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Free Study Guide for Life of Pi by Yann Martel Book Summary

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ONLINE BOOK NOTES: LIFE OF PI


CHAPTER 13


Summary

Pi analyzes for the reader the process of lion taming. The trainer enters the cage first to establish it as his territory, and then as the lions enter he cracks his whip and asserts himself as the super-alpha male to whom the other lions submit. It is in fact more relaxing for the animals once they know their place in the social order because then there are fewer unknowns to cause fear or discomfort.

Notes


This chapter accounts for the human side of lion taming. This seemingly random piece of information is more of the back-story, so that in Part Two the reader understands from where Pi gets his ideas.


CHAPTER 14


Summary

Pi continues his discussion of lion taming. The animal with the lowest social standing is the easiest to train. It has the most to gain from maintaining a close relationship with the trainer. It needs the trainer to provide food and protection so it is likely to be the hardest working, most faithful animal. Pi says this concept holds true across the animal kingdom.

Notes

This chapter explains the animalís side of the psychology of lion taming so the reader understands why an animal of superior strength (as graphically demonstrated by Piís father in Chapter 8) would want to submit to a human. Again, this is more back-story to add credibility to Part Two.


CHAPTER 15


Summary

The author describes Piís home as a temple. There are countless religious articles. Surprisingly, the objects represent different religions. There are statues and shrines of various Hindu divinities (Ganesha, Shiva, etc.), representations of Christianity (the Cross, Virgin Mary), and items of Islam as well (photo of the Kaaba, prayer rug). The author merely describes and does not comment on this inconsistency.

Notes

The chapter is a preface to the next thirteen chapters which are devoted to theological discussion. The reader will come to know how and why Pi ends up practicing three different religions.


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