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

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CHAPTER SUMMARIES AND NOTES


CHAPTER 63


Summary

Pi lists the survival records of other famous castaways. Not one comes close to his 227 days at sea. He attributes his survival to his “busy” schedule which includes frequent daily prayers. The heat of the sun and the rocking of the sea help keep Richard Parker at bay when he wavers from his feeding routine. Having the tiger as a diversion and a companion also helps keep Pi “busy.” Pi tells the dates that begin and end his story, but is not aware of the dates or the specifics of time during his days at sea. He explains that he remembers specific occurrences and sensations, but not necessarily in order.

Notes


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.


CHAPTERS 64 -65


Summary

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.

Notes

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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