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Life of Pi
Transcript of Life of Pi
Creative Novel Presentation by:
Srushti, Zeest, Jason, Iyah and Rikin
The Hero's Journey
Summary of the Book
Thank you for listening to our Presentation :)
"Above all, don't loose hope"
- Pi Patel
Themes in the Text
Written by: Yann Martel
Through out the book "Life of Pi" the author, reflects on the following themes to emphasize and help the readers come to a greater understanding on the book.
Science and Religion
" Life of Pi" is a classic novel that has sold over seven million copies all over the world. Written by Yann Martel, Life of Pi is an astonishing book that makes you really think about what your purpose
in life is.
" A story to make you believe in the
soul-sustaining power of fiction."
- Los Angeles Time Book Review
Science and Religion
connects science and religion
“I have a story that will make you believe in God” (pg x)
“academic study and the steady, mindful practice of religion slowly brought me back to life” (pg. 3).
it can be inferred that academic study, science, and religion is very important to him because it is the first impression we have of him
born a Hindu Boy
harmonized with 3 different religions
Pi is introduced to Christianity and Muslim faith
Pi follows 3 different religions
“but we sound not cling! A plague upon fundamentalists and literalists [...] So it is that we should not be jealous with God” (pg. 49)
he is unattached to just one interpretation of God
“I'll be honest about it. It is not atheists who get stuck in my craw, but agnostics” (pg. 28)
believes that science is also a form of faith
life without belief is useless
science finds common grounds within Pi
“my majors were religious studies and zoology” (pg. 3)
mixing religion and science
“sometimes I got my majors mixed up” (pg. 5) which further tells us that he believes in both science and religion
1st Mr. Kumar was Pi's favorite biology teacher
2nd Mr. Kumar is a religious Muslim baker
both represent a different system of belief
zebras scientific name vs. “God is the greatest”
Pi only says, “It's very pretty” (pg. 84)
Scientific knowledge and the faith of God allowed him to survive
This theme is mostly focused on how the need for survival triumphs ones morals and principles
during difficult times humans and animals will do whatever is necessary to survive
the will for survival triumphs all others
“You may be astonished that in such a short period of time I could go from weeping over the muffled flying fish to gleefully bludgeoning to death a dorado. [.......] It is simple and brutal: a person can get used to anything, even to killing” (pg. 185)
Possibility that Richard Parker (tiger) is a representation of Pi's animal-like side
loss of innocence when Pi pulled Richard Parker onto the boat
“It was Richard Parker who calmed me down. It is the irony of this story that the one who sacred me witless to start with was the very one who brought me peace, purpose, I dare say even wholeness” (pg. 162)
“Richard Parker, companion of my torment, awful, fierce thing that kept me alive, moved forward and disappeared forever from my life” (pg. 285)
need for survival disappeared
Pi released his inner animal through Richard Parker who eventually triumphed Pi's principles and morals
many man vs nature scenarios
he was a vegetarian but is now forced to eat meat and kill animals
“I wept heartily over this poor little deceased soul. It was the first sentient being I had ever killed. I was now a killer. I was now as guilty as Cain. I was sixteen years old, a harmless boy, bookish and religious, and now I had blood on my hands. It's a terrible burden to carry. All sentient life is sacred. I never forgot to include this fish in my prayers” (pg. 183).
Connected to Religion
you must pick the “better story”
You can choose to believe in any story you want like you can choose to believe in God
Pi asks, “what is the problem with hard to believe?” (pg. 330)
the novel makes you wonder about the truth in storytelling because you are never sure of what actually happened and what didn't
Connected to Survival
keeps Pi alive and sane
Pi made up the animals with human characteristics
zebra = innocent sailor
hyena = terrible cook,
orangutan = his caring mother
Richard Parker = own alter ego
survival function to help him cope with the events
theme of storytelling is complicated
you can choose to believe in any story you like
makes the reader wonder about the actual events in the book
layers of narration
Yann Martel has written a book about a fictional author who is looking for a story and goes to the adult Pi who tells him of his journey through the eyes of young Pi, it is a story within a story
the fictional authors note further implies that Pi's story, and the events in this book, are unverified, giving the reader the option to choose what they want to believe
Each character had an impact on Pi's Journey. They all have a specific archetype to represent their significance in the novel.
