Have you ever heard of characters that have never met but act in a similar way? This is amazing, especially when it comes to the best human abilities, that help them to survive disregarding all the obstacles.
These parallels we can observe in “The Story of Keesh” by Jack London and “The Life of Pi” by Yann Martel. It is amazing to observe how both authors described the same human features but in so different ways. None of the authors mentions the features directly, however, the reader can make the conclusions based on the described events.
Keesh lives alone with his mother. His father was a great hunter, but he was killed by a polar bear while hunting him. So, Keesh has to take care of the family. The government provides some sources to survive, but their amount is too limited. That’s why the boy, who is just thirteen years old, and who knows how his father died, decides to go hunting. He is brave, isn’t he?
The same feature, the bravery, has another character, Pi. He is the only survivor on a boat, except a tiger. Of course, Pi is afraid for his life, because he doesn’t know what to expect from the animal. However, he still dares to go to search for water.
One more feature discussed in the stories is intelligence. It is worth just reading about the Keesh`s invention with a chunk of blubber and a whalebone! A perfect safe tool to kill a bear. It is very intelligent, isn’t it?
Pi, in turn, uses all utilities available in the ship to tame the tiger. He finds some tool, they have been used for circus shows and he correctly believes, he can control the tiger with them. This shows not only intelligence but the ability to think logically and consecutively.
One more feature discussed is the ability to plan strategically. In the story of Keesh, the reader sees it clearly when the boy is inventing the tool to kill a bear. He plans all in advance, every step. Moreover, all his actions and explanations are very logical and substantiated.
In the case of Pi, the reader can see this ability clearly, when Pi finds boxes with food. He is hungry, so, the first package is eaten very fast. He doesn’t notice himself when it happened that the package filled with food turns into just a piece or carton. Don’t you think he is tempted to eat as much as he can? Well, he is, but he thinks strategically: he has to keep some food, to be able to survive.
In both stories, the authors insist, that it is common for a human creature to look for solutions and to find them. Even though characters may be very different, with different background and different life circumstances, however, there is something that unites them. This something is called the human nature and the human ability to survive or at least to hope to survive regardless of what happens.
Fialkoff, Francine. Too Sensitized to Plagiarism? 15 Dec. 2002. https://lj.libraryjournal.com/2002/12/opinion/editorial/too-sensitized-to-plagiarism/ . Accessed 19 Jun. 2018
Byng, Jamie. “The Life Beyond Pi”. https://web.archive.org/web/20110521073502/. Accessed 19 Jun. 2018.