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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 79


Summary

Several species of sharks frequently come near the lifeboat. Their grace and deep colors are a pleasant distraction for Pi. He catches a mako by the base of the tail and the shark leaps into Richard Parkerís end of the boat. The tiger attacks it. Pi watches Richard Parkerís frightening display of power. However, the tiger has no experience with sharks and steps into the makoís mouth. The shark clamps down on Richard Parkerís paw. Richard Parker roars with such fierceness that Pi collapses. The tiger slashes at the shark with his three free paws. Pi regains himself and retreats to the raft. There is terrible snarling and rocking of the lifeboat. Finally, Richard Parker sits up having defeated the shark. Pi is able to gaff bits of the shark meat for himself. He learns to go for smaller sharks and stabs them through the eyes for a fast kill.

Notes

Pi describes the animal battle with a zoological detachedness. He seems to have lost his compassion. Except for being frightened by Richard Parkerís tremendous roar, there is no emotion. Pi even approaches the matter of eating meat and killing sharks in a cold, matter-of-fact way.


CHAPTER 80


Summary

There is another school of airborne flying fish. Pi ducks behind a turtle shell while Richard Parker swats at and eats the fish. A dorado pursuing the flying fish crashes into the lifeboat and is stunned. Pi retrieves it from the water and praises Jesus-Matsya. The large fish catches Richard Parkerís attention. Reluctant to give up his prize, Pi defiantly stares down the tiger. Eventually, Richard Parker submits and returns to the flying fish. To his amazement, Pi is truly the master here. This gives Pi the confidence to spend more time aboard the lifeboat.

Notes

Jesus-Matsya is Piís own combination deity. Jesus is the name of the Christian Christ who sacrifices himself for mankind, and Matsya is Vishnu in the form of a fish from the story of the Great Flood. So the fish sacrifices itself for Piís salvation. Pi demonstrates here how hunger can make someone foolhardy enough to challenge a tiger, yet he is strong enough in spirit to defeat Richard Parker.



CHAPTER 81


Summary

Pi reflects on the incredibility of his survival. He attributes his success partially to the fact that Richard Parker is a zoo animal and is without any natural sources of food and water. Pi is the supplier. He describes his relationship with the tiger as ďpure and miraculous.Ē The concrete proof that Pi is able to survive is the fact that it is he who narrates this story.

Notes

Since the story is indeed incredible, Martel interjects reasonable proof here. In Part One, the author provided background to reinforce reality. In Part Two it is Pi reassuring the reader that his ordeal is true.


CHAPTER 82


Summary

Obtaining and protecting fresh water is Piís obsession. He stores what he can carefully, mixes some salt water in to Richard Parkerís ration, and drinks of the rain when he can. Yet there is never enough to drink. Food is also scarce, especially since Richard Parker gets the bulk of whatever Pi catches. Pi eats whatever he gets his hands on quickly, partly out of starvation and partly to get his share before Richard Parker gets it. He feels that he has sunken to the level of an animal.

Notes

As Piís condition weakens he is concerned only with basic survival. There isnít a glimmer of the deep concern he once had for other living things.


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Life of Pi Study Guide Free BookNotes Plot Summary

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