Free Study Guide for Life of Pi by Yann Martel Book Summary|
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Pi describes the rich variations in the clouds, color, light, and rainfall of the sky. Then he describes the many sounds of the sea. Between the two are the winds, the moons, and all of the nights Pi spends drifting. He is living in an unchanging geometry of circles. The vista around him as far as he can see forms a circle. The sun is a loud, disturbing circle from which he wants to hide. The moon is a silent circle, tauntingly reminding Pi of his solitude. He wonders if there might be another “also trapped by geometry, also struggling with fear, rage, madness, hopelessness, apathy.”
There are opposing feelings associated with every circumstance. The sun is scorching and painful, yet it cures the strips of fish Pi hangs, and powers his solar stills. Night is relief from the blinding heat of day, but it is cold and frightening. When hot and dry he wishes to be wet. When it rains he nearly drowns. When he catches food he must gorge himself before it spoils. The rest of the time he starves. The hardest to cope with are the opposite, yet sometimes simultaneous feelings of boredom and terror. Thoughts of death are the only constants, and happiness comes from tiny, pathetic triumphs like finding a tiny dead fish.
There is irony in a boy named Pi describing circles, and like the mathematical pi, his journey is inexact and endless. He has no way of knowing if is he is getting anywhere or just going in circles. Even his spirit is cycling between hopefulness and despair. His musings about the possibility of another in his predicament foreshadows an actual meeting.
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. 09 May 2017