EN 1001 Chapter Notes -Survival Kit, Social Class, Omnivore

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Published on 22 Apr 2013
York University
EN 1001
Though there were many things that Pi had known with his previous knowledge of zoo
animals, his experiences with Richard Parker helped solidify if not expand this knowledge
teaching him values of people, life and moreover himself.
From an early age, Pi was conditioned by his father Santhosh to believe that tigers were a
source of danger; he said “I want you to understand that you are never – under any
circumstances to touch a tiger, to pet a tiger, to put your hands through the bars of a cage,
even to get close to a cage”. He further advocated that animals of all sorts have the power
to kill if not injure, if put in the position to do so. He also stated that “Life will defend itself
no matter how small it is. Every animal is ferocious and dangerous. It may not kill you but it
will certainly injure you. It will scratch you and bite you, and you can look forward to a
swollen, pus-filled infection, a high fever and a ten-day stay in the hospital” By dictating
this to Pi and his brother Ravi, Santhosh conditioned Pi to believe that all animals were
dangerous, and by no means should he even be near them. Thus when Pi was in the
vulnerable position of being put in the boat with Richard Parker, he immediately came to
the conclusion that he was going to die. His previous knowledge put him in the intolerant
position to believe that he was on the path to imminent death; which was the sole reason
he believed that since he was going to die, he might as well obtain some water while dying,
and tries to get the survival kit. It was during this time where he found great despair,
saying “that oncoming death is terrible enough, but worse still is oncoming death with time
to spare, time in which all the happiness that was yours and all the happiness that might
have been yours becomes clear to you. “ But by seeing Richard Parker kill the hyena he
realized that the qualities human or animal exhibits in their natural state changes
drastically when they are put in the position of being attacked, or being provoked to attack.
Thus, learning that while his father was true in some sense, ultimately animals were not
always deadly creatures, so long as you respect their boundaries and have a preset social
dominance clear for them to understand. Ultimately, he learned that he could survive if
he had the mindset to do so. His values changed drastically and he recognized that
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