Life of Pi Study Guide

Life of Pi

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Life of Pi by Yann Martel tells the story of a young man named Pi Patel, whose family owns a zoo in India. They decide to move to Canada and transport their zoo, but the ship they were sailing across the Atlantic encounters a storm and sinks. Pi is the only survivor, as he finds himself on a lifeboat with a hyena, a zebra, an orangutan, and Bengal tiger he names Richard Parker.

The novel changes to Pi Patel’s voice now, told in the first person as a memoir. The narrator first introduces himself as a graduate in both Religious Studies and Zoology at the University of Toronto. He describes his thesis on the thyroid gland of a three-toed sloth and goes on in detail about that sloth. He was given greatcredit for his knowledge in the zoology field but also held back because of his inability to divide religion and science. He describes the Goddess Lakshmi, a Hindu deity and how he misses India despite his love for Canada. He also describes how he misses Richard Parker (who we do not know). He goeson to mention his time in Mexico and a situation in an Indian restaurant in Canada. The anecdotes are largely disjointed and unrelated thus far.

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