Safety: Another pressing issue is that of the presence of animals in the lifeboat at the beginning of Pi’s journey. It emphasizes on the need to reach a certain level of security so that Pi would reach land unharmed.
Love/Belonging: The scene where Santosh (Pi’s father) taught his sons fear of animalsby showing them a grotesque scene where the tiger Mahisha eats a goat. It can be seen as a form of tough love where the father is simply showing his concern and worry for his children.
Esteem: As the book is written in the protagonist’s voice, one can assume from his tone that he is very confident in his beliefs and that he is proud to represent each one of them.As his pride and confidence is evident, he is also very expressive of his disdain for agnosticism.
Self-actualization: As Pi is set free into the wild, away from every luxury he was accustomed to as a child, he begins to see life and the world in a different view. He faces the facts as he realizes his situation being adrift in the ocean and slowly adapts to it, eventually leading to his maturity.
The following quotation focus on two things; hunger and thirst, as well as the act of quenching these needs. It is emphasized and reemphasized throughout the novel shedding light on the importance of the need to look back on the simplest of things in order to function well as a member of society (whatever society it may be).
“I notice something else: his cupboards are jam-packed. Behind every door, on every shelf, stand mountains of neatly stacked cans and packages. A reserve of food to last the siege of Leningrad.”(Martel 31)
“I thought of sustenance for the first time. I had not had a drop to drink or a bite to eat or a minute of sleep in three days.” (Martel 168)
“Alone or not, lost or not, I was thirsty and hungry” (Martel 213)
“I spent the following days eating and drinking and bathing and observing the meerkats and walking and running and resting and growing stronger.” (Martel 349)
There were quite a number of concepts given emphasis by the narrator which seemed to be misplaced in the story; one of which is Pi’s explanation of the zoo not being a hindrance to an animal’s freedom, but protects it, instead.
“Animals in the wild are, in practice, free neither in space nor in time, nor in their personal relations.” (Martel20)
“In a zoo, if an animal is not in its normal place in its regular posture at the usual hour, it means something.” (Martel21)
“In the literature can be found legions of examples of animals that could escape but did not, or did and returned.” (Martel23)
An animal accustomed to the setting in a zoo will not simply run away when its cage is unlocked. Contrary to popular opinion, Pi claims that the animal already considers the zoo as its home, being given the luxuries of food rations and shelter without having to do so themselves.
“Such an enclosure is subjectively neither better nor worse for an animal than its condition in the wild” (Martel23)
These quotations present the similarities that the zoo has to that of human nature or human society. A child would ordinarily want to be free and do things on his own and make decisions for himself. However, as he realizes his safety in the confines of his home and the resources available to him, he slowly matures and conforms to normal social practices and sees that it is what’s most beneficial for him.
“’You can’t be both, you must be either one or the other.’” (Martel91)
It’s true. It seems to be only rational to follow one religion as there are usually contradictions between the countless paths of beliefs a person may opt to take. Pi defies this by claiming to believe in Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam altogether and supports his claim through a simple reason:“Because I love God.” (Martel91)It is possible that Martel depicts religion in this manner because, underneath the surface of various teachings and differences between beliefs, there is one thing that unites them all; that a loving and caring God exists.
“And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.” (1 Corinthians13:2)
Yes, after reading the novel, I have come to the conclusion that religion and fiction do work in the same way. Martel  has made me realize that living life with only relying on rationality makes one live a “dry, yeastless” (Martel 80) life. As one exhausts the imagination of readers through writing fictitious works, a person’s life can be given much meaning and color when he has faith in something and firmly stands by it. An individual can only do so much through the course of his life, why not add some flavor or color to it while you can? Similar to this endnote
“Mr. Piscine Molitor Patel, Indian citizen, is an astounding story of courage and endurance in the face of extraordinarily difficult and tragic circumstances. In the experience of this investigator, his story is unparalleled in the history of shipwrecks. Very few castaways can claim to have survived so long at sea as Mr. Patel, and none in the company of an adult Bengal tiger.” (Martel 401)
Martel, Yann.Life of Pi. New York: Houhgton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 2001. Print.
Holy Bible: New International Version. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1978.