Life of Pi

The theme of identifying self?

Any ideas on the theme of Identifying self withing Life of Pi?

So far I have the use of the three relgions that Pi follows in an attempt to Understand life, and therefore himself but I honsestly have no real idea as to how this theme fits in with the novel.

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Pi follows the three religions in order to find himself. It's as much about self-realization as identification. Most people read this novel just looking at the religious aspects, but you need to look further than that. The novel is about truths and falsities. What is true? What is False? Can you really lie to yourself and actually believe it? When you look at these things, you can see the struggle that accompanies every day life; decision, facing shortcomings; just dealing with what we're given. Example; Pi's debriefing. Just telling his stories wasn't enough. Chiba and Okamoto have to disect them;

“So the Taiwanese sailor is the zebra, his mother is the orang-utan, the cook is…the hyena – which means he’s the tiger!”

“Yes. the tiger killed the hyena – and the blind Frenchman – just as he killed the cook.”

This scene indicates the presence of dual roles, and the reality that the roles are provided to differentiate between believers and non-believers; those who believe in miracles and those who are not. You have two story translations to give you a choice... but you can also see another..... Pi's self identification.

Pi is a vegetarian, he always has been. Killing a fish to survive is emotionally distressing, but then look at all the other acts of "survival" that are forced upon him to survive. Murder would be one. Think about his devastation over the fish, and then think about how much more devastating commiting the murder of a human being would be.

Pi has no coping skills and no one to talk to (except himself). Thus he talks to himself and tells stories that are to him both acceptable and understandable. Let me introduce you to Richard Parker.... Dark vs light, good vs evil, reality ve unreality, and so one and so forth. Good luck with this!