Life of Pi

Topics: Seawater, Life of Pi, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket, Yann Martel, A Story, Survival Skills / Pages: 35 (8640 words) / Published: Feb 21st, 2013
Part 1, Chapters 1-11
Life of Pi opens with a fictional author’s note, explaining the origins of the book. The author explains that while in India and floundering on the book he is trying to write, he travels to Pondicherry, where an elderly man, Mr. Adirubasamy, tells him he has a story for him that will make him believe in God. Adirubasamy tells the author about Pi, who the author manages to find in Canada, where Pi relates his story.That story begins in Chapter 1. Pi describes his education at the University of Toronto, his double major in religion and zoology, and why he is so fascinated by the sloth, an incredibly indolent creature. He says that his great suffering has made all subsequent pains both more unbearable and more trifling. He loves Canada, although he misses India deeply. In Chapter 2, the author intervenes as narrator, describing Pi telling his story. In Chapter 3 we learn Pi’s full name, Piscine Molitor Patel, and how he got it: he was named for a great pool, called the Piscine Molitor, in which his father’s business associate and close friend, Francis Adirubasamy, swam in while in Paris. Pi’s father was a hotel manager, but left the business because he wanted to start a zoo, which he did in Pondicherry. Pi defends the zoo and attacks the common understanding of animals in the wild as free, and animals in a zoo as "unfree", for freedom in the wild is a myth: animals are restricted by their survival needs and their instincts. When Piscine is 12, one of his classmates starts calling him “Pissing,” so when Piscine graduates to Petit Seminaire, he shortens his name to Pi. At Petit Seminaire Pi has a biology teacher, Mr. Kumar, who comes to the zoo often and talks to Pi about his atheism. He becomes one of Pi’s favorite teachers. Pi describes the danger man poses to the animals in a zoo- the bad things he feeds them, the way he harms, tortures and kills them. One day Pi’s father takes him and Ravi to the big cat house and makes them promise to never

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