Summary Piscine Molitor Patel – Protagonist in the story, also the narrator - also known as Pi Ravi Patel – Pi’s older brother by three years Santosh Patel – Pi’s father, owns a zoo in Pondicherry, India Gita Patel – Pi’s Mother Satish Kumar – Pi’s biology teacher in Pondicherry Father Martin – A catholic priest that introduces Pi to the catholic faith Satish Kumar – A Muslim mystic that shares the same name with Pi’s biology teacher Hindu Pandit – A man whom is never named, he becomes very angry at Pi for practicing religions other than his own Pi Patel, a Hindu boy from Pondicherry, India, narrates this novel.
The novel begins with Pi going into great depth about the life of a sloth, which reminds him of a god. Pi explains how he got his name – from a swimming pool. This leads into Pi’s life story, which begins with his fond memories of his father’s zoo in India. Following this is a memory of a trip he took with his family, where he meets a catholic priest who introduces him to Catholicism. Later on this trip, Pi meets a Muslim mystic who introduces Pi to the Muslim faith.
Pi is deeply intrigued with other religions and their practices, but his curiosity crushed when a Hindu Pandit informs Pi’s parents that he is practicing other religions than his own. Significant Quotes “I know zoos are no longer in people’s good graces. Religion faces the same problem. Certain illusions about freedom plague them both. ” Page 21 This quote shows how closely related Pi sees animals and religion.
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People misunderstand the life of animals in the wild; they do not understand that life in captivity at a zoo might very well be a better life for an animal – just as people misunderstand what it means for someone to be free of a religion. Religion can take away the harshness of reality, just as the walls of a zoo enclosure can show one reality, but not the one beyond the walls. Pi is trying to show how religion can make a life simpler and more enjoyable. “I can well imagine an atheist’s last words: “White, white! L-L-Love! My God! ”—and the deathbed leap of faith.
Whereas the agnostic, if he stays true to his reasonable self, if he stays beholden to dry, yeastless factuality, might try to explain the warm light bathing him by saying, “Possibly a f-f-failing oxygenation of the b-b-brain,” and, to the very end, lack imagination n and miss the better story. ” Page 70 This quote illustrates how closely religion is linked to creativity and imagination. How an atheist believes in the nonexistence of god, still believes in something and has the capacity to change their beliefs, where as an agnostics are uncertain, with no beliefs and therefore lacking imagination to devise a guide for their life.
Without stories of beliefs in our lives -like in an agnostics life – life is ‘dry ‘ and ‘yeastless’ or flat and dull. “I couldn’t get Him out of my head. Still can’t. I spent three solid days thinking about Him. The more He bothered me, the less I could forget Him. And the more I learned about Him, the less I wanted to leave Him. ” Page 63 This quote shows the depth of Pi’s faith at such a young age. He seeks God not only through his own religion, but also in religions that he adopts throughout his journeys. Pi’s goal is to love God – innocent but extremely powerful.
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