Discussion Question Two

How did Pi turn to his exposure of various religious philosophies during his ordeal on the lifeboat? Consider that atheism, though not a religion, is one of those philosophies.


timsaunders said...

Pi used his many religious beliefs to help him through the ordeal, though religion was not exactly pronounced in his story at sea.

Hinduism: He remembered the story about Markandeya and falling out of Vishnu's mouth into the entirity of the universe, and found himself seeing with clear eyes how miniscule and meaningless his suffering was.

Christianity: He sought comfort that even Christ suffered, and knew that everything would be okay even if he were not to live; the absolute faith of being saved from eternal damnation comforted him a little.

Islam: He knew he had to coexist with Richard Parker in order to survive. That all creatures are one entity is the belief of Islam, at least as I have interpreted it from the book.

Atheism: This is where all of his Earthly needs came into effect. Hunger, thirst, survival, animal psychology, wind, anchors, weather. He saw each with a strictly scientific eye, observing and hypothesizing and then experimenting with ways to get out of the problem.

Kyle said...

After reading the first part of the book, which focused heavily on Pi's religious beliefs, I was surprised that his faith was not as prevalent throughout his struggles on the lifeboat.
Regardless of the amount, faith did play a role in his survival. Pi recognized that his successes throughout the ordeal occurred thanks to God. Pi constantly prayed to God and thanked him. He prayed from the time he was stranded until he was found. On an average day Pi commented that he prayed five times.

When Pi was placed in difficult and trying situations, his faith was tested. I took note of Pi’s doubt in a particular situation immediately after he had reminded himself of God’s wonder. Pi questioned, “But God’s hat was always unravelling. God’s pants were falling apart. God’s cat was a constant danger. God’s ark was a jail. God’s wide acres were slowly killing me. God’s ear didn’t seem to be listening.”

However, faith prevails, and Pi realizes God’s wonder through his own survival.

Samantha said...

During Pi’s ordeal on the lifeboat, Pi turned to his religions many times. I believe Pi might not have survived if he hadn’t turned to God. Pi used simple symbols from his religions. For example, Pi saw the color orange, a Hindu color meaning survival, on many things such as the lifeboat and the lifejackets. Another instance is that Pi recalled seeing people from his religions. Such as, Pi states that the orangutan on the island of bananas looked like Virgin Mary floating to the lifeboat. Just as the orangutan was killed looked like Jesus Christ on the Cross. Pi also used stories from the religions to compare to things that happened on the lifeboat. For instance, Pi states “I felt like the sage Markandeya, who fell out of Vishnu’s mouth while Vishnu was sleeping and so beheld the entire universe, everything that there is”. Another example is when Pi states that “I felt I was living the martyrdom of Saint Sebastian”. Pi constantly continued to pray in the morning, at lunch and before bed. I suppose you can say the belief in God kept Pi alive. Even though, Pi began questioning God’s existence, atheism. How could Pi be put though all this pain and suffering? Yet, Pi turns back to God. I believe Pi knows he truly cannot or will not survive without God in his life.

Mitchell Close said...

Pi used his many religious and non-religious beliefs to help him through his ordeal.

During this time of trial, Pi prays daily, as per the order of each rekigion. In addition, Patel sees each of his religions and uses them accordingly in the duration of his floating about.

For example, Hinduism comes into effect when Pi often says "Jesus, Mary, Muhammad, and Vishnu!", as well as the description of him feelig like the sage Markandeya, and viewing things through the "big picture", as well as Pi seeing the nice Hindu color orange everywhere one the lifeboat.

Christianity comes into play when Pi views Orange juice as the Virgin Mary floating on bananas, as well as the quote "I felt as if I was experiencing the martyrdom of Saint Sebastian.

Islam comes into play when Pi views the lightning strike in the ocean as a sign from Allah, as well as seeing the miracles in everything.

Atheism came into play as Pi had to learn to overcome his vegan tendencies, had to kill to eat and survive, as well as take an unbjective eye to issues that he had to face.

amygirl2202 said...

Pi fought for his life in a way he didn't even know it. He looked to god in a way that he couldn't even see it for himself, faith. There were many signs given to him that meant survival (Hinduism) such as the color orange of the lifejacket and lifeboat he was on.
At first he was confused of what he did to deserve to be in a situation like he was, but
during his voyage for survival at sea, he remembered many trials that others were put through, and the pain many must have felt. The stories of sage Markandeya, The fact that god let his own son hang on a cross for others sins, and just the fact of a furocious tiger and a boy living on the same boat together. Each one of these stories come from one of his three to four religions/beliefs.

