For my final Action Project of Endurance we were tasked with writing a paper reflecting on one of the books or survivors that we studied in class. I chose Piscine from Life of Pi and went in depth about how reading the book has modified my outlook on life. I really enjoyed reading and getting immersed in such an excellent book, yet found it very difficult to find so many quotes to use. If you’re interested on what I got out of Life of Pi, please read below!
Word Count: 898 words
Me, Myself, and Pi
How does one find the strength to endure?
A life raft, an ocean, a young boy, and a tiger cross paths in what is one of the most unique and captivating stories of all time. In a course about Endurance, Pi (Piscine Molitor Patel) is the first person that comes to my mind. The young boy who in Life of Pi endured on a boat, with a tiger, for 227 days. He taught the tiger how to behave, and managed to create a daily routine which kept him alive and sane. This boy was dropped in one of the most difficult situation imaginable and acted in a way you wouldn’t expect Survivorman to.
“It is true that those we meet can change us, sometimes so profoundly that we are not the same afterwards, even unto our names.” (Page 15)
Pi, a young boy at the age of only sixteen he was able to be so brave and take such huge risks, which lead to him being able to endure and live on the boat for 227 days. It’s inspiring to see how difficult of a task he faced, and how he took it head on and never gave up. In the end, he was victorious and years later had his own family and it goes to show that things do get better, even at the darkest moments in your life. Pi went through various stages of belief in faith, questioning what had been taught to him, he was only then able to learn on his own and find his own meaning. I find this to be an extremely crucial part that everyone goes through in life, whether or not it has to do with faith– that transformation is crucial.
“I’ve never forgotten him. Dare I say I miss him? I do. I miss him. I still see him in my dreams. They are nightmares mostly, but nightmares tinged with love. Such is the strangeness of the human heart. I still cannot understand how he could abandon me so unceremoniously, without any sort of goodbye, without looking back even once. The pain is like an axe that chops my heart.” (Page 8)
Pi’s journey although extremely intense relates to the journey everyone goes through in their life, referred to as the Hero’s Journey. This idea that we in the span of our life go past many obstacles, peer into the unknown only to conquer the obstacles in front of us. My hero’s journey has already taken place in the past five years of my life. I’ve gone through trials and tribulations that have shaped the kind of person I am today. Learning how to manage time on my own, deal with learning how to spend money, and how to solve problems with friends and families are just a few of the things I’ve endured thus far. I’ve conquered my fears and pushed my boundaries, all of these experiences have come together to create the person I am today, which may be completely different from who I will be five years from now.
“Life on a lifeboat isn’t much of a life. It is like an end game in chess, a game with few pieces. The elements couldn’t be more simple, nor the stakes higher.” (Page 138)
In the future I hope to be able to create a company doing something I love, or work somewhere where I can be extremely passionate about what I’m doing. I want to find meaning in what I do, I don’t believe that work should be separate from the rest of our lives, I think it should add to it and give it meaning. I hope to be able to travel fearlessly through places I’ve never gone, and never would have thought of going to before. I want to push myself every day in whatever my passion is, and never let a day go wasted. Life of Pi has helped to give me this kind of meaning, as it has helped me realize how fragile and difficult life is. It’s something I’m going to hold with me moving forward, as being able to endure past the hard times is how you get to the good ones.
I believe that in the end Pi was actually lucky enough to have a second chance at life. He is able to restart his life however he wants to, and although he didn’t want to lose his whole family, if this incident never happened he never would have met his current wife. Pi was able to overcome one of the most difficult adventures of all time at such a young age, which really speaks to his character and how he will evolve into an amazing person as time goes on. I believe that people who are around more difficult and serious events have a much more mature outlook, even if it does happen at such a young age. I believe that Pi being able to go through loss, defeat, conquer, faith, and others obstacles has shown how strong the will to live is. It’s made me think about and cherish the life I have because it’s so delicate and can change at any sudden moment. In the future I’d like to learn to be grateful of what I have by always having in mind the question What if what I have today isn’t what I will have tomorrow?
Martel, Yann. Life of Pi: A Novel. New York: Harcourt, 2001. Print.
“Analysis of Major Characters.” SparkNotes. SparkNotes, n.d. Web. 02 June 2014. <http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/lifeofpi/canalysis.html>.
Weston, Paula. “Great Stories.” Life of Pi Explained. Great Stories, 23 Sept. 2008. Web. 02 June 2014. <http://paula-greatstories.blogspot.com/2008/09/life-of-pi-explained.html>.
Phutully, Chris. “”The Real Life of Pi”" Flickr. Yahoo!, 5 Jan. 2013. Web. 02 June 2014. <https://www.flickr.com/photos/72562013%40N06/8349541302>.