Life Of Pi Book Review: Story About Life-Changing Experience

Categories: Life of Pi

What would you do at age of 16 if your lifestyle was shaken suddenly like the intensity of an earthquake? In the Life of Pi, Piscine Molitor Patel, a 16 year old Indian boy from Pondicherry experienced two hundred twenty-seven days lost at sea. Undoubtedly this would have a life-changing impact on some of his beliefs and habits. Piscine Molitor Patel, soon renamed Pi, was stranded on a lifeboat at sea after the shipwreck of the Tsimtsum in the Pacific, leaving him the only survivor in his family.

It is in this difficult place, Pi gets the opportunity to question his morals and change his point of view on issues he once held dearly. On the lifeboat, Pi modified three belief that he first learned in India: tigers were fierce, dangerous carnivores, consuming animals were immoral, and that he could be an omnists.

Pi was taught early on about how tiger were ferocious, dangerous and he should stay away. Santosh Patel once said, “I want you to understand that you are never- under any circumstances to touch a tiger,.

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.. to get close to a cage.” (Martel 34) One example of this lesson, which was taught by example, is when his father threw a goat into a hungry tiger’s cage. This was a very memorable moment for Pi and it demonstrated to him how ruthless and furious animals can be. In India Pi stated how he believed how zoo animals would only be defensive and kill if you’re invading their territory. On the lifeboat he changes his point of view and learns that you can coexist with the bengal tiger.

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After the lesson of the goat and tiger, Pi soon gets another perspective on it. He adjusted how he saw animals. For example, when Pi decided to split the boat by Richard Parker’s side and his side. This showed how he adapted to having a tiger on the boat. Pi learns to feed Richard Parker and overall take care of his well-being when he fishes for Richard Parker. In actually becomes responsible for his food and water. Pi not only showed he could coexist, but he begins to view Richard Parker much like a family member.

An example of this occurs when he and Richard P. were stationed on the algae island and every night Pi would wait for Richard P. like a concerned parent, knowing that he would arrive at the boat. In the second section of Life of Pi, Pi comes to sleep on the boat with Roger Parker- as if to disregard the unique lesson his father had instilled in him while in India. The last reason is when Pi made the decision to save Richard Parker on the lifeboat. He saved Mr. Parker's life as he pulled Richard P. up into the lifeboat. As you can see Pi learns that you can coexist with a tiger despite how dangerous and ruthless they might seem. In Pi’s early life in India he believed that being a coniore was horrible. As stated before, Pi’s father demonstrated a shocking ‘truth’ about animals (especially tigers). Pi’s father put a goat into a tigers den.

The tiger was not fed for two days and was becoming seeming unhenged. That was the upbring of being vegetarian. Pi was disgusted when he watch the tiger eat the goat. “Animals are my friends and I don’t eat my friends.” (George Bernard Shaw). Pi sounds a like like George S. doesn’t he? That is mostly because Pi has referred to animals as his “extended family.” What Pi and George had in common is that they both seem to dislike the idea of eating animals and refused to eat them. Pi finds animals close to him from growing up in his father's zoo. He knew how they like to lived and what they disliked. He knew what there was to know about animals at the zoo. Pi learns how to adapt to ways in order to survive, even if that means to go against what he thought was right. Pi sadly ends up abandoning his life style of vegetarianism when he first eats his first supply of biscuits on the boat. The biscuits contained ingredientes with animal in it. Starved and hungry, he gave in and ate raw fish, turtles and meerkats.

Knowing how wrong it felt, he compromised his belief. This is just one scenario that shows that Pi changed on the boat. On another occasion, he went as far as to eat and kill a dorado in his own hands. It seems in order to survive, Pi also tried to eat human flesh. This was the flesh of the blind Frenchmen which Mr. Parker devoured by surprise. Pi, as you have seen, did many thing to contradict his own belief on vegetarianism. As a teen in India, Pi has knowledge of Hindu, Muslim and Christianity and in spite of his spiritual advisors telling him to choose one to practice, he decides to embraced all at the same time. Since he grew up in India, Pi embraced Hinduism and said, “I feel at home in a Hindu temple.”(Martel chapter 8 ) He meets a Priest, name Father Martin who tell him the story of Jesus.

After hearing about Jesus, Pi decides he wants to be a Christian in addition to a Hindu. Finally, he gets involved with a Muslim who teaches him about Islam. He likes the praying in the Mosque and ask his parents to buy him a rug to pray on. Pi felt honored and cheerful to have something of that faith that was now his own. On the lifeboat Pi changes spiritually. It is not three religions, but Christianity alone he embraces in the end. He chooses the one that has love as its foundation. It was in solitude on a lifeboat that caused him to trade his knowledge of Hindu, Christianity, and Muslim religions to belief in one God. Pi no longer had head knowledge about God, he had belief in God. The experience on a lifeboat for 227 developed his personal spiritual growth. It was Pi’s extreme circumstances forces him to made life-death decisions for himself.

There was no one available who could make them for for him. This is important because you will have to make many choices in life. Sometimes others can strongly influence your decisions, as Mr. Kumar and Mr. Kumar inspire Pi to study science and religious studies, but there are some choices you alone must make. It is your own personal journey that will enable you to know rather believe. As stated before on the lifeboat, Pi modified three belief that he first learned in India: tigers were fierce, dangerous carnivores, consuming animals were immoral, and learns the focus of his religion. As you can see there were many times that Pi’s actions have went against his beliefs enough to change them completely. There were no landmarks of encouragement to keep a sixteen year-old boy left alone on lifeboat in the Pacific ocean alive, except a 450 pound Bengal tiger, named Richard Parker. Pi learns how to survive the only way he could, by changing or modifying some of his early beliefs.

Updated: Feb 27, 2024
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Life Of Pi Book Review: Story About Life-Changing Experience. (2024, Feb 27). Retrieved from

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