Pi watched and thought of how much the oragutan reminded him of himself. she was looking across the wide see for her two sons and how he was looking for his parents.They were both just lost, and didn't really want to realize the fact that they the orangutans two sons and Pi's family were probably dead, but yet Pi still had faith in the possibility of life.

Pi realized that he ows his thanks to god because he let, and helped him to survive in such a life threatening and confusing situation. even in Pi's darkest hour he looked to God, and believed in faith, but not as much as before.

Pi's belief in God helps him to survival and his faith in God lives on.

Nathan Barndt said...

Pi was tested many times on his meandering voyage across the Pacific, not unlike Jesus' suffering in the desert.

When Pi caught his first fish, he was afraid to kill it, so he put it under a blanket and bludgeoned it to death (he hadn't the courage to use the blade of the hatchet). He thanked Vishnu, who came as a fish to save the world, and then came again to save him. He then strays somewhat from that standpoint and basically massacres anything that comes within reach until sometimes he has too much food to cure at once, showing a little deviation from his piousness.

A belief in the Islamic faith is that coexisting with all life on earth is a major priority. All life in Pi's little microcosm was himself, Richard Parker, and sea life. He existed with Ricard Parker until the end of his ordeal, and he existed with the fish in a more brutal sense.

A major part of his ordeal was his suffering on the boat. He compared this to the suffering of Christ in his final hours.

Many Times throughout the novel, Pi exclaims, "Jesus, Mary, Muhammed, and Vishnu!," in surprise of a sudden or in praise of good fortune, never giving himself credit for it, showing that beneath some of his barbaric tendencies, he really is a man of religion forced to do somewhat "atheistic" things to survive.

Nathan Barndt

katelyn said...

Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam helped Pi get through life at sea. He connected events he faced with religion. There are various accounts were Yann Martel showed Pi's religious voyage. I feel Pi's religion on the lifeboat is best described in chapter 74 page 208-209. Pi explains his religious practices when at sea.

"I practiced religious ritual thats I adapted to the circumstances solitary Masses without priests or consecrated Communion hosts, darshans without murtis, and pujas with turtle meat for prasad, acts of devotion to Allah not knowing where Mecca was and getting my Arabic wrong. They brought me comfort, that is certain. But it was hard, oh , it washar, Faith in God is an opening up, letting go, a deep trust, a free act of love but someitmes it was so hard to love."

Pi went on about how he felt and tried to remind himself of creation. Then he questioned God. He did understand why God wasn't listening to his prayers and why everything seemed to be detrimental to his life.

"Despair was a heavy blackness that let no light in or out. It was a hell beyond expression. I thank God it always passed. A school of fish appeared around the net or a knot cried out to be reknotted. Or I thought of my family, of how they were spared this terrible agony. The blackness would stir and eventually go away, and God would remain, a shining point of light in my hear, I would go on loving."

Mary Beth said...

Pi’s exposure to the three religions he practiced helped him through his 227 days on the Pacific by giving him perspective, purpose, and companionship. I agree with Kyle that after reading the first section of the book, the second section had less of a focus on religion than I expected. However, when I encountered Pi’s schedule and saw how often he prayed I realized that, although religion is not at the forefront in the second section of the novel, it still plays a crucial role in Pi’s survival.

Pi’s remembrance of the Hindu story involving a sage named Markandeya and Vishnu, while he was alone above the vastness of the ocean and below the limitless sky, brought him perspective. He realized his position in relation to the universe and felt that his suffering was insignificant until the next morning when his will to live rose up again. The narrator mentions this will to live while the ship is still sinking saying, “Something in me did not want to give up on life, was unwilling to let go, wanted to fight to the very end. Where that part of me got the heart, I don’t know”. Could this desire to live be a supernatural gift of purpose, rather than merely the strength of Pi’s character? Pi certainly needed a purpose to make it through his ordeal and perhaps this insatiable desire to live was an answer to his prayers. Lastly, Pi’s beliefs provided him with companionship. His hours spent in prayer to God were his only connection to another being other than Richard Parker. His time spent in conversation with a higher power must have been a great relief to his isolation. Also, through his Islamic beliefs, he found companionship from interaction with Richard Parker.

