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.

On a trip to Munnar, Pi notices a trio of hills, each with a temple, church, or mosque on it. Seeing the three equally spaced and realizing his foundation in the Hindu faith, he goes to meet Jesus Christ. He sees a priest from a distance and is astounded by his acts of love. He is confused, but enters the church anyways, wondering which statue is mean to represent the Catholic god.

The following day he meets Father Martin on a return trip and learns more of Christianity and the nature of Jesus and his sacrifice. Pi tries to understand by comparing Hindu deities to the Christian faith but fails in doing so. Over the course of days, the two meet often and Pi answers numerous questions, attempting to learn more. Many of the answers end with“love” as the simple answer and Pi begins to relate Christianity with the concept of love. He decides he will become a Christian, praying at the church, then going back to the Hindu temple and praying thanks for helping him find the Catholic faith.

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