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Life of Pi Analysis

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  • March 2013
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Summary
Piscine Molitor Patel – Protagonist in the story, also the narrator - also known as Pi Ravi Patel – Pi’s older brother by three years
Santosh Patel – Pi’s father, owns a zoo in Pondicherry, India Gita Patel – Pi’s Mother
Satish Kumar – Pi’s biology teacher in Pondicherry
Father Martin – A catholic priest that introduces Pi to the catholic faith Satish Kumar – A Muslim mystic that shares the same name with Pi’s biology teacher Hindu Pandit – A man whom is never named, he becomes very angry at Pi for practicing religions other than his own Pi Patel, a Hindu boy from Pondicherry, India, narrates this novel. The novel begins with Pi going into great depth about the life of a sloth, which reminds him of a god. Pi explains how he got his name – from a swimming pool. This leads into Pi’s life story, which begins with his fond memories of his father’s zoo in India. Following this is a memory of a trip he took with his family, where he meets a catholic priest who introduces him to Catholicism. Later on this trip, Pi meets a Muslim mystic who introduces Pi to the Muslim faith. Pi is deeply intrigued with other religions and their practices, but his curiosity crushed when a Hindu Pandit informs Pi’s parents that he is practicing other religions than his own.

Significant Quotes
“I know zoos are no longer in people’s good graces. Religion faces the same problem. Certain illusions about freedom plague them both.” Page 21
This quote shows how closely related Pi sees animals and religion. People misunderstand the life of animals in the wild; they do not understand that life in captivity at a zoo might very well be a better life for an animal – just as people misunderstand what it means for someone to be free of a religion. Religion can take away the harshness of reality, just as the walls of a zoo enclosure can show one reality, but not the one beyond the walls. Pi is trying to show how religion can make a life simpler and more enjoyable. “I can well imagine...