During his time on the Pacific, Pi had to adapt his religious practices and, at times, experienced unbelief. When Pi killed his first animal, a flying fish, he was deeply moved emotionally, but he had to set aside some of his Hindu beliefs in order to survive. The narrator also mentions Pi’s solitary masses, darshans, and pujas with turtle meat and no way to know in what direction Mecca lay. Despite the changes and doubts, Pi continued to follow his religion. His many trials and God’s apparent inattention to his hardships perhaps led him to question God’s existence. He mentions that having faith and loving God were hard but he says, “The blackness would stir and eventually go away, and God would remain, a shining point of light in my heart. I would go on loving.” I feel certain that, just as Pi claims he wouldn’t have survived without Richard Parker, he wouldn’t have survived without his religion to turn to in the midst of his struggles.

HannahR said...

During Pi's time on the lifeboat he turned to his different religions many times. First of all Pi prayed everyday more than once a day. I believe this played a big role in Pi's survival. Pi's belief in Christianity was shown a lot through this part of the book. For an example when Pi thought Orange Juice looked like the Virgin Mary floating toward the lifeboat on bananas. He then said he thought Orange Juice looked like Christ hanging from the Cross after the hyena had killed her. He mentioned Hinduism when he was remembering the story of Markandeya and falling out of Vishnu's mouth. He also mentioned it when he found the orange life jackets on the boat and said that the color orange was the Hindu color of survival. As religious as Pi is I never thought he would have doubted his belief in God but when things get tough and aren't going your way I guess there's always a possiblility that you will. Atheism is shown in the part of the story when Pi says, "Faith in God is an opening up, a letting go, a deep trust, a free act of love-but sometimes it was so hard to love. Sometimes my heart was sinking so fast with anger, desolation and weariness, I was afraid it would sink to the very bottom of the Pacific and I would not be able to lift it back up." Even through all of this Pi still puts faith into God and helps Pi throughout his survival.

jenn said...

Pi portrays his exposure to each of his religions many times throughout the lifeboat ordeal, yet does not really practice during these months at sea. It is meantioned that he prays some at the beginning, but im not sure how long he continued that. The longer his journey at sea continues, the more atheistic his attitude becomes. By the end of the ordeal, he is not completely atheistic, still "embracing" the conflicting religious ideas, but his utilization of scientific experimentation and his own ideas (not deliberately seeking advice through prayer for help and insight, as he had done before the shipwreck) shows that he has become more atheistic.
As far as Pi showing devotion to Chirstianity, Islam and Hinduism, i will agree with Tim. His religion is shown mostly during the first moths at sea, when he frequently thinks of parallel situations between what has happened to religuious leaders and what he is going through. He does pray frequestly at the beginning of his ordeal, but soon ceases (at least it is not mentioned at all in the later months of his journey).
I believe that Pi has such trouble because his religious life (lack of true faith, even though he thinks he is well on his spiritual journey, i still can't help but think that he is simply very confused) is not complete.

Spencer said...

Pi was a very strong religious person and I truly believe that this is a huge factor in his survival on the lifeboat. In the book he describes his daily routine. He devotes a huge chunk of each day to prayer. I believe that this time for prayer and him turning to his faith gave him hope and played a huge part in his survival on the lifeboat. I personally believe that in order to be atheist you have to accept that there is a God in order to deny a God. Therefore the atheist lifestyle does not make much sense to me. I don’t believe that Pi turned to the philosophy of atheism at all while he was in the lifeboat. I believe that Pi turned to his faith and religion to keep him alive and to give him hope over those long days at sea. Pi really used all of his religious philosophies while stranded on the life boat. There was no particular religious philosophy he chose to use over another. Praying and being close with God was his only religious action which shows that he did not lean more towards one religious philosophy over another.

Alyssa said...

Although the 2nd section of the book focused much less on religion than did the 1st half, I believe that it was because of Pi’s strong faith and incessant prayers are the reason he survived. No doubt, Pi’s faith was tested while on his journey across the oceans. While he prayed several times daily, and thanked God, he still doubted God’s existence as he had a few atheist thoughts. Pi questioned God’s reality in that he wondered how such a great God could allow him to endure such continuous pain and suffering.

