It is a novel by Yann Martel about the life of a boy named Pi who encountered a horrible event when a boat sinks and is left stranded on a boat with some company. Now let us take you through the plot overview.
Here Is a Brief Synopsis of the Story
The novel begins with a note from the author from a character by the name Yann. He shares that the novel he previously wrote got poor ratings and this made him lose interest in starting another one. Martel results in seeking his muse in India, where he comes across an old man who points him to the direction of Piscine.
Piscine is a zoo keeper’s son who grows up in Pondicherry, located in India. Piscine undergoes much trouble as a young boy since on account of his name, which shares a close pronunciation with “pissing.” He even has to change schools. Piscine utilizes this opportunity to change his name ‘Pi’ after the mathematics symbol and declares his name to the public. With the change, Pi gets to enjoy the rest of his childhood without being mocked. He makes friends, visits the zoo and even has a good life with his family.
Pi is a very intelligent and highly religious child and succeeds in studying the native religion which was Hinduism. He goes on to explore two extra major religions of Christianity and Islam while his kin vacationed in the city Munnar. Pi soon becomes devoted to both religions by the help of Satish, a Muslim and a priest named Kumar. When he grew up, Pi would practice all three faiths and would become a unique figure in religion.
The end of his life in India comes when his father sells their zoo and the family moves to Canada. The family sails a Japanese ship named Tsimtsum with a variety of zoo animals that were headed to be sold to the zoos in North America. The boat sinks and takes Pi’s family from him. Pi survives by making his way into a lifeboat with a new set of companions: A hyena, a zebra with its leg broken, one orangutang and a tiger that went by the name Richard Parker.
Pi does not see the tiger at first, and so he is only afraid of the hyena. He uses the knowledge he acquired from his father to survive the destructive advances of the hyena. However, he also watches in horror as the hyena kills the zebra and eats it and then the orangutang. He realizes that he would be the next victim of the hyena. Soon he has no option but to surrender to the hyena. Before the hyena can devour him, the tiger announces his presence by killing the hyena easily thereby saving the life of Pi.
Pi manages to survive in the Pacific with Richard Parker on board for 227 days. He encounters many challenges such as being seasick, violent storms, starving and the relentless sun, thirst, the salt water, loneliness, and hopelessness. He was also in the process of grieving his family. The Bengal tiger also displayed aggression towards pi which did not help the situation. Pi, who was a vegetarian, found himself having to eat raw fish and turtles for survival. Pi, the scared young boy, manages to tame the tiger. He maintains his devotion to his religions and finds his strength in God. He even surprises himself with his will to live and his ways of overcoming all the obstacles. He further goes through challenging encounters. First, he discovers a carnivorous algae species after which he becomes blind temporarily. He then comes across a Frenchman survivor, who had also gone blind. The man attacks him to eat him. Pi is saved by the tiger, which eats the Frenchman.
The novel finalizes with Pi in an interview with some investigators. He tells them the story since they wanted to know what caused the boat Tsimtsum to sink. Pi tells the survival tale where he survived for 227 days with the tiger and about the Frenchman. They do not believe him and demand the truth.
Pi then gives them an alternative version. First, the boat had four survivors. The boy Pi, Pi’s mother, a French chef from the boat and finally a Japanese sailor who had a broken leg. The Frenchman amputates the leg to use for bait. The sailor dies, and the chef butchers him and eats some. This event horrified Pi and Pi’s mother such that she attacked the Frenchman for some days. The chef kills Pi’s mother while he watched. Then the chef was consumed with much grief for killing Pi’s mother such that he allowed Pi to take his life as revenge.