Symbols in Life of Pi
Orange Juice, the orangutan was also the color orange, and she helped Pi emotionally while she was alive on the lifeboat. Orange Juice gave Pi hope that he would survive and that everything would be fine. The color orange was also associated with warmth and hope when the sun rises, “looking like an electrically lit orange…with the very first rays of light it came alive in me: hope” (Martel). Martel specifically states within the writing that the warmth from the orange sunrise gave Pi hope.
The horizon is where any source of rescue would arrive; therefore, it would be a place where hope for survival would be prevalent. The orange color of the cat that Pi’s daughter, Usha, is holding in the chapter where the narrator is visiting an adult Pi at his home in Canada also falls into the symbolism of hope. It proves that there will be a future for Pi that he will survive and have a house and family.
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The little orange cat relates to the larger cat, the Bengal tiger, Richard Parker. Richard Parker, the Bengal tiger, also assisted Pi in his survival thus far in the book.
The tiger allowed Pi to not be attacked by the hyena that viciously attacked all the others who were on the boat. The color orange also contrasts greatly with the despair that the evening and darkness bring, as orange is a very bright color. So, the color orange is a very central element to this book because it is highly focused on survival and living through this tragedy. It is also focused on hope, and not only the hope of surviving, but also the hope that comes with being a religious person.