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Life of Pi by Yann Martel Ideas Worth Considering

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Title: Life of Pi by Yann Martel Ideas Worth Considering


1
Life of Pi by Yann MartelIdeas Worth Considering
  • Advanced Placement
  • Literature and Composition
  • Skoric

2
Introduction Author
  • Yann Martel
  • Born June 25, 1963 in Salamanca, Spain
  • Canadian
  • Travelled in Iran, Turkey and India
  • Studying philosophy at Trent University in
    Peterborough, Ontario,
  • Started writing at age 27
  • To write Life of Pi
  • Six months spent in India visiting mosques,
    temples, churches and zoos
  • An entire year reading religious texts and
    castaway stories
  • Actual writing two more years

3
Introduction The Book
  • First published by Knopf Canada in September 2001
  • Won
  • Man Booker Prize for Fiction in 2002
  • Boeke Prize, a South African book prize, in 2003
  • A film adaptation in 2011

4
Story Overview
  • The protagonist Piscine ("Pi") Molitor Patel
  • An Indian boy from Pondicherry
  • Exploring the issues of religion and spirituality
    from an early age
  • His survival story 227 days shipwrecked with a
    tiger in the Pacific Ocean

5
Characters
  • Piscine Molitor Patel (Pi)  
  • The protagonist of the story
  • The narrator for most of the novel
  • His account of his seven months at sea
  • His unusual name from the French word for pool
  • A pool in Paris in which a close family friend,
    Francis Adirubasamy, loved to swim
  • A student of zoology and religion
  • Deeply intrigued by the habits and
    characteristics of animals and people

6
Characters
  • Richard Parker 
  • The Royal Bengal tiger sharing a lifeboat with Pi
  • His captor, Richard Parker, named him Thirsty
  • A shipping clerk reversed their names
  • From the Pondicherry Zoo
  • Weighing 450 pounds and about nine feet long
  • Kills the hyena on the lifeboat and the blind
    cannibal
  • Acts as an omega, or submissive, animal
    respecting Pis dominance

7
Characters
  • The Author 
  • The narrator of the (fictitious) Authors Note
  • Inserting himself into the narrative at several
    points throughout the text
  • Never identified by name
  • Yann Martel
  • He lives in Canada
  • Published two books
  • Inspired to write Pis life story during a trip
    to India

8
Characters
  • Francis Adirubasamy 
  • The elderly man
  • Telling the author Pis story during a meeting in
    a Pondicherry coffee shop
  • Taught Pi to swim
  • Bestowed upon him his unusual moniker
  • Arranges for the author to meet Pi
  • Pi calls him Mamaji (Indian respected uncle)

9
Characters
  • Ravi 
  • Pis older brother
  • Teases his younger brother mercilessly over his
    devotion to three religions
  • Santosh Patel 
  • Pis father
  • Runs the Pondicherry Zoo
  • A worrier by nature
  • Teaching his sons not only to care for and
    control wild animals, but to fear them
  • Decided to move his family to Canada
  • Gita Patel 
  • Pis beloved mother and protector
  • A book lover
  • Encouraging Pi to read widely
  • Speaking her mind
  • Taking the place of Orange Juice on the lifeboat
    (in Pis another version of his story to his
    rescuers)

10
Characters
  • Satish Kumar
  • Pis biology teacher at a secondary school in
    Pondicherry
  • A polio survivor
  • Odd-looking man, with a body shaped like a
    triangle
  • Devotion to the power of scientific inquiry and
    explanation
  • Inspiring Pi to study zoology in college
  • Father Martin 
  • The Catholic priest
  • Introducing Pi to Christianity
  • Preaching a message of love
  • Disagrees about whose religion Pi should practice

11
Characters
  • Satish Kumar 
  • A plain-featured Muslim mystic
  • With the same name as Pis biology teacher
  • Working in a bakery
  • A strong effect on Pis academic plans
  • His faith leads Pi to study religion at college
  • The Hindu Pandit 
  • One of three important religious figures
  • Outraged when Pi begins practicing other
    religions
  • Quieted by Pis declaration that he just wants to
    love God

12
Characters
  • The Hyena 
  • Ugly and intensely violent
  • Controlling the lifeboat before Richard Parker
    emerges
  • The Zebra 
  • A beautiful male Grants zebra
  • His leg broken jumping into the lifeboat
  • Tormented by the hyena and eaten alive
  • Orange Juice 
  • Maternal orangutan
  • Floating to the lifeboat on a raft of bananas
  • Suffering from almost humanlike bouts of
    loneliness and seasickness
  • Fighting back valiantly when attacked by the
    hyena
  • Killed and decapitated

13
Characters
  • The Blind Frenchman 
  • A fellow castaway
  • Meeting Pi by chance in the middle of the ocean
  • Driven by hunger and desperation
  • Trying to kill and cannibalize Pi
  • Richard Parker kills him first
  • Meena Patel 
  • Pis wife
  • Nikhil Patel (Nick) 
  • Pis son
  • Usha Patel 
  • Pis young daughter
  • Shy but very close to her father

14
Characters
  • Tomohiro Okamoto 
  • An official from the Maritime Department of the
    Japanese Ministry of Transport
  • Investigating the sinking of the Japanese
    Tsimtsum
  • Interviews Pi for three hours
  • Highly skeptical of Pis first account of the
    shipwreck
  • Atsuro Chiba 
  • Okamotos assistant
  • More naïve and trusting of the two Japanese
    officials
  • His inexperience at conducting interviews
  • Agrees with Pi that the version of his ordeal
    with animals is the better than the one with
    people

15
Characters
  • The Cook 
  • The human counterpart to the hyena in Pis second
    story
  • Rude and violent and hoards food on the lifeboat
  • Kills the sailor and Pis mother
  • Pi stabs him and he dies
  • The Sailor 
  • The human counterpart to the zebra in Pis second
    story
  • Young, beautiful, and exotic
  • Speaks only Chinese
  • Very sad and lonely in the lifeboat
  • His leg broken and infected after jumping off the
    ship
  • His leg cut off by the cook
  • Dies slowly

16
Allusions
  • LITERARY REFERENCES
  • -- Dante's Divine Comedy (Three parts and 100
    cantos)
  • Life of Pi (Three parts and 100 chapters)
  • -- Edgar Allan Poe, " The Narrative of Arthur
    Gordon
  • Pym of Nantucket" Richard Parker is the
    name of a sailor in the story.
  • -- Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe
  • -- Herman Melville, Moby-Dick
  • -- Samuel Taylor Coleridge, "The Rime of the
    Ancient Mariner"

17
Faith Based Allusions
  • Christ Renames the Disciples
  • Virgin Mary
  • Parable of the Mustard Seed
  • Noah
  • Doubting Thomas
  • Call to Prayer and other Muslim rituals
  • Qur'an
  • Vishnu, Krishna, Rama

18
Themes
  • Truth
  • Coming of Age
  • Faith/Religion
  • Fear

19
Literary Motifs/Symbols
  • Territorial Dominance
  • Hunger and Thirst
  • Ritual
  • Character Names
  • The Color Orange
  • Others???
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