Free Study Guide for Life of Pi by Yann Martel Book Summary|
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Unable to sleep well, Pi shifts his attention to Richard Parker. The tiger seems disturbed and Pi attributes this to thirst. There must be a way for Pi to provide water for the tiger without sharing his own canned water. Pi checks the solar stills, unconvinced of their utility. Elated, he discovers that each still has generated almost a liter of fresh water. He gathers the water in a bucket, adds a little sea water to increase the volume, and brings it to the lifeboat. He secures the bucket to a bench and gets Richard Parkerís attention by tossing pieces of flying fish. The tiger goes for the fish and finds the water as well. Pi stares straight into the tigerís eyes and blows his whistle. Richard Parker retreats under the tarpaulin. Pi notes that the lifeboat is functioning just like a zoo enclosure.
Pi fishes again, but without success. A sea turtle swims by and Pi thinks he will soon have to consider catching them. It is oppressively hot, but Pi takes comfort in the increased production of the solar stills. Pi is completing his first week as a castaway.
Pi refers to the solar stills as ďsea cows.Ē The marine mammal sea cow has supposedly been mistaken for a mermaid by shipwrecked sailors, and has also been hunted as food. In Piís situation, the productive solar stills are as satisfying as sighting a woman or eating meat might have been for sailors. Also, cows are sacred to Hindus and are not to be slaughtered. They are symbols of the sanctity of life. The solar stills are certainly life-giving to Pi and Richard Parker.
Pi, the whistle-blowing provider of food and water, is becoming successful at establishing himself as the super-alpha animal. Once again, his zoo background will work in conjunction with his faith to provide for Piís survival. Martel does not write that it has been one week since the shipwreck; rather he writes that is a ďweek since the Tsimtsum had sunk,Ē reminding the reader that it was not just a shipwreck, but a cosmic tsimtsum for Pi.
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Cassie, Donna L.. "TheBestNotes on Life of Pi".
. 09 May 2017