Thankfully, however, Pi disregarded atheism and focused on all three religions while on the lifeboat. Pi seemed to focus mostly on Christianity on his voyage. He mentioned how he thought Orange Juice looked like the Virgin Mary floating toward the lifeboat on bananas. And he also thought that after the hyena killed her, Orange Juice resembled Christ’s crucifixion. His Hindu beliefs were brought up when the orange life jackets reminded him of the Hindu color for survival.

I agree with Jenn in her last paragraph about how Pi’s problem was lack of true faith because he was still uncertain of what he truly believed in, however I believe that Pi would not have survived the excruciating trip without his faith in God.

rebecca said...

i agree with both kyle and tim. tim with all the stories from each religion.i actually got confused by each story because i didn't know which story came from what religion. but the fact that he kept telling them through out the lifeboat experience shows that religion stayed with him.

kyle with Pi comparing certain things with how they are part of God.and at the end when he said he was orphaned i had to reread it because i thought he really did abandon his faith in God but then him saying that God was smiling at him being there shows that he kept his faith.

the word atheism is defined as Disbelief in or denial of the existence of God or gods. with that in mind, Pi never really expresses the thought that a god doesnt exist.he just sometimes hints about abandonment. even when he is ready for death he talks about Heaven and his family which is part of a religious faith.then again with what tim said about atheism and the nature and science views instead of regilion. in those circumstances yes, no religion was applied. just faith in human ability and knowledge.

Dan said...

Pi survived at sea physically by hard work and sheer will. Emotionally he suffered from the multiple killings that occured on his lifeboat. Pi draws strength from his beliefs. He seems to practice Islam over all the others, since it is mentioned more. He briefly mentions Christianity when he notices the Virgin Mary. Pi tries to put his suffering into perspective with a Hindu story.
In the alternative story Pi fails to attribute any of his survival to religion or God. In other words the second story is very atheistic. He survived by himself. This leads me to believe that maybe he made up his multi-religeous beliefs too. (He may have decorated his house to continue to fool people.)

David said...

I would like to start off by saying if Dan's theory of Pi making up his multi-religious beliefs is true, then my heart has been broken. Although I doubt Dan's theory.

Pi shows his exposure of various religions through the actions he takes and the thoughts he thinks. As a Hindu, Pi is not one to kill animals, let alone eat them. Pi's trouble at killing his first fish showed he was strong as a follower of Hinduism. Pi even claims to pray for that fish everyday. I don't not believe that killing and eating the sea creatures made or even showed characteristics of an Atheist. He was not abandoning God, Pi was only trying to survive. During the times when Pi was suffering the most, he always remembered the suffering of Christ. And when he began to look at Richard Parker with anger or fear, he remembered that the 450 pound Bengal Tiger was his equal and brother in the eyes of Islam. A brother which Pi continuously says gave him the power to continue living. All three religions were visible during Pi's time at sea. Although I don't believe he favored or used one religion more than the others.

I never noticed a point where Pi showed signs of Atheism. There were times where Pi wondered why, but never denied God or gods.

Beachy said...

Although in the first part of the novel focuses on the religious aspect of Pi's life, the second part only hints towards religious aspects yet focuses on survival.

I believe that throughout the entire story the author mistakes the meanings of agnostics and atheists. Even so, Pi does lean toward the atheist belief simply for the fact that he is suffering beyond comprehension. Put yourself in his shoes, you have been stranded on a lifeboat for months where survival consists of hiding from a tiger, switching from vegetarian to carnivore, malnutrition from lack of fruits and vegetables, death of an entire family, starvation, having no clothes therefore having sores develop, etc... At a certain point even the most devout believer would question the intentions of God and if he is even there at all. Pi definitely leans towards atheism from pure suffering.

When Pi first has to confront the idea of killing an animal and eating it in its entirety, he weeps bitterly from guilt towards the Hindu religion. Hindus believe in reincarnation and that animals are sacred beings with souls. When Pi partakes in the fish, he feels extreme guilt for the fact that he turned his back to the Hindu gods. However as time passes Pi becomes more interested in survival then clinging to vegetarian ideals as a means of continuing to be a Hindu.

Christianity is also brought into the second part of the book in small doses. When Pi first sees Orange Juice he thinks that it is Mother Mary trying to comfort him. Pi also reminisces on the story which the Priest detailed about Christ suffering and applies that to his suffering on the life boat.

Islam is mentioned very briefly in the beginning of the second part when Pi decides to pray to Allah. Pi guesses which way Mecca is and proceeds to say his daily prayers. Truly this is the only incident in which I found that Pi turned toward the Islam faith during his ordeal.

