Essay on Life of Pi Symbolism

895 Words Apr 20th, 2011 4 Pages
Dhami 1

Karanvir Dhami Ms. Yu ENG3U March 7, 2011 Symbolism in Life of Pi In Life of Pi there are many literary devices used to present the different themes in the novel. The main literary device used in Life of Pi is symbolism. Symbolism is often used to represent an object to something else, either by association or by resemblance. Most of the names of animals, objects and even humans in this novel have a symbolic meaning. In Yann Martel’s Life of Pi, symbolism such as pi’s name, the colour orange and the algae island, are used throughout the novel to provide Pi with protection to help him either survive or overcome his emotional pain. The mathematical pi is undefined, infinite and unable to be understood, just like Piscine Patel.
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When Pi enters the life boat to begin his journey the only colour he seems to see is orange. This orange can represent that he will have to burn all things mentally except for his survival instincts if he wishes to make it out alive of the boat. Even Pi realizes that the colour orange “is the colour of survival” (Martel, ) because all things inside the boat are orange (such as the tarpaulin, the

life jackets and even the oars). The colour orange provided Pi with many things that he used to protect himself on his journey in the Pacific. He used the tarpaulin to protect himself from weather of the ocean. He also used the orange whistle to train Richard Parker and for Pi to claim his territory of the boat. In Life of Pi, the protagonist Pi is confronted with emotional and survival struggles throughout the novel. The symbolism used by Yann Martel provided Pi with many objects to use for his advantage. Even Pi’s name symbolizes how long he will be stranded on the ocean. Pi is represented as 3.14 and he was stranded on the Pacific for 227 days, 22/7 also equals 3.14. Everything in Life of Pi is placed their for a reason the only thing to be done is find the true meaning of

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