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.

Pi feels much stronger and better about his situation as he attempts fishing to catch food using his shoes. After failing, he looks for more bait in the locker and still finds nothing. When he notices Richard Parker staring at him he freezes until a flying fish hits him in the face. He sees the fish flopping around inside the locker and tosses it Richard Parker. Unfortunately, the tiger misses the fish, but more fish begin to jump out of the water to escape predators. While Pi is berated with fish, Richard Parker takes the chance to eat the fish and feed amply. Before heading back to his raft, Pi grabs one of the fish for himself.

As he agonizes over killing the fish to use as bait, he reaches tears comparing himself to Cain in his crime. The flying fish works wonderfully as bait though and he manages to catch three of the large dorado. This time around he has no problem killing the fish as they are for Richard Parker instead. He feeds Richard Parker and uses the opportunity to blow his whistle and show his dominance once more.

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