When the author interviews Pi years after this traumatic ordeal, he views many religious shrines, artifacts, and idols in Pi's home. This shows that Pi still held strong to all of his religious beliefs after his fight for survival on the lifeboat.

jacquie said...

I agree with kyle. Comparing Part two with Part one, Pi doesn't express his beliefs as much as you would foreshadow him to after reading part one.

He loses his faith many times through his voyage. But who wouldn't? He's stranded in the middle of the Pacific ocean with very little suppply and a bengal tiger watching his every move. I don't think I know any one who wouldn't lose faith after so many days at sea. He does regain his strength and hope every now and then after a great catch or during the calm after a storm. But what became a slight annoyance was the fact that Pi only praised his god/ gods when he was "rewarded" in some way. Such as on page 233, Pi is almost to the point where he is going to die when he is suddenly overwhelmed by the fact that he sees trees and he starts to praise God for bringing him to land. I think this shows some doubt. Although Pi does express his thought on agnostics, his actions are in contradiction to what he had expressed in an earlier passage on page 28. Of course, it does state "we are also permitted doubt." Still, he chooses doubt at one of his lowest points in life?

He even invents new ways to regain clear thoughts since he is not able to go through his ceremonial prayers as he does with his muslim religion or talk to any one as most catholics do. He decides to use a "dream rag." This relieves him of his thoughts for a short period of time and even gives the illusion that he is regaining strenght, which he may be.

Connecting with his Hindu religion, He is reminded of stories of Vishnu while he is faced with his own sufferings.

Finally, Atheism. Pi uses scientific measures in order to survive instead of looking towards God as a means for survival, as did Mr. Kumar when faced with his Polio. I think this is one reason Pi falls into his doubt and later forgets about God altogether until he is rewarded with a great catch or with the vegitatious island.

Although he is rewarded with the island, he is eventually scolded. Such as the story of Adam and Eve, Eve is punished for taking from the garden, while Pi is indirectly punished also from over using the island when he finds the island turns to a carnivorous forest during nightfall. Meaning that, Pi was not directly to be punished but anyone who was to come upon the island was to be punished.

Margo said...

It is my belief that Pi's heavy exposure to several religions aided his survival during the seven months in which he was stranded on the lifeboat.

On average, Pi prayed about five times each day. His prayers helped him to remain faithful in himself, in God, and in his survival. They helped him to conquer his biggest fears, including the Bengal tiger, Richard Parker. On page 150, at the point in the story where he was about to make a risky move towards the tiger, he exclaimed in prayer, "Jesus, Mary, Muhammad and Vishnu!", representing prayer to all of his practicing religions.

Pi made reference to the suffering endured by religious figures such as Christ and Vishnu several times throughout the section. The thought of their extreme suffering made him realize that his struggles, although tough, could be overcome.

Near the end of the section, Pi began to lose faith in God as many people during during difficult times. He didn't understand how God could allow such terrible things to happen to him. Soon enough, however, Pi's faith in God is restored as he realizes God is there undoubtedly.

Andy said...

Pi turned to his experiences with various religions many times during his 227 days on the lifeboat. I also agree with Kyle that his faith wasn’t necessarily the focus in this part of the book, but it did make up a lot of Pi’s experience on the lifeboat, as shown by his daily routine. He turned to religion quite a few times in this part of the book.

One of these occurrences was in Chapter 60 when Pi woke up on the lifeboat in the middle of the night. In this chapter he recognized the vastness of the space around him, and realized how insignificant his suffering was. In this chapter he also refers to the story of the Sage Markandeya falling out of Vishnu’s mouth. Both of these occurrences relate to Hinduism.

Another part where Pi refers to and practices religion is when the school of flying fish jumped out of the water. As he is being hit by the fish, he refers to the martyrdom of Saint Sebastian. Later in this part, when he has to kill a flying fish for food, he feels incredibly guilty. On page 183, he even says,” I never forget to include fish in my prayers.”

Although much of his experience on the lifeboat is devoted to religion, Pi has to ultimately use atheistic philosophies too. Although much of Hinduism is devoted to living in peace with nature, Pi has to kill animals to survive, thus ignoring some of his religious beliefs.

Through his experience on the lifeboat, Pi refers to and practices religion much of the time. Through prayers and thoughts, religion is implemented everyday on the lifeboat.

sarah s said...

