Pi clings to the lifebuoy, relieved that Richard Parker has not jumped in the water to eat him. The water is black, rough, and there are sharks within reach. He cannot see Richard Parker under the orange tarpaulin so he wedges an oar under it and pulls himself out of the water. Eventually he slides the lifebuoy onto the oar and around himself.
Piís only concern is survival. There are frequent references to the color orange - the whistle, the life jacket, the lifebuoy, the tarpaulin, and Richard Parker. Orange symbolizes survival. It is also the color of the second Hindu chakra (energy center in the body), which is related to water, emotional identity, and the ability to accept change.
Pi carefully inches his way down the oar toward the boat. He reasons that Richard Parker is under the tarpaulin and will not come out if Pi is not in view. Pi pulls himself onto the boat remarking at the exotic beauty of the zebra, and wondering why Richard Parker has not eaten it. Shocked, Pi sees that there is another animal on board, a male spotted hyena. He surmises that the hyena is the reason the crewmen threw Pi into the lifeboat - to get rid of the hyena somehow so that they could safely board. As threatening as the hyena is, though, it is preferable to the tiger, which Pi thinks must have fallen overboard because the two animals would never coexist. Pi drifts, the immense sea and his immense pain consuming him.
Pi is living exclusively in the present. He is not yet considering his future survival, just his immediate circumstance. He has the beauty if the sea and sky around him, but the pain of loss within.
Orange Juice, a female Borneo orangutan (and mother of two sons), drifts toward the lifeboat on a raft of netted bananas. She climbs aboard, dazed. Pi grabs the net, but does not think of salvaging any bananas. The hyena screams.
The variety of animals increases. The reader will soon see the value of Piís previous digressions into the particulars of animal behavior.
Cite this page:
Cassie, Donna L.. "TheBestNotes on Life of Pi".
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