Free Study Guide for Life of Pi by Yann Martel Book Summary|
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Pi makes a point of specifically including prayer in his daily routine. His will to live is rooted in his faith. Richard Parker may represent faith or God here because it is the tiger that inspires Pi to go on living. The dates and duration of Pi’s ordeal may also be significant. The family left India on June 21 st , the summer solstice which is a pagan holiday. The day the ship sank, July 2 nd , is the exact middle of the year (and the same day Amelia Earhart was lost in the Pacific). Pi’s landfall, February 14 th is a Christian holiday honoring Saint Valentine, a day to celebrate love. And 227 days might be interpreted as 22/7 which closely approximates the value of pi, though as Pi explains, the days (like pi) cannot be divided exactly.
Pi’s clothes are gone and his skin is badly damaged by the elements. He tries to understand the navigation information in the survival manual but, having no seafaring training, cannot. He has experienced spiritual guidance from the stars, but cannot glean geographic guidance. So Pi drifts, trying to control his life, but unable to control his direction. He is traveling the Pacific equatorial counter-current.
Pi is drifting, not only along with a current, but “down the road of life.” Though he cannot control where he is, he pays close attention to his surroundings with the understanding that each of his actions has consequences, possibly fatal ones.
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Cassie, Donna L.. "TheBestNotes on Life of Pi".
. 09 May 2017