Piscine Moliter Patel survived for 227 days on a life boat in the Pacific Ocean with an enormous tiger because he was blessed by God. Pi’s love of God is profound and he shows this through his practice of three religions at one time. It is my belief that it was Pi’s extreme devotion that saved him. God presents himself in interesting ways and only to the people that deserve his gifts. I feel that God rewards Pi for getting to know him so well even when others doubted his methods. He does this through sending him food by means of turtles, fish, and crabs. God gives him inspiration on new ways on how to keep Richard Parker from eating him alive.
Pi reminds himself of Christ dying on the cross and how he endured so much more than what Pi himself was going through on the lifeboat. He remembers the Hindu story of Vishnu and how he must carry the whole universe in his mouth. This makes him feel so small in comparison to the universe around him and also makes him see how small his problems are in comparison an entire world. He prays to Allah though he does not know where Mecca is and recognizes that his Arabic is no longer good.
“Faith in God is an opening up, a letting go, a deep trust, a free act of love-but sometimes it was so hard to love.” This is Pi’s only time when he becomes even close to atheism and is forced to remind himself of his place in God’s creation. His anger is what makes him question his faith. His frustration of being stuck on a life boat, constant struggle to survive, loss of his family, and lack of help make him question God, but he always comes back to faith and ends with thanking God after anything good happens.
Plain and simple God gave him the faith, hope, and desperation to survive and that is why he made it through. God provides to those who love him.

EmoneyWalsh said...

It is my belief that his exposure to an abundance of religions was the cornerstone to his survival of the 227 arduous days at sea. As Pi said it was crucial to his survival at sea to stay occupied and not simply stare into the horizon looking for a large green mass. Through religion he was able to, during times of difficulty, pray to the various Gods in which he believed. Each provided the necessary pick-me-up effect desired by Pi. IE after he witnessed the suffering of the mangled, bloody zebra he swore to pray for it everyday; the same prayers went out to the flying rat he sacrificed to Richard Parker, and the same for the shredded Frenchman. As shown in his average daily agenda, prayer was included at a myraid of points throughout his day, thus helping to occupy his time and finally to keep him alive.

Bryan Stoy said...

Pi’s exposure to the three various religious philosophies, and also atheism, saved his life while being stranded at sea. These religions helped him in either story whether it was the first or second. He used several aspects of each religion to pass the time and keep him focused on survival.
First of all, he used atheism, which was something he did not believe in, to help him survive by using logic and reasoning which Mr. Kumar taught him. He had to use logic and reasoning to figure out how to ration and produce his food and water supply. Because Pi had practiced Christianity, he loved no matter what the circumstance. Pi knew he was lucky enough to make it on the life boat and loved God for this reason. He loved and cherished his life vowing never to give up. The routine of praying five times a day, the Muslim belief, kept Pi occupied throughout the long hot uncomfortable days or the stormy weather that felt never ending to him. Hinduism helped Pi believe in something greater. He realized his suffering was insignificant in perspective to the universe and the gods. With the help of these religions Pi knew all he could do is fight for his survival. Pi stated, “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.” The stakes were very high because it was his life on the line; simply that’s all he could think about.
These philosophies had to be used together as one whole religion; if they were separate Pi would not have survived. For example, if Pi relied solely on logic and reason, he would have given up because logic proves that there is almost no chance of survival while being stranded at sea. Because Pi used every religion together, he was able to survive all 227 days.

erik said...

This section truely put Pi's beliefs to the test. Through this life threatening ordeal, Pi questions the existance of a God or gods but never denies in the existance. This is shown through his prayers and respend for the tiger.

At one point Pi idenitifies with the sage, Markandeya, and the story of of him falling into the universe. Pi realizes all the suffering he has expirienced was nothing compared to watching the tiger slaughter the animals except Pi.

Pi believese that, due to Islamic beliefs, the tiger is his brother. Despite his hatred and envy of the tiger, he remembers this belief.

In christianity he prayed to Christ for his safety. His strong belief is when he sees Mother Mary.

I, personally, see no signs of atheism. The word atheism means lack of religion. A- or an- meaning no or none, and theism meaning religion. Though he questions God, he never disbelieves. He does choose science of religion often. His fear of the tiger and knowing he has to kill and eat when he can to survive is an example over this. I do not see this as atheism. I see it as survival. Pi realizes that he can't expect God or any gods to do everything for him. That would be a sin in Christianity, being slothful.

