Tracing Narrative Threads
1) Father’s admonitions to stay away from the tiger in the zoo.
During this part of the novel, Pi’s father is teaching him a lesson by letting a tiger brutally kill a goat right in front of him. He is trying to teach Pi to not go near an animal such as tigers because they are incredibly dangerous. I believe this thread represents the foreshadowing of what is to come for Pi.
When Pi and Ravi’s father was telling them about staying away from tigers he said “Tigers are very dangerous. I want you to understand that you are never—under any circumstances—to touch a tiger, to pet a tiger, to put your hands through the bars of a cage, even to get close to a cage. Is that clear?” (37) This evidence indicates that tigers are extremely dangerous and any contact with them can cause serious injury. This thread develops and changes throughout the novel because later on Pi is stuck on a lifeboat with a tiger and doesn’t really have a choice ...view middle of the document...
14. The number of pi is theoretically a never ending number, although is shortened because a human mind would never be able to remember all the decimal points. This relates to who Pi really is because some things in life are too troubling to accept and learn just as some things in Pi’s life. Pi is having a hard time accepting the death of his family, he keeps seeing his mother on the boat with him. The name Pi is also symbolic because as Pi stated: “I was named after a swimming pool” (8) The word “Piscine” in French translate to ‘swimming pool’ in English. The significance of his name is because he spends 227 days in a huge swimming pool (the ocean) fighting for his life.
The thread develops during the novel because as the novel goes on and he’s stuck on the lifeboat, Pi starts to question who Pi really is. When he starts questioning who he is, he finds it hard to learn who he truly wants to be. The message the author is trying to get across is be true to yourself.
3) Young Pi’s dedication to three religions
As explained in the book, Pi follows three different religions; Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity. Pi is extremely interested in all three religions and tries to find himself through religion. Although, he does not understand why he can’t follow all three religions. “But he can’t be a Hindu, a Christian and a Muslim. It’s impossible. He must choose.” (76) This thread represents that he dedicates himself to the things he believes in and will fight for what he believes in. Even when his family disagreed with his decision of following all three religions, he still fought for what he believed.
This thread develops during the novel because while he is on the lifeboat Pi starts questioning who truly he is and wants to be. The young boy who was once dedicated to vegetarianism, which was rooted in his religion, must make a life changing decision. Pi must make the decision to either stay dedicated to himself and his religion of Islam, or go hunting for fish to survive. While at sea, he is forced to hunt for food, he kills fish and feeds Richard Parker and himself. Even thought killing the fish is emotionally draining for Pi, he has to break his religions rule to survive.
Martel, Yann. Life of Pi. Toronto: Random House, 2001. Print.