Synopsis

 

The novel Life of Pi is a story within a story within a story, it starts off with an author’s note. The note basically explains how the author came upon Pi’s story while giving some information about the author ( Yann Martel). The novel is broken into three basic part, each part representing a different stage in his life, which also helps the reader to really see the character (Pi) mature and develop.

During part one of the novel Pi begins narrates the story, and starts off with him living in his village Pondicherry, India. His father owns a zoo and it is here where Pi finds his love of animals. He is very passionate about zoology however that is only one of his passions his other passion is practising religion. He was born a Hindu but later at the age of 14 discovers Christianity and the year after discovers Islam. The Indian government is starting to fall apart and Pi’s father decides that it is best for him and his family to move to Canada to start a new better life. They are able to sell most of the animals and are going to sell the rest once they get to Canada in order to have enough money to be able to start a new life there. They pack their bags and board the Japanese cargo ship with the animals to end part one of the novel.

Part two is where the family is aboard on the ship, and a tragic incident occurs. The tragic incident being the ship sinking with while Pi’s family was still on board, Pi narrowly escapes with the use of the emergency boat. The storm finally passes by and Pi is stuck on the boat with a zebra, orang-utan, hyena, and a Bengal tiger. Eventually the expected happens and the hyena acts the zebra not too far after the orang-utan and eventually the tiger attacks the hyena. Pi is a smart young man he decides to let the tiger have his space while he slowly takes his time to train the tiger. Pi makes a raft for himself that he lives on so he doesn’t have to sleep with the tiger; Pi tries to catch as much fish as he can to feed the tiger while Pi eats the food on the boat. After a series of events Pi finally ends up on the shores of Mexico to end part two.

Part three is not very long however it is still the final stretch of the book. In this section of the book two individuals representing the Japanese Maritime Department in the Ministry of Transport, come to interview Pi to actually figure out why the ship sank and how he managed to survive. Pi tells them two versions of the story the one version including all the animals and the other version being the, “better story” which was the same story basically but with the animals being substituted for human beings. At the end, Pi asks the agents which story they rather prefer, which gets the reader thinking which story they prefer as well. Like most fairy tales this novel also has a happy ending, it ends with Pi having a family of his own. 

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