For Questions 1 and 2

Man’s Hierarchy of Needs is one of the greatest contributions of Abraham Maslow in the late 1940’s. He proposed this theory in order to explain to mankind that as humans seek for basic needs, they also seek something that could satisfy the higher level of their needs, thus, creating the so called “hierarchy”. Maslow classified the needs into physiological, safety, social, human, esteem, cognitive, and aesthetics needs where Yann Martel have explained in his book the “The Life of Pi” the survival of the characters Pi and his Bengal tiger for 227 days wandering at sea in a lifeboat.  During the time when the characters were struggling for their survival, Pi made himself a raft to separate him from the big cat’s hunger for food.  In this case, because of the presense of fear, he extiguishes his social hierarchy in an environment where the supply of fear is high and the supply of food low while making  the safety hierarcy the forefront for his survival. The settings mentioned above explain how important the basic needs are for every existing creature, may it be in animals or in mankind whilst transpiring a remarkable story of survival and of natural selection in all its glory. The following quotations were taken to support the details in the previous sentences discussing the relevance of basic needs in the story. (1) “I did not count the days or the weeks or the months. Time is an illusion that only makes us pant.” (2)“I must say a word about fear. It is life’s only true opponent. Only fear can defeat life.”  (3) “It was Richard Parker who calmed me down. It is the irony of this story that the one who scared me witless to start with was the very same who brought me peace, purpose, I dare say even wholeness.” (4)“Then Richard Parker, companion of my torment, awful, fierce thing that kept me alive, moved forward and disappeared forever from my life.

For Question 3

Pi, is a letter in the Greek alphabet which contains alpha and omega. Piscine Molitor Patel’s ability to plait three religions and science into his personal belief symbolizes dominance and submission of creatures as explained by the terms, alpha and omega. Likewise, in the area of mathematics, pi which has a numerous of decimal places that any human mind can’t accurately understand and comprehend relates to the realities discussed in the book that are very hard and troubling to handle. These symbols create how the character of Pi made him symbolic figure with several levels of meaning. Here are some of the lines that symbolizes the character’s strengths. (1) “I felt like a small circle coinciding with the center of a larger one.” (2) “I know what you want. You want a story that won’t surprise you. That will confirm what you already know. That won’t make you see higher or further or differently.”

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For question 4

The whole story of the book relays to the readers how it will make them believe in God by making them realize the importance of human needs stressing out the sense of our existence by an animal story highly regarded to be the most dangerous of all. For a Hindu/ Muslim/ Christian like Pi, uttering a phrase of the Gods he believed, (1)“Jesus, Mary, Mohammed and Vishnu,” explains that Pi has been a devout member of three religions satisfied and contented with his newfound Gods. Although his beliefs in three different religions created complicated issues among the leaders of the religious groups who are advising him to choose only one religion, Pi did not give up the devotion he had for these three religions because he is just trying and learning to love God in different faces. His ability to weave three religions gave him a sense of peace, unity, and harmony. The following are some of the lines taken from the book, (2)”Bapu Gandhi said, ‘All religions are true.’ I just want to love God,” I blurted out, and looked down, red in the face. (3) “The presence of God is the finest of rewards.”

For Question 5

Though the novel is a work of fiction, it still has parts which exist in the real life.  Yann Martel, in one of the interviews he had made mention of finding a story that cant just be considered a “story” but something that would give his life directions and reasons. He wrote Life of Pi, where in a fictional character is channeled with another fictional character, a life story to be considered. A life story combined with a story about God and religion make an effective message to the readers.

Works Cited

Sparknotes (nd) Life of Pi. June 8, 2008

<http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/lifeofpi/themes.html>

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