Significance of Colour Orange in Yann Martel's Life of Pi

Seminar Paper
‘Significance of colour orange in Yann Martel’s Life of Pi’
In partial fulfillment of the requirements for Award of Degree of
Bachelors of Arts (Hons.) in English


Submitted By:                       Supervised By:
Kajol Saxena                                                                                     Mrs. Shweta Saxena

Amity Institute of English Studies and Research

In Life of Pi there are many literary devices used to present the different themes in the novel. The main literary device used in Life of Pi is symbolism. Symbolism is often used to represent an object to something else, either by association or by resemblance. Most of the names of animals, objects and even humans in this novel have a symbolic meaning. In Yann Martel’s Life of Pi, symbolism such as pi’s name, the colour orange and the algae island, are used throughout the novel to provide Pi with protection to help him either survive or overcome his emotional pain. The colour orange appears many times in the novel "Life of Pi", as do the colours red and yellow, which combined create orange. The colour red as an archetype symbolizes great passion, blood, sacrifice and disorder. The colour yellow symbolizes hope and happiness. Orange is a combination of these two archetypes. In "Life of Pi", Pi states "It seems orange- such a nice Hindu colour- is the colour of survival." Survival could be considered a combination of passion, sacrifice and hope.
The colour orange, or the combination of red and yellow, hold great significance to Pi. In part 1, the "author" notes that there are many things anointed with dabs of red and yellow in Pi’s house. (Ch.15, pg 51) For him it represents survival and his inability to give up in his fight for life. In chapter 53, Pi mentions that he is one of those people who never...