What are some moral (not spiritual or religious) challenges that Pi Patel faces throughout Life of Pi?I was looking for moral challenges that Pi faces other than his dillemas between religions. I...

What are some moral (not spiritual or religious) challenges that Pi Patel faces throughout Life of Pi?

I was looking for moral challenges that Pi faces other than his dillemas between religions. I think most of his moral challenges would occur during the earlier stages of the book.

Asked on by arjunarora

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mrs-campbell | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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When looking for issues that deal with morals, another way that you can look at it is in terms of universal truths that most humans accept.  For example, most humans and cultures say that murder is bad in most cases.  Most humans believe that honesty is a good way to be, and that stealing is wrong.  If you look at these universal truths that people, religious or not, tend to believe, then you can assert that they are morals that people follow.  It is really hard to separate morals from religion, because that is where many people get theirs, but, looking at it in terms of human decency and kindness is one way to get around it.

So, given that definition, we have to look at Pi's situation, and times when he was faced with moral dillemas.  I think that most of his true moral dillemas come from later in the book, after he is on the lifeboat.  One moral dillema that he faces is eating meat; one of his personal beliefs goes against this.  But, in the end, survival wins out.  He is also faced with the moral question of killing innocent animals in order to feed himself.  Again, surival instincts kick in, and he puts that moral belief on the back-burner in order to catch fish and turtles to eat.  Also, if you believe the human story as opposed to the animal story, Pi is faced with much more serious moral dillemas.  Does he kill another human to protect his own life?  Cannibalism was even an issue--he had to decide whether or not he would succumb to that highly immoral behavior in order to survive.  The human story puts Pi in much more intense and consequential moral quandries.

It is interesting to look at what becomes of morals in the face of life and death situations.  People have felt this way during war time.  During war, so many moral rules get changed, and it can be confusing.  As humans, we often opt to put our morals aside in order to survive, just as Pi did.  I hope that those thoughts helped; good luck!

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