Free Study Guide for Life of Pi by Yann Martel Book Summary|
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Next, Pi deciphers how to use the solar stills and strings them out between the boat and the raft. He reworks the raft to make a seat and shelter, all the while keeping an eye on Richard Parker. He gathers rations and blankets, boards his raft, and lets out the rope. He watches Richard Parker from a distance, marveling that the tiger is truly worthy of its title, Royal Bengal tiger.
Suddenly, splashing from the sea below brings Pi from his musings. He examines the colorful plethora of sea life, comparing the activity of the fish to a busy city. When aboard the Tsimtsum, Pi had thought only dolphins lived in the open ocean. He watches the scene below him contentedly until he falls asleep.
Pi is becoming more adept in his perilous environment. Here, Martel reminds the reader of the name of the ship, Tsimtsum. Pi is left to contemplate tsimtsum as he withdraws himself from the lifeboat and prepares to create an inhabitable world for Richard Parker and himself.
Pi awakens during the night in wonder of the beauty and vastness of the ocean and sky. He compares himself to Markandeya, who catches a glimpse of the overwhelming universe when he drops out of Vishnu’s mouth, and nearly dies of fright before being rescued by Vishnu. Feeling inconsequential in the scheme of the universe, Pi prays and goes back to sleep.
Pi’s situation is looking up. Having rediscovered his faith, as evidenced by his reminiscence of a Hindu story and his Muslim prayer, Pi now has the spirit to survive. This is the first time prayer or God has been mentioned in several chapters. In the chapters without God, Pi is without hope. His faith will flow for the next several chapters, then, like the sea, will ebb once again.
The Hindu saint, Markandeya, has more in common with Pi than Pi describes. Markandeya was destined to die at the age of 16, Pi’s age. However, his devotion to Shiva (the expression of Brahman, or God, who destroys the universe) prevents death from claiming him. When he falls from Vishnu’s mouth, Markandeya is lost in a dark sea. Vishnu (the expression of Brahman who preserves the universe) appears as a mountain and rescues Markandeya. Like Markandeya, Pi’s devotion will save him from death. This chapter, though brief, reminds the reader, who is aware from the start that Pi will survive, that this is a story “that will make you believe in God.”
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Cassie, Donna L.. "TheBestNotes on Life of Pi".
. 09 May 2017