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 ruminates on how great a book would be, something to read over and over and enjoy differently each time. He wishes for scripture to read and compares himself to similarly stranded Hindu figures. He also thinks on the Gideon Bible he found in a hotel room and how great an idea it is to spread faith in places of rest. He would even go so far as to enjoy a novel at that point, but the only piece of reading he has left is the survival guide and his own choppy diary, written in tiny lettering to conserve paper. Nothing is in order and days are not catalogued. Rather it is just a mess of his ideas as they come to him and the experiences he’s undergone.

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