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 food is running lower by the day, so Pi begins to ration his biscuits further, eat turtles, and every part of the fish that the body can digest. He goes so far as to imagine the various extravagances of Indian cuisine in the stead of the fish parts he devours. In a fit of absolute hunger and despair, Pi tries to eat Richard Parker’s feces, catching it in a cup and adding water. When he attempts to eat it though, he realizes there is nothing there to get, no nutrients, only waste so he dumps the rest out. He continues to get sicker.

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