Piscine Molitor Patel (Pi)
Santosh Patel (Father)
Gita Patel (Mother)/ Orangutan
Ravi Patel (Brother)
Hyena/ French Cook
Pi has been through and survived under many tragic circumstances
He survived the sinking of the Japanese Cargo Ship the Tsimstum
Lived on a stranded boat for 277 days in the middle of the Pacific Ocean
Survived with a Bengal Tiger, Orangutan, Hyena and Zebra
Through out his journey he accomplished many things
"Fear is life's only true opponent" -Pi Patel
Santosh always has the intetion to help his family
This charcter is also considered an outlaw as his actions are not always accepted
When Santosh taught Ravi and Pi a lesson about the danger of Richard Parker
"How Could you Santosh? They're children! They'll be scared for the rest of their lives" - Gita Patel (pg 36)
Mamaji was a mentor to Pi
Pi looked up to him and learnt many things from Mamaji
"I called him Mamaji, mama being the tamil word for uncle, ji being the suffix used in India to indicate respect or affection" - Pi Patel ( pg 8)
Gita always wanted the best for her children
In Pi's second story Gita was represented as the orangutan
"Mother held on to some bananas and made it to the lifeboat." - Pi Patel (pg 303)
Even though she was struggling to survive, she still had the presence in mind to grab some food
Richard Parker un-expectantly helps Pi on his journey
He attacks and kills the french man that planned to kill Pi
Ironically Pi shows affection for Richard Parker and is devastated when he disappears into the Mexican jungle
"I was weeping because Richard Parker had left me" - Pi Patel (pg 285)
Being Pi's older brother Ravi loved to tease and scare Pi
"Just wait till we're alone, you're the next goat!" - Ravi Patel (pg 39)
Ravi adored to make jokes
"My brother Ravi once told me that when Mamaji was born, he didn't want to give up breathing water and so the doctor, to save his life, had to take him by his feet and swing him above his head round and round" - Pi Patel (pg 8)
Ravi loved to trick his gullible little brother
The hyena represented the french cook in Pi's second story
it killed Orange Juice (orangutan) viciously
" The hyena let go of her wrist and expertly got to her throat" - Pi Patel (pg 131)
"The cook threw himself upon the sailor's head and before our very eyes scalped him and pulled off his face" - Pi Patel (pg 308)
Both of these characters were beautiful and did no harm
The Zebra was injured on the boat by the hyena; just like the sailor was attacked by the french sailor
"The Sailor was young....he broke his leg jumping from the ship. He was beautiful, and did no harm. - Pi Patel (pg 304)
It had a badly broken leg.. it was a beautiful animal." - Pi Patel (pg 109)
Their unfair deaths make them innocent
Toronto and Pondicherry
Benito Juarez Infirmary, Tomatlan, Mexico
The Pacific Ocean
Did Our Group Enjoy the Book?
Piscine is sick of being called Pissing and decides to call himself Pi
Santosh Patel informs Ravi and Pi of danger behind wild animals, more specifically Richard Parker
The Patel Family decides to visit Munnar
Pi is dared by his older brother Ravi to go into the church and drink Holy Water
Pi grows an interest for studying the Christian Religion and seeks the guidance of a priest named Father Martin
A year passes and Pi comes accross a Mosque, instead of entering the mosque Pi goes to a near by bakery and meets a Muslim man named Satish Kumar
The Patel Family decides to move to Canada due to the business at the Pondicherry zoo
On June 21, 1977 the Japanese Cargo ship the Tsimtsum left Madras, India
Mastery of Two worlds:
Pi tells his story of his past, and also tells us of his continued education, which involves masters degrees in both zoology and religion.
Call To Adventure:
-Pi and his family set sail off to Canada in 1977, in what appears to be a seemingly mundane situation.
-Pi mentions the fact that his mother is anxious and fearful of the travel because she has really lived in India her whole life.
- They are travelling into the unknown, as they are starting a new life.
Refusal of the call:
-Refusal to move to Canada is present.
-Pi is questioning the thought of moving. He does not want to move, as he is going to miss many things about his home town of Pondicherry.
Crossing the First Threshold:
-This stage of the monomyth is described as when the person finally ventures into the unknown, where rules and limits are not known.
-In this case, after committing to the move, they begin their travels on the Tsimtsum, a boat. There are no rules, as the ocean is a boundless, open place.
Road of Trials:
-Everyday is a 'trial.'
-Pi transforms, and this includes him diverging from vegetarianism, and him just learning to survive on the boat.
-He has to learn to survive on board the lifeboat and also needs to learn how to handle animals, although he is lucky to have experience from owning a zoo.
-Failing at first is a big part of these trials, like when he was hesitant on killing the fish, because of his moral beliefs.
Pi is devastated, his whole family is gone and he is stuck on a life boat with an injured Zebra, an Orangutan and a Hyena
to survive Pi must eat something yet the food available contains animal fat, this making him no longer a vegetarian
Pi discovers Richard Parker under the tarpaulin and is terrified
Atonement with the father:
-With the terror of Richard Parker in the mind of Pi, Pi decides to tame Richard Parker.
-He does this by shouting and using a whistle, to try and to prove to Richard Parker who is the leader onboard.
-“Zookeeping" goes well, and Richard Parker and Pi get along.
