Life of Pi


Discussion Questions

1. At the beginning of the novel, Mr. Adirubasamy tells the author that Pi’s story will make him believe in God. In 2010, President Obama wrote a letter to Yann Martel stating that he found Life of Pi to be “an elegant proof of God, and the power of storytelling.” What is your opinion of the story as proof of the existence of God? In what ways does the novel connect the idea of God with the idea of storytelling? In your personal opinion, is this a relevant connection?

2. Pi offers two different versions of his story as a castaway on the Pacific Ocean. Identify the ways in which the two versions are the same. Identify the ways in which they are different. Which do you believe? Which, in your opinion, is the “better story”? If the second story is more likely to be true, as the Japanese officials seem to believe, why might Pi have made up the first story?

3. The Author’s Note ends with the statement that “If we, citizens, do not support our artists, then we sacrifice our imagination on the altar of crude reality and we end up believing in nothing and having worthless dreams.” What is your opinion of this statement? How important is creativity to quality of life? Consider this statement in the context of the novel itself. In Pi’s experience, how might imagination serve him better than “crude reality” in terms of enduring and recovering from his ordeal?

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