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

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CHAPTER SUMMARIES AND NOTES


CHAPTERS 27 - 28


Summary

Pi parents discuss their son’s religious issues, contrasting India’s political progress under “Mrs. Gandhi” (Indira Gandhi) with Pi’s spiritual progress. They conclude that this phase of Pi’s life will pass, just as Mrs. Gandhi and her “foolishness” will pass. They give in to Pi’s requests.

Pi is delighted with his prayer rug. He prays outside in the yard where he can drink in the beauty of Creation. His parents and Ravi watch him, perhaps confused, perhaps embarrassed. He is equally thrilled with his baptism, though the support of his parents comes awkwardly and Ravi continues to tease.

Notes

Pi’s faith and seemingly discrepant beliefs are completely out in the open now. He has taken on the external trappings of religion as well as the convictions. His family has accepted it. Though he no way expresses it, this is a victory of sorts for Pi, and an affirmation of the themes of the novel.


CHAPTER 29


Summary

Pi understands the problems going on in India but is unconcerned because his immediate world, the zoo and God, is not troubled. His father, however, is deeply concerned by Mrs. Gandhi’s autocratic takeover and the effect the governmental infringements on freedom will have on his zoo business. With the diminished possibility of continued success in India, Father decides to move the family to Canada. To Pi and Ravi, the destination seems incomprehensibly far away.

Notes

During the mid-1970’s there were food shortages, high inflation, and political corruption in India. Indira Gandhi “solved” the problems by imprisoning her political enemies, censoring the press, and abrogating constitutional rights. Irreparable harm was done to the Indian democracy. These are the events that troubled Pi’s father so, and the basis for his decision to emigrate.


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