Suffering brings out the best and the worst in Life of Pi's characters. On the one hand, the characters care for each other when they very well could have killed each other. On the other hand, suffering drives a few characters to murder and cannibalism. There's a moment in the book when the protagonist catches a dorado fish. To subdue it, he beats it with a hatchet. He says, "I felt like I was beating a rainbow to death" (2.60.31). Whoever or whatever causes suffering in this novel – God or a bizarre sequence of events – the characters' musings and fortitude through it all recall the sheen and flash of a rainbow.