Pi builds a raft with life jackets and paddles to stay safe from Richard Parker
The Ultimate Boon:
-After another couple of days, they sight land. It turns out to be Mexico. As they land, Richard Parker runs off, and it affects Pi deeply.
The rescue from without:
-Later, two men find Pi on the shore, and bring him to a hospital.
Meeting with the Goddess:
-Pi, at this point is in a delusional state.
-Luckily, they come across an island made of algae, and regain their energy with Pi eating the algae, and Richard Parker eating the Meerkats.
-They stay for the night, but leave, as it is apparent that the island is carnivorous, from the likes of the tooth they had found.
Crossing the return threshold:
-After they have saved him, he relays his story to two Japanese officials, although they find it incredibly farfetched.
He realizes he must tame Richard Parker rather than be afraid of him
Pi begins to hunt for fish and turtles as Richard Parker is becoming desperate.
After countless months Pi discovers an Island
He finds many ponds of fresh water along with millions of Meerkats
He realizes that at night the fresh water becomes highly acidic and kills all the fish in the pond
After his long Journey of 277 days Pi washed up on the west coast of Mexico
laying on the sand Pi watches Richard Parker leave him forever, he was devastated to see that he didn't even look back
hours later a group of men discovered Pi and took him to a hospital
Two Japanese journalists came to interview Pi and see why the Tsimtsum sunk
Pi told the men his story, yet they didn't believe a word he said
Pi told them another version of the story, without animals
He gave them an option to choose either
Our group absolutely adored the novel, we really enjoyed studying and talking about it together. We all adored the writing style of the author and how he could portray Pi's feelings. The ending was definitely our favourite part as it allows you to interpret it yourself. The book taught us to never give up and to believe in ourselves.
Rate out of 5: 4.5/5
In Life of Pi, many characters are introduced that are vital to the story as a whole, but the two most prominent and important characters are Pi Patel and Richard Parker. We see a lot of development through these two characters, especially through the long period of time on the lifeboat.
Changes physically and mentally
Pi is considered a round and dynamic character
The Beginning of the Book:
Piscine is a curious, intelligent and ecstatic school boy
his religious beliefs starts off as him being a strong follower in the Hindu religion, he then becomes interested in islam ad Christianity
The End of the Book
He is terrified of Richard Parker
Pi over comes is fear of Richard Parker, and builds affection and an attachment to him
He becomes more mature after a great emotional loss
he is more confident in himself
Richard Parker is more of a dynamic character
his character still develops quite a bit even though he is not able to speak
The tiger starts off as the more dominant character compared to Pi
Beginning of the Book
he was very viscous and fierce
End of the Book
after training Pi training Richard Parker they grew a friendly relationship
The Patel Family
The Priest, Iman and Pandit
The Patel family would be considered static characters as they are only in the beginning of the novel.
These 3 religious mentors are considered flat and static characters
since they force Pi to change, but not themselves
These 2 journalists are dynamic characters
they changed how they thought of the story with the animals
“We would be rescued soon. A ship would appear on the horizon. A gun would be found to kill the hyena and put the zebra out of its misery. Perhaps Orange Juice could be saved. I would climb aboard and be greeted by my family. They would have been picked up in another lifeboat. I only had to ensure my survival for the next few hours until this rescue ship came.” (pg.113)
“I had to stop hoping so much that a ship would rescue me. I should not count on outside help. Survival had to start with me. (pg.168) (…) I looked out into the empty horizon. There was so much water. And I was alone. All alone.” (pg.169)
“I wept heartily over this poor little deceased soul. It was the first sentient being I had ever killed. I was now a killer. I was now as guilty as Cain.” (pg.183)
“You may be astonished that in such a short period of time I could go from weeping over the muffled killing of a flying fish to gleefully bludgeoning to death a dorado. (…) But in point of fact the explanation lies elsewhere. It is simple and brutal: a person can get used to anything, even killing.” (pg.185)
Fear of Richard Parker
“He was less than ten feet away. His head, his chest, his paws—so big! so big! His teeth—an entire army battalion in a mouth. He was making to jump onto the tarpaulin. I was about to die.”
“I looked at him, full of fearful wonder. There being no immediate threat, my breath slowed down, my heart stopped knocking about in my chest, and I began to regain my senses.” (pg.164)
Richard Parker's name...any significance?
About 40 years earlier, Edgar Allan Poe published a (failed) book called
The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket.
This story again mentions a boat capsizing in the ocean. The survivors agree to cannibalize and kill one person for their own survival. Oddly, his name was Richard Parker.
How does this relate?
He looked fixed into the jungle. Then, Richard Parker, companion of my torment, awful, fierce, thing that kept me alive, moved forward and dissapeared forever from my life. (284-285)
I still cannot understand how he could abandon me so unceremoniously, without any sort of goodbye, without looking back even once. That pain is like an axe that chops at my heart. (6)