Imagine you are stuck on a lifeboat for two hundred twenty-seven
days with just a tiger and yourself. Who would you turn to for help? In Life of
Pi by Yann Martel that is what happen to Pi Patel. In the review “Taming the
Tiger” by Gary Krist it says, “For one thing, Hindu the Muslim and the
Christian are all the same person.” Pi was brought up on the religion of
Hinduism, but as time went on he become interested in other religions other
than his own. He did not see a problem as to why he could not study three
different religions at one time.  He decided
to take the time to not only study Christianity but also the Islamic religion. When
the novel started Pi and his family were living in India when they decided to
go to Canada so that the family could have an overall better lifestyle. To get
to Canada Pi’s family along with a zebra, a hyena, an orangutan, the zebra and the tiger Richard Parker all
boarded on to a freighter.  Shortly after there was an unfortunate event that took place and
suck the ship which left only Pi Patel and a Bengal tiger on a single lifeboat.
During his time on the lifeboat he used the key concepts from each religion to
remember that everything will turn out to be ok in the end. Throughout the
whole novel Pi Patel always turned to god to ask for help and knew he cannot
give up because god is by his side and will get him through this time of stress.
Having faith and combining the beliefs from all 3 religions he studied gave him
a reason to keep living and take everything day by day.  The fact that Pi Patel had strong sense of
faith and believed in god helped him survive while his time lost at sea.

The religion that Pi Patel and his family were raised on is
Hinduism. Even though at some points throughout his travels he had to go
against the beliefs of Hinduism to be able to survive. For example, when he had
to kill his first animal, the flying fish, but he had to think about his
survival before he thought about religion. While Pi’s time on adventure god
gave him many different signs to look at that will help him survive while lost
at sea. One of the hints that he got during his travels had to do with the
religion that Pi was raised on, Hinduism. “It seems orange-such a nice Hindu
colour- is the colour of survival because the whole inside of the boat and the
tarpaulin and the life jackets and the lifebuoy and the oars and most every
other significant abject aboard was orange.” (Martel 138) The color orange is
connected to god by how god will give Pi the hope and will to survive. By Pi
Patel believing that all of these signs are coming from god keeps giving Pi
Patel the strength to keep living on.

During the story in Life of
Pi, Pi Patel takes on the study of two other religions besides his own,
Christianity and the Islamic religion. During the time on the lifeboat with Richard
Parker by Pi combining his beliefs in Christianity, Hinduism and the Islamic
culture allowed him to survive his two hundred and twenty-seven-day ordeal.
Also, just praying to god in return got helped him during his time lost at
sea.  The first religion that Pi used to
survive during his whole ordeal was Christianity. When Pi was on the lifeboat
he thought of and compared himself to when Christ was dying on the cross. He
thought to himself that even Christ suffered and everything will turn out to be
alright and tough time can be overcome with time. By Pi Patel having faith that
he will be saved comforted him which also made him have more faith towards the
whole situation.

Praying towards Mecca is a big part of the Islamic religion. Another way
that Pi Patel kept his religious beliefs while lost at sea taking the time each
day and praying. When Pi Patel was on the lifeboat he tried to figure out where
Mecca was according to where he was located. Once he believes he was facing the
right way he prayed towards mecca.  When they were first trapped on the lifeboat
Pi Patel was making a list of 6 things trying to figure out a way to get
Richard Parker out of the lifeboat. When he got to the end of the list of ideas
he realized that there was nothing that he can do to get rid of Richard parker.
Pi realized that his only option was to learn how to live with Richard Parker
when he was on the lifeboat. Coexisting is a major key in the Islamic culture. The definition of coexists is to live in peace with each other especially as
a matter of policy. In a review in The New York Times “Taming a Tiger” by Gary
Krist he talks about Pi and Richard Parker having to stay together in the same
boat. “It was not a question of him or me, but me and him.” “Pi understand that
his own survival depends on keeping his ferocious opponent alive and well” (Krist)
What he is saying in this review of Life
of Pi is that Richard Parker gave Pi Patel the will to live throughout this
whole ordeal. Also treating animals as campaigns.  Pi Patel realized by treating Richard Parker
as a campaign that is the only way he will not kill Pi Patel. In Justine Jordan
review in The Guardian: “Animal Magnetism” she says, “that measures of madness
that moves life in strange but saving ways” in other words, “his coexistence
with the tiger is possible precisely because it has never happened before” Even
though you can always argue the topic that no one has ever had the experience
of being stuck in a twenty-six-foot lifeboat but that also brings up a whole
other question. The question that this quote now brings up is weather the tiger
Richard Parker is an actual tiger or is it really Pi Patel’s alter ego that
symbolizes a tiger?

            By Pi Patel studying three
different religions it allows him to have many different outlooks on life. Yann Martel states in the novel “Hindus, in their capacity for
love, are indeed hairless Christians, just as Muslims un the way they see god
in everything, are bearded Hindus, and Christians, in their devotion to god,
are hat wearing Muslims.” (Martel 50) In the review “Taming the Tiger” by Gary
Krist it says, “For one thing, Hindu the Muslim and the Christian are all the
same person.”  By Pi Patel studying three
different religion it gives him many ways to figure out one problem that he is
having in his life by thinking about if from many different perspectives. Also
from Pi Patel believing in and following three different religions is shows him
that he is never restricted to just believing in one specific thing and can be
different from others in society.  In
this case being different than others and believing in three different
religions worked in his favor.

Throughout the story Pi Patel took decided to study Christianity,
Hinduism and the Islamic religion al at the same time.  The fact that Pi had strong sense of faith
and believed in god helped him survive while his time lost at sea.  When Pi ended up trapped on a lifeboat with
only a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker, the only choice that Pi Patel had was
to turn to god for help. Pi always turned to god to ask for help and knew he
cannot give up because god is by his side and will get him through this time of
stress. When Pi Patel was on the lifeboat with Richard Parker there were
multiple ways that Pi used beliefs from all three religions to stay positive
and have faith about the end result. The ways that he used all three religions
were praying to around where he thought Mecca is, learning how to coexist and
connecting the color orange to figure out how to have the will to survive.
Having faith and combining the beliefs from all 3 religions he studied gave him
a reason to keep living and take everything day by day.  

This whole story also has a bigger
picture behind it. Pi Patel went through a very rough patch while stuck on a
lifeboat with but believed in god throughout the whole two hundred twenty-seven
days and was able to come out alive.  “I
will turn a miracle into a routine. The amazing will be seen every day.”
(Martel 163) This quote shows that he still has confidence and the strength to
survive.  “I turned to god, I survived.”
(Martel) The meaning behind that mean that god is always there to help you
during rough times. 

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