Want Some Pi?
A piece of cake? This story is more like a slice of pie. To make this pie you will need ingredients that aren’t usually in pie. The ingredients you will need include a multi-religious 16 year old Indian boy, an adult male Bengal tiger, a Zebra, and a hyena. You will then mix all of the ingredients up in the middle of the Pacific Ocean all in the confines of a 26 foot lifeboat and then you will let it sit for 227 days. The tremendous survival story is called Life of Pi by Yann Martel. Although Martel’s story may be confusing at times, when Pi comes upon the island, he manages to capture the reader's mind with his intricate details and his almost too real imagery.
Piscine Molitor Patel, the protagonist, grew up in the city of Pondicherry, India. In Pondicherry, Piscine’s father owned, founded and directed the Pondicherry zoo, “To me, it was paradise on earth,” Piscine is mentioned this because he found that the zoo was a place of peacefulness (Martel 14). Piscine Molitor Patel received his name from a swimming pool that Mamaji taught Piscine to swim in. Later on in the novel Piscine starts having people refer to him as Pi Patel. He chose this nickname because the kids at his school would call him pissing instead of Piscine, “”Where's Pissing? I've got to go." Or: "You're facing the wall. Are you Pissing?" Or something of the sort.” This is one of the examples of the kids making fun of his name. (Martel 20).
Prior to part II of the story Pi learns that his family will be moving to Canada to avoid the political turmoil in India. Pi’s family takes a Japanese cargo ship, the Tsimtsum, with select animals that Pi’s father will be selling to American and Canadian zoos.
On the first few pages of part II the ship Pi’s family is on sinks. The survivors of the Tsimtsum are Richard Parker – the Bengal tiger, Orange Juice – the orangutan, a zebra a hyena, and Pi. After a few days nature took its course. Pi and Richard Parker were the remaining survivors. To survive on the lifeboat Pi realizes that he will have to find a source of food to prolong Richard Parker from killing him. To keep himself and Richard Parker well fed Pi takes up fishing. At first he is unsuccessful but he eventually ends up becoming a skilled fisherman throughout his journey. After floating around for many days on his lifeboat Pi becomes so malnourished that he loses his eyesight and he starts hallucinating. Pi soon finds another castaway who also happens to be blind. As the other castaway tries to board Pi’s boat (intending to kill him) Richard Parker kills him.
Life of Pi is full of incredible imagery and details. Throughout the story Martel describes with perfect details the way everything looks. Toward the end of part one Martel describes the animals running around the ship, “A gaur-an Indian wild ox-exploded out of the rain and thundered by me, terrified, out of control, berserk. I looked at it, dumbstruck and amazed. Who in God's name had let it out?” when I read...