How is fear personified in chapter 56 of Life of Pi?

1 Answer | Add Yours

accessteacher's profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Fear is something that Chapter Fifty-Six of this novel focuses on exclusively. It comes just as Richard Parker goes onto the boat along with Pi and Pi realises just what he has done by trying to encourage him to get on the same boat as him, as he fears that Richard Parker will be enraged, and, what is more, hungry. The reality of being trapped in an enclosed space with a tiger suddenly confronts Pi and he is forced to face fear.

This chapter therefore personifies fear in a number of guises, but the first paragraph describes fear as being "a clever, treacherous adversary" that "has no decency, respects no law or convention, shows no mercy." It is an enemy that comes to you "disguised in the garb of mild-mannered doubt" and then suddenly attacks you. This personification of fear as an enemy is so important because it leads Pi to meditate on the importance of finally facing that enemy at some point and confronting it head to head in order to triumph over it. 

Sources:

We’ve answered 318,915 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question