Free Study Guide for Life of Pi by Yann Martel Book Summary|
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Orange is the color of survival. The whistles, life jacket, lifebuoy, tarpaulin, and Richard Parker are orange. It is also the color of the second Hindu chakra. (See Chapter 40 Notes)
The animals in Pi’s lifeboat symbolize human traits and may also represent people. hyena - French cook, cowardliness orangutan - Pi’s mother, maternal instincts zebra - Chinese sailor, exoticism tiger - Pi, animal nature meerkats - mirage, meekness
The lifeboat ordeal is a metaphor for the human condition. We aspire to higher things (religion, justice, salvation), but we are entrenched in our own basic animal needs. These aspirations and needs are brought together in the lifeboat. If the aspirations are grand, the journey will be perilous.
The motif of the reconciliation of science and religion as equal ways to understand the world stems from the concept of pi - using the irrational to explain the rational. Throughout the book science and religion, two seemingly opposite areas of study, intermingle and complement each other. The two Kumars represent these concepts, and even they come together to marvel at the zebras in the zoo. Next, Pi’s knowledge of science and his faith combine to effect his survival. And the adult Pi ends up with degrees in both zoology and religious studies.
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Cassie, Donna L.. "TheBestNotes on Life of Pi".
. 09 May 2017