The Tyger and the Tiger

8 August 2016

Humans are not all the same, just like animals; although we have many similarities, there can also be many differences. In Life of Pi, we are introduced to a tiger named Richard Parker and in “The Tyger” by William Blake we are introduced to another tiger. Richard Parker and the tiger from The Tyger are alike and different in many ways; similarities that are significant are concepts such as the way both tigers are feared, their symbolic comparison to fire and how they are use as symbols and the differences that are significant are thing like their behavior, how people feel about them and where the tigers live.

Despite the fact Richard Parker and the “Tyger” are the same species; there are other symbolic similarities they share. A major similarity is found where the writers’ explicitly describe the tigers which trigger the reader’s visual interpretation. Both writers, Yann Martel and Blake William, efficiently convey the point that both tigers are extremely feared by those who come upon them. In Life of Pi, we see many examples where those who spare a quick glance at Richard Parker fear him.

The Tyger and the Tiger Essay Example

Pi Patel is an example of the immense fear a tiger can provoke in someone; on page q36 Pi recalls “Any second I expected to see Richard Parker rising up and coming for me. Several times I had fits of fearful trembling. ” In The Tyger, William Blake simply lets the reader know of the extreme fear the character in the poem has for this tiger when he writes “What immortal hand or eye, could frame thy fearful symmetry?

” In both of the text we can see that both tigers are extremely feared by the reactions they receive from both animals and people. It is also common sense that one would be scared of a tiger due to their size, strength and beast-like characteristics. Secondly, another characteristic the tigers share are their metaphorical and symbolic comparison to fire. William Blake and Yann Martel both used fire to describe the tigers. The both convey the idea that they are greatly feared by whoever they come in contact with.

In Life of Pi, Richard Parker is referred to as the” flame coloured carnivore”(166) and in “the Tyger”, the tiger is described as “burning bright”(Line 1). This metaphor works well because the colour that is usually associated with fire is orange which also happens to be the colour of fur on both animals. These metaphors both contribute to the ferocity of the tigers. Although it doesn’t directly say fire anywhere, both tigers are described using fire related terms.

Lastly, a significant similarity the tigers share are them being used as symbols. In both of the texts it is questioned whether or not the tigers are really meant to be what they are presented as. In “The Tyger”, the literary devices and words being used to describe the tiger could be applied to something else, for example when William Blake says “What the hammer? What the chain? In what furnace was thy brain? What the anvil? ” (Line 13-15), some of the phrases would make more sense if he were to be talking about something else and not a tiger.

Likewise, all throughout Life of Pi it is questioned if Richard Parker is actually a tiger the author portrays him to be or if he’s a symbol for something else. It is thought that Richard Parker could be Pi’s alter ego and the tiger in William Blake’s poem is a symbol for things that are beautiful but raise havoc, like money. The fear they provoke in people, their symbolic comparisons to fire and being used as a symbol for other things are similarities Richard Parker and the tiger share besides being the same species.

Even though Richard Parker and the tiger from William Blake’s poem “the Tyger “are the same type of species, they also have differences. A major difference between the two animals is their behavior. Despite the fact that Richard Parker is a large and frightening beast, he does not act like it. During Pi’s lengthy adventure, Pi mentions on many accounts that Richard Parker does not act like the frightening beast he appears to be on the outside.

Pi was confused by Richard Parker’s strange behavior and thought to himself “The great beast was not behaving like a great beast, to such an extent that the hyena had taken liberties” (172) This quote is key when showcasing the difference in behavior patterns between Richard Parker and “the Tyger” because people will automatically assume that just because they are the same species, they behave and carry themselves the same way too. Another difference that may be complimentary to their behavior is the animals living conditions.

Reading the first and second line of the poem the Tyger; we discover that the Tyger is a wild animal, it says “Tyger, Tyger burning bright in the forest of the night” (Line 1) In Life of Pi, Richard Parker has been a zoo animal majority of his life; he never had to go hunting to satisfy his hunger or protect himself from potential predators. This is an important difference because the surroundings one is in contributes to the making of their character.

Since Richard Parker has been a zoo animal for most of his life and the Tyger is a wild animal, there will be a considerable difference between the two. The last relevant difference amongst the two tigers is how people feel about them. Although Richard Parker is portrayed as a tiger in Life of Pi, he becomes one of Pi’s main companions; On page 207 Pi says “If I still have hope to live it was thanks to Richard Parker. He kept me from thinking too much about my family and tragic circumstances.

But on the other hand, the observer of the tiger in “The Tyger” isn’t very fond of the tiger beause he says “What dread hand? And what dread feet? ” and “Did he smile his work to see? ” These quotes are basically saying what dreadful type of person could have created this type of thing and if the creator was proud of what he had made. It is easy to tell the observer was not fond of the Tyger because if he were he would not be questioning his reator and assuming he was dreadful.

The reactions one gets from something is important because it affects how one behaves. Richard Parker and the Tyger have many similarities but they also share many differences. Some of the similarities they share are things like being feared, being used as a symbol and their comparisons to fire; some of the differences they share are their behavior patterns, how people feel about them and where they come from. It is not beneficial to assume that two a like things are exactly the same because that is not true.

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