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Life of Pi, Essential Revision Notes

© 2016.

All revision notes have been produced by mockness ltd for

Table of Contents

Context 5

Summary 7

Characters 9

Piscine Molitor Patel (Pi) 9

Richard Parker 10

The Author 10

Francis Adirubasamy 11

Ravi 11

Santosh Patel 11

Gita Patel 11

Satish Kumar 11

Father Martin 11

Satish Kumar 11

The Hindu Pandit 11

Meena Patel 11

Nikhil Patel (Nick) 11

Usha Patel 12

The Hyena 12

The Zebra 12

Orange Juice 12

The Blind Frenchman 12

Tomohiro Okamoto 12

Atsuro Chiba 12

The Cook 12

The Sailor 12

Themes, Motifs, and Symbols 13

Themes 13

The Will to Live 13

The Importance of Storytelling 13

The Nature of Religious Belief 13

Motifs 14

Territorial Dominance 14

Hunger and Thirst 14

Ritual 15

Symbols 15

Pi 15

The Colour Orange 15

Important Quotations Explained 16

1. 16

2. 16

3. 17

4. 17

5. 18

Sample Answers 19

How does the idea of survival play out in this text? 19

What does Pi try to communicate through his choice of the animals, other than the tiger, with whom he shares the lifeboat? 20

Discuss the importance of believability in this novel. 21

Life of Pi: A Critical Reading 22


Yann Martel was born on June 25, 1963, in Salamanca, Spain, to Canadian parents. When Martel was a young boy, his parents joined the Canadian Foreign Services, and the family moved frequently, living in Alaska, France, Costa Rica, Ontario, and British Columbia. Martel went on to study philosophy at Trent University in Ontario, where he discovered a love for writing. After graduating in 1985, Martel lived with his parents and worked a number of odd jobs while continuing to write fiction. He published a collection of short stories, The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios, in 1993 and a novel, Self, in 1996, but neither book received much critical or commercial attention. In 2002, however, Martel’s international literary reputation was sealed with the publication of Life of Pi, a runaway bestseller that went on to win the prestigious Man Booker Prize (awarded each year to the best English-language novel written by a Commonwealt...

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