Immobilized by weakness, Pi realizes he has not eaten, drunk or slept for three days. Seeing his hopeless situation and incapacity to defeat a tiger, Pi ironically perks up and decides to search for fresh water. Since Richard Parker is the threat now, Pi is no longer afraid of the hyena, and proposes that the hyena might sense this, perceiving Pi as the super alpha. The presence of the tiger helps Pi understand the prior unusual behavior of the animals, but he has no basis for Richard Parker's unusual inactivity. He guesses that the tiger is either sedated from before the shipwreck, or seasick. Pi continues to explore the lifeboat for water.


Pi is finally taking action toward his own survival. Ironically, this comes only after realizing that he has virtually no chance of survival.

CHAPTERS 50, 51, 52


Pi gives a detailed accounting of the size, shape, and capacity of the lifeboat, paying attention to the amount of space Richard Parker has under the tarpaulin. He confirms orange, such a nice Hindu color, as the color of survival. There are five oars, but Pi does not have the strength to row the substantial boat.

Finding no containers and driven by thirst, Pi unhooks part of the tarpaulin, exposing Richard Parker's hideaway. He is spooked by an orange life jacket, thinking it is Richard Parker, but discovers there are several life jackets aboard. Behind the jackets lay Richard Parker. God preserve me! Pi finds a compartment in the forward bench and eases it open so that the lid blocks off the space that is open to the tigers den. The locker is full of survival supplies, including cans of water. Too frazzled to find a can opener, Pi smashes a hole in the can and feasts on the water. He repeats this again and again drinking four cans of water. His entire body revels in the experience. His thirst quenched, he is now aware of his hunger. There are biscuits in the survival locker. Being vegetarian, Pi balks at first at the animal fat in them, but knows his situation is an extenuating circumstance. He eats more than the daily allotment and he is rejuvenated. He takes inventory of the contents of the locker and calculates that he has enough food for 93 days and enough water for 124 days. Each item he finds brings grateful pleasure.

Pi makes a list of all that he has, including the food, water, ropes, rain catchers, notebook, etc. from the locker, plus one boy, one hyena, one tiger, one lifeboat, one ocean, and one God. He sleeps soundly.


Pi has an incentive to live. He has discovered the survival supplies, and rediscovered his faith. He calls out to God and makes sure to include God on the list of what he has. There will be surges and lulls in his reliance on God throughout his tribulations.

Cite this page:

Clapsaddle, Diane. "TheBestNotes on A Long Way Gone". TheBestNotes.com.