Austin said...

Despite being devoted to God, Pi turns to atheism during his ordeal at sea. Imagine yourself being Pi. One night you go to sleep and your family is safe, the next morning you wake to an unusual noise, the boat is sinking. Your are thrown into a life boat with a tiger, hyena, orangutan, and a zebra, and you never see your family again. On the lifeboat, life gets rough. Your mind is constantly on the animals, until they our devoured leaving just you and the tiger. You don't know where you are and if anyone is trying to find you. This is where Pi turns to atheism. He prays day after day, however, his prayers go unanswered. He starts to lose faith in God. He finally reaches what he thinks is an island and thanks God, however, the island turns out to be cannibalistic and Pi loses faith in God once more. At this point, I believe Pi loses all faith in God and turns to Atheism. He realizes that the only way he is going to live is if he trusts science and proven methods. Also he realizes that a miracle isn't going to save him, only he can save himself.

Before Pi loses faith, he worships all three religions as best as he can. For Christianity he compares himself to Christ, who suffered a great deal. For Islam, Pi tries to figure out which way Mecca is and prays in that direction. Lastly, Pi remembers the story about Vishnu and Pi sees how futile his suffering is.

Riddhi said...

Pi survived for 227 days out at see without the "necessities" of life, nothing to eat, and no real human life form; however, he survived through his endeavours with one mental focus in mind, God. As several others have already commented the beginning of the novel focused whole heartedly on Pi's different religious beliefs. And how he structured each part of his day in order to practice religion to the fullest extent. As much as I thought he would have focused on religion on the boat, I wasn't too shocked to find out that he hadn't devoted his life to religion while sailing the ocean. Honestly, if you were on a boat would you be just simply focusing on God or would you have focused more on survival?

Nonetheless, while on the lifeboat Pi did have his moments where religion was his main focus and where his hope lied. I do belive though that religion was key more towards the beginnng of his journey than towards the end. By the end he was ready for his long journey to end by either death or the sight of land. His Atheism lived within his survival needs. His various different ideas and scientific knowledge helped him succeed in catching fish, making a life boat, catching turtles, withstanding bad wheater, Richard Parker, and simply surviving. He had to use his own knowledge and experiences to overcome all his hardships. Religion gave him hope, but his everday needs required his own power, and not that of Gods.

Cold wet nights brought out Pi's most religious moments on the lifeboat. Some nights he would wake up and realize he was abandoned with only a deathly tiger. Survival was key in his mind. The night he awoke with the dream of Vishnu and Markandeya (177). Markandeya was suffering throughout the night, and before he escaped he was once agian eaten. Night took away belief and hope from Pi, yet sunrise brought Pi to his senses about wanting to live. He also reasoned that his situation wasn't quite as breahtaking as Markandeya's was and realized his suffering was minute compared to Markandeya's. To comfort himself, he put himself back to sleep by saying a Muslim prayer in hopes of reviving his desire to live.

Dorados vs martyrdom of Saint Sebastion...
He figured the flying fish were just like a battle where he himself was getting hit with arrows.
After succeeding upon killing his first fish, though it was difficult and brought tears to his eyes, he remembered Lord Vishnu and thanked him.
"Once you saced the world by taking the form of a fish. Now you hav savd meby taking the frm of a fish." p. 185

Seeing multiple orange, signifying sruvival, objects, on the boat also helped ensure Pi's Hinduistic beliefs.

Towards the end of Pi's journey he began to question his beliefs in God. However, in the end he realized that God influenced his 227 day journey and helped him survive. Though he was not whole heartedly devoted during his journey, he could at least recognize that without God he may have not survived. God provided him with faith, which was Pi's key to survival.

Madeline said...

I think that Pi's different religious faiths are not only tested and helpful in the time on the lifeboat, but also strengthened. Throughout that time period, one sees Pi go through periods of extreme trial and later on peaceful gratitude. When the times of trial hit, he questions his many gods. He does not want to believe that they are loving and kind. At those times, he uses his animal instincts and reverts to atheism. He uses his natural survival instincts often when he faces the harsh realities. Those are the times that he kills animals, eats meat, and does otherwise necessary actions. After those times of doubt towards his gods when the state of terror has subsided, Pi realizes the fact that hes alive, healthy, and with many resources must be a gift from one of his gods and worships them accordingly. At many times Pi allowed fear to overcome him and bring on a wave of doubt that sent him overwhelming states of terror. Because he could remember all his obvious blessings, he could return to a state of semicomfort that kept him sane throughout his long journey.
I personally feel that Pi worshiped his many gods indiscriminantley. He chose no god at certain times, but all equally. He understood that all the gods were rooting for his survival and therefore gave him the courage to keep chugging along on his journey.
Overall, the many sides to Pi's faith were responsible for keeping him alive.

johanna said...

