Articulated Life of Pi: Pi is an existentialist. Pi suffers his existential circumstance, his shipwreck, then, after, and only after this circumstance, he wills his own essence, after he chooses to live and not to die — for it is a tenet of existentialism that one has to confront absurdity to transcend it, or to deal with it: However, although all existentialist characters accept their own absurdity as a mortal creature, living an existence with no logical consequence or reason, the way they deal with this absurdity is what is important here.
There is a moment in Life of Pi when the titular protagonist, having recounted the same story twice, asks a novelist which version he prefers — the fantastical, surreal one or the dark, hopeless one. The novelist chooses the fantastical version without pause and by doing so, the meaning of the film is laid plain for us.
Today I want to examine both my own relationship to the film and what it can teach all of us about purpose and the absurd. I am Volksgeist and this is a story.
Life of Pi was integral to my growth as a teenager and it helped me face ideas and questions that, at the time, terrified me.
My Personal History of Existential Depression Like many people that are watching this video, my adolescence was markedly affected by confusion at the nature of the universe. You must know the feeling of having the meaning in your life stripped away by a sudden reconsideration of fundamental values.
This struggle with meaning marked and permeated my high school experience and The Existentialism of Life of Pi It was in this state of confusion and fear that I found it easy to take comfort in Life of Pi.
For me, the vast ocean Pi finds himself alone in mirrored not only his spiritual state but mine as well. Like Pi I was without friend or family to help me or be with me at this time.
Not because I had lost them but because I had lost the ability to relate to them.
Except for Richard Parker. But you see — I think, for the viewer, Richard Parker functions as a part of Pi himself. We are Pi — we try to survive, we make do.
And Richard Parker is fear, the fear that exists inseparable from existential depression. He kills off those who are close to Pi just how we disconnect from society when we begin to question the meaning of life.
Just like fear, he cannot be tamed. The only way for the fear and danger represented by Richard Parker to subside is for it to go away. When Pi discovers a mysterious island in the ocean it causes the threat of Richard Parker to disappear for he becomes preoccupied in the wealth of resources offered to him by the island.
I remember when I was younger spending heaps of time escaping my fears rather than facing them because, like Pi, I lacked the tools to do so. In the flying fish sequence, a stroke of luck finally empowers Pi with the confidence to take back control of his situation, something that I found extremely difficult while I was preoccupied with issues that I could not see or touch — the purpose of the very universe itself.
Just minutes later he experiences devastation and a test of his faith when a passing ship fails to notice him but I think one of the most important and revealing scenes in the story comes when Pi finds himself caught in a tempest, losing his possessions and spirit to the violent waves.
He believes the heavens have opened and surrenders himself to God, only to lose his raft of supplies and subsequently experience near starvation.
It is in this way that Life of Pi serves as the perfect companion to an existentialist who finds value in works such as The Stranger or The Myth of Sisyphus.
It is an acting, practical story that deals with the philosophical concept of the absurd. Absurdism is the conflict between the human instinct to seek meaning in life and the human inability to find any. Not until years later would I realize the truth of the story, for me, was that Pi is an existentialist.
When reality is bleak he chooses to survive and live to tell the tale. The meaning of the phrase is that you must confront the absurd to transcend it — blissful ignorance is worthless. After all, which story do you prefer?
In each story, a ship sank and a boy loses his entire family. He spends hundreds of days in a lifeboat before safely reaching the Mexican shore. But one story inspires while the other disgusts. That meaning and chaos are not mutually exclusive. I learned that the only way I could ever find meaning would be through first acknowledging the fragility of my own existence.Jul 18, · His life is accelerated.
That is why we can say that Life of Pi is an existentialist's work.
AM Delphine Lemire said Existentialism is a mixture of absurd, imagination and fate. The character has to face to his fate in the good and bad, deeper moments. In "Life of Pi", Pi invents a story with animals to survive.
(Martel). Life of Pi is both Existentialist and non-existentialist, in both the atheistic and theistic views because of specific religious beliefs, abandonment of religion, despair, and the ultimate use of human instinct for survival.
The Existentialism of Life of Pi. It was in this state of confusion and fear that I found it easy to take comfort in Life of Pi. For me, the vast ocean Pi finds himself alone in mirrored not only his spiritual state but mine as well.
Like Pi I was without friend or family to help me or be with me at this time. Is Life of Pi Existentialist? There are two views of existentialism, that of the more popular atheistic view, and that of the theistic view (Sartre Lecture).
In the book Life of Pi, by Yann Martel the main theme of the book is religion, with the main character being of multiple religions: Hinduism, Christian Catholicism, and .
Jan 25, · Life of Pi, to me, is really just a parable about religion. There are so many different versions of "the story", no one knows whose is correct. We believe whatever gets us through the day, and often ignore any possible regardbouddhiste.com: Resolved.
Oct 14, · Life of Pi Discussion I definately think that understanding existentialism is an oxymoron because I dont think a person can fully understand it. to view it is that we do understand that existentialist’s revolve their life around the theory that everyone views life differently, but it becomes an oxymoron because many.