Pi Patel a Hero

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Not all literature that consists of an adventure brands the protagonist as a hero; however, Yann Martell’s Life of Picontains many patterns of a monomyth quest. The Heroic Monomyth, also known as the hero’s journey, explains the common stages of a quest in many classic stories. The novel is split into three sections, each with a specific purpose. The first section introduces the readers to the protagonist, while the second section is the actual journey he partook in. The final section is the ambiguous conclusion, leaving the reader questioning the story.

Following Piscine Molitor Patel’s endeavor, many of his heroic qualities are exposed. Due to his innovative thoughts and curiosity towards religion, his developed skills, and the quest patterns he experienced, Pi Patel portrays heroic qualities. In “Part One: Toronto and Pondicherry”, the reader follows Pi’s thoughts, introducing them to his beliefs and ideologies. What contrasts Pi from any other sixteen year old, is that he questions his beliefs and independently inquires about religious practices.

Pi is dissimilar to the student body of his school as he has been brought up in the peculiar environment of a zoo, leading him to have an advanced view on societal aspects of his community by comparing it to the animals in his home. Pi is not inevitably more intelligent than others his age; however, he is ambitious; he was eager to learn and to experience all he could, a very significant heroic quality. Ambition, a quality that is shared among many protagonists, can be a positive characteristic as much as it can be a flaw.

Pi had controllable ambitions that do not require him to violate his ethics, vouchsafing him as a true hero. In “Part Two: The Pacific Ocean”, Pi is faced with the hardships of, as stated in the section’s title, the Pacific Ocean. Pi is forced to care for himself, along with an adult Bengal tiger, developing skills involving acquiring food, fresh water, and shelter. Not every child who has attended a summer camp is classified as a hero – Pi adapts to his situation hastily whilst under the hungry eye of a Bengal tiger.

Pi’s acquisitions assist his change to suit the circumstances, a change that some heroes must make, and extends his survival. These significant changes and acquired skills constitute Pi’s heroic status. Life of Pi follows many patterns of a monomyth quest. Pi Patel’s family is moving to Toronto, and Pi refuses his Call to Adventure, as he does not want to leave. Following The Crossing of the First Threshold and the Belly of the Whale, Pi gains a Supernatural Aid: an adult Bengal tiger.

Then Richard Parker, companion of my torment, awful, fierce thing that kept me alive” (Yan 316). There are many instances in which Pi states that he would not be able to contain his loneliness if Richard Parker, the tiger, was not there with him. A large majority of Pi’s adventure consists of The Road of Trials, as each day, if not each hour, is an ordeal. Pi’s incessant Atonement with the Father is rather Pi confronting his true beliefs with God.

The Ultimate Boon, being the moment that Pi arrives on the shores of Mexico is followed instantly by the Apotheosis when Richard Parker runs off into the wild. Life of Pi also features many monomyth patterns about the return, such as Rescue from Without, Pi’s need of assistance before he could lead a regular life, The Crossing of the Return Threshold, Pi’s attempt to retell his story to the members of the Japanese Ministry of Transport, and Master of Two Worlds, which is portrayed in the first section of novel, when there is a chapter about Pi in the future.

Pi Patel’s quest mimics the journeys of the heroic protagonists in classic literature. Piscine Molitor Patel’s endeavor is a journey; however, thus said, he is not inevitably a hero. His controllable ambitions, acquired abilities, and his monomyth quest constitute his heroic status. Regardless of that, the members of the Japanese Ministry of Transport do not believe his story, Pi is still a hero.

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