When Pi is in the lifeboat, all three of his religions are tested. He never truly gives up on any one of them, however, and continues to draw hope from stories and traditions of Islam, Hinduism, and Christianity. He gets perspective on his suffering when comparing it to the suffering of Christ. Pi also looks at his situation in consideration of the magnitude of Hinduism and sees himself as unimportant in the scope of the universe. He focuses most clearly on Islam while saying his prayers in a set routine. Pi remembers stories from his three religions that bring him comfort and cries out to God in a way that crosses the boundaries between his faiths. When Pi is despairing most, he turns to atheism as his philosophy. He lets himself think only of himself and of his problems in a cool, rational, logical way. He approaches situations scientifically and gives himself the credit for any solution he comes to.

a dizzzzle (adam) said...

Pi's exposure to various religions enabled him to overcome this tragic outcome. Throuhgout this whole ordeal he had no one to turn to other than God himself. He talked about trying to keep himself busy, rather than constantly watching the horizon for approaching ships or land. He used prayer as a way to keep himself busy, and of course to pray for his safe keeping. He turned to his faith in God in his time of need. He could have very easily said, if there is a God how could he let this happen to me. He kept his faith though, and that is what i think kept him alive until he reached land. He also compared himself to Christ suffering on the cross, this made him rethink his problems.

Jess said...

I believe that Pi turned to all three religions during the book to help him survive his trip on the boat. Without them, i think he would have given up and ended up not trying to survive. The fact that he had three religions to turn to also played a key role in his survival. He usually had a story to compare a particular situation he was in to one of the three religions that helped him get through. Without religion, he may have not have been able to gain the strength he needed to kill the fish and other creatures in order to survive. Pi doesn't turn to his religion as much as I expected him to, but I think he still applied it very often to his times of crisis. I don't think that when Pi started losing hope in the fact that he would ever be saved and he began to give up on religion is a sign of atheism or that he is becoming agnostic. He was still very religious through the majority of the trip. Its hard to stick to religion in times of utter hopelessness, and I think Pi stuck to religion much longer than many other people would.

Mary said...

While Pi was in the lifeboat, after the ship sank, he turned to his various religious philosophies hoping that one of them would save him from this ordeal he was facing. He first called out to Richard Parker who was still in the frigid waters, barely able to float, let alone swim to the safety of the lifeboat. After Richard didn’t respond, Pi became scared and started to call out all the names of all the higher beings that his different religions claimed. He called upon “Jesus, Mary, Muhammad and Vishnu” to save him from the hell that he believed to be in. He, even at times, turned to an atheist standpoint when he said to Parker, “Every single thing I value in life has been destroyed…I am to suffer hell without any account from heaven…Why such a vast net if there’s so little fish to catch?” Here he clearly doubts God’s existence, and the possibility of him rescuing them. Even though his body was not beaten, bruised, or broken, he was in such pain and distress. I believe this to be a very weak part of Pi’s religious walk. Pi considered himself to love and trust God full – heartedly, however, when placed in a circumstance that required a little faith and cool headedness, Pi does the complete opposite. He realized that he hadn’t been physically injured, and he had life support from the treacherous sea. He should’ve realized how fortunate he was and saw how hopeful the situation really was, instead of loosing faith in God and hope in what could still be done to save him.

ekcsk said...

Im writing an essay this is my intro paragraph

Imagine you had to survive for 227 days on a small boat in the middle of the Pacific ocean, and oh yeah, there's a 400 pound bengal tiger stranded with you, how would you survive? Pi is a 16 year old indian boy who grew up in his father's zoo, Pi’s family decides to leave India because of government upheaval that had long bothered his father, they take a boat to Canada, but along the way the boat sinks and Pi is the only survivor of his family, and thus begins his journey at sea. Pi gets through his crisis with religion, but rather than focus on any single religion Pi experiments with many including: Islam, Christianity and Hinduism, which each drastically impact his life.

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