as “liquid life floating into his system”. Once the positive liquid revives him, the forceful shift of mindset on his will to survive and persevere is enforced. Pure water, or a pure and motivated mentality, allows Pi to gain back the “life” that perished and optimism to fight for survival. It offers him both strength for his physical body as well as a positive perspective on his analysis of his survival situation, Pi indicates that ”the scarcity of

freshwater is the most constant source of anxiety and suffering throughout the journey.” Possessing a doubtful mindset and hopeless attitude undoubtedly brings extreme consequences and suffering, and Pi recognizes his senses and is determined to face reality without complaint. He sets reasonable goals, and evaluates how to access fresh water effectively. From that moment on, he denies the power of all physical or mental barriers which would limit him to reach security. When Pi and Richard Parker are finally liberated and released in Canada, Pi is relieved of the constant pressure of accessing fresh water for himself Therefore, his plentiful amount of positivity grants him to pursue a meaningful life in his glorious new country His situation is once again similar to his previous lifestyle back in India, and Pi eventually builds a welcoming and stable family, just as priceless as the Piscine Molitor pool that Mamaji longed for. As Pi Patel returns the element of pure water back into his life, he ultimately survives his most horrendous struggles and reaches his destined state of well-being.

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Water's Impact on Pi in Life of Pi. (2023, Apr 10). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/the-element-of-water-and-its-effects-on-pi-in-the-life-of-pi-a-novel-by-yann-martel/

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