Free Study Guide for Life of Pi by Yann Martel Book Summary|
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Patel lives in Scarborough. He is a small, dark man of about forty.
He speaks quickly and goes into his story.
This is a brief interjection by the author giving the narratorís physical
appearance and location. It letís the reader know that the previous chapter
was the beginning of the authorís interview with the man in Canada referred
to in the Authorís Note. These interjections support the reality of the
The narrator (Patel) talks about Francis Adirubasamy who is a close family friend. Patel calls him Mamaji (dear uncle). Mamaji was a champion competitive swimmer and tries to teach Patelís parents and older brother, Ravi to swim. The family is unskilled and unenthusiastic, except for Patel himself, who is thrilled with both swimming and pleasing his ďuncle.Ē
In addition to teaching swimming, Mamaji loves to talk about swimming
and about the incredible swimming pools in Paris. Patelís father loves
to hear of them. Mamaji gloriously praises one pool in particular, the
Piscine Molitor. So taken is Patelís father with the dreamlike image of
that pool, that his son becomes its namesake. We finally learn the narratorís
name: Piscine Molitor Patel.
India did have an Olympic swimmer in 1928, named Mulji. He may have been Martelís model for Mamaji. It will become significant later in the story that Piscine is the only family member that can swim. The word piscine (pronounced pee-seen) means pool in French. However, the word piscine (pronounced pie-seen) means fish-like in English. This is an interesting play on the word in light of what is in store for Piscine in Part 2 of the novel.
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Cassie, Donna L.. "TheBestNotes on Life of Pi".
. 09 May 2017