Life of Pi Questions and Answers
by Yann Martel

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In Martel's Life of Pi, in what ways does Richard Parker represent Pi's will to survive?

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In Life of Pi, the tiger, Richard Parker, is a powerful, carnivorous creature. Being a wild animal, he rightly acts as a mold of the idea of survival instincts, and clearly represents Pi’s own fierce survivalism.
The tiger is wild and will do anything it takes to survive, even killing another (such as the man who invaded their lifeboat). This represents how Pi was desperate and willing to take any action necessary to ensure that he survives. A wild animal like a tiger is an aggressive, naturalistic force that will fight for survival, regardless of consequences, and this parallels the desire Pi had to stay alive.
Another way Richard Parker mirrors Pi’s survival instinct is that it was only around when necessary. As soon as Pi lands on the mainland, the tiger flees, symbolizing how Pi no longer needed to rely on his survival instinct because he was finally safe.

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Richard Parker represents Pi's will to survive because it is only through the tiger that anything necessary to brutal survival...

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