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 lifeboat comes ashore in Mexico and Pi stumbles off onto the beach. Richard Parker follows him and bolts into the jungle, never looking back. Pi feels alone, abandoned by the tiger, until he compares the beach to God and he feels its embrace. As he cries over losing Richard Parker, people find Pi on the beach, despairing that he didn’t have a proper good bye to end the story. He regrets to the very day he tells the author the story that he didn’t say “farewell. God be with you,” to Richard Parker.

To a local village the people on the beach take Pi to be bathed and fed. He eats for days, and is eventually taken to a hospital and finally to his foster mother in Canada. Pi’s story ends with special thanks to everyone who helped him along the way.

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