Free Study Guide for Life of Pi by Yann Martel Book Summary|
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On the surface, it would appear that the antagonists here are Richard
Parker and Nature. Pi’s hardships at sea begin with the threat presented
by the tiger, and progress to surviving starvation and the elements. However,
the real conflict is an internal struggle. Pi must maintain his faith
in order to survive, but he must compromise his beliefs in order to live.
For example, he includes prayer in his daily routine at sea, but he must
kill and forego vegetarianism to stay alive. Pi Patel is a seeker of knowledge
and a seeker of God. He is striving to choose “the better story” for his
The climax of a plot is the major turning point that allows the protagonist
to resolve the conflict. The climax in this story comes in Part Three
of the book. The reader has known all along that Pi survived his ordeal
because it is he who is narrating the story. So none of the drama at sea
is truly climactic. The twist at the end, when Pi reluctantly offers a
second story devoid of animals and devoid of faith, brings the climax.
Pi allows Mr. Okamoto and Mr. Chiba to believe the second story if they
choose, but presses them to confess which story they think is better.
The outcome, resolution, or denouement of this is that both men admit
the first story is better. This reaffirms Pi’s own beliefs (even though
the men may or may not really believe the story). Mr. Okamoto chooses
to include the first story in his official report. However, the ultimate
outcome is left to the reader because which story is actually true is
never firmly established.
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Cassie, Donna L.. "TheBestNotes on Life of Pi".
. 12 May 2008