I never thought a small piece of shade
could bring me so much happiness. That a pile of tools, a bucket, a knife, a
pencil, might become my greatest treasures. Or that knowing Richard Parker was
here might ever bring me peace. In times like these, I remember that he has as
little experience of the real world as I do. We were both raised in a zoo by
the same master. Now we’ve been orphaned, left to face our ultimate master
together. Without Richard Parker, I would have died by now. My fear of him
keeps me alert. Tending to his needs gives my
Introverted Feeling (Fi): Pi has a strong moral code that serves as a basis for many of his decisions and ultimately cannot be broken through logical reasoning or pragmatism. Pi’s natural ability to see into others’ emotions and place himself in their shoes makes him unable to kill the tiger (Richard Parker) and causes him sorry once he looks into the eyes of the first fish he kills.
Extraverted Intuition (Ne): Young Pi easily accepts and absorbs any new teaching he can find, resulting in him becoming Hindu, Muslim, and Catholic even into his older life, because to him having multiple seemingly contradictory beliefs don’t impede upon one another or overwhelm him, but instead enhance his understanding of the world. He is very spiritual, believing that God is watching over him at all times, such as believing Vishnu came in the form of a fish to save him and Richard Parker. Pi is also able to make creative use of any unsavory situation he finds himself in–changing his name to Pi by remembering every number in pi, utilizing the resources he has on the boat, and translating him and his loved ones in a symbolic story in which he is the tiger and his mother is the orangutan, so the disbelieving reporters will leave him alone.
Introverted Sensing (Si): Pi tells the writer that he can choose to believe what is true and what’s not, because all that matters is that Pi remember every event happening the way he tells it. When the two reporters visit him in the hospital and call out logical inconsistencies within his story (“bananas don’t float”) Pi refuses to change or alter any detail because that’s simply how he remembers the events.
Extraverted Thinking (Te): Pi shows himself capable of taking charge once he begins to work with Richard Parker, first attempting to show dominance then trying to train him, understanding that they need to work together to survive. He almost immediately begins utilizing resources for his survival (i.e. building a raft). His father tries to show Pi the “way of the world” to stop Pi from treating animals like humans by forcing him to watch Richard Parker mauling a goat; Pi still chooses to follow his Fi values that animals have souls and should be treated as they do throughout his entire journey and subsequent adult life.
A hunter caught him drinking from a stream when he was a cub and named him Thirsty. When Thirsty got too big the hunters sold him to our zoo, but the names got switched on the paperwork.The hunter was listed as Thirsty and the tiger was called Richard Parker. We laughed about it and the name stuck. — Life of Pi (2012) dir. Ang Lee