My first question after reading this book was that if the tiger was Pi, then who was the Pi who had narrated the majority of the novel? After further questioning and speculation, I learned that both the tiger and the narrator were Pi. Richard Parker represented Pi’s more primitive side, ruthlessly killing and eating any living creature. Pi’s taming of Richard Parker represents how he managed to keep that side of himself under control and instead learned to survive off of reason. Richard Parker’s leaving when Pi arrived at Mexico symbolized that Pi’s animalistic side had no purpose anymore because he had returned to his previous lifestyle. My second question was what the meerkats and algae island stood for. I believe the island stood for an easy life tempting Pi. However, the easy lifestyle would soon lead to his doom, symbolized by the human teeth wrapped in the leaves. Pi’s leaving of the island shows how he has grown through the experience and is better at making decisions with a rational mind. This again references to Pi’s taming of Richard Parker.
Personally, I believe that the story with the people is true opposed to the one with the animals. Assuming the second story was true, I believe Pi crafted the original story out of guilt. Many people may say that instead of taming Richard Parker, Pi was defeated by him. This is an understandable point of view, as Pi’s butchering of the cook isn’t very civilized. However, the cook killed his mother which caused him a great deal of trauma and anger. I believe that he crafted the original story out of guilt, as animals butchering each other was perhaps more pleasant to remember than cannibalism, with he himself being the cannibal. This to me only emphasizes Pi’s humanity, as even through the death of his mother and the butchering of the sailor he finds emotion enough to feel guilt.
All in all, Martel’s story “Life of Pi” presents many ideas and thoughts for the reader to speculate on. It hits points that leave the reader questioning different aspects of human morale.