Life of Pi Literacy Circle Activity

By Rodrigo, Igor and Dave

Job #1 - Character Commandment

Detail about the main character? The main character from chapters 1 to 9 is Pi and the first textual citation containing information about Pi is on chapter 1 page 3 when he said “My majors were religious studies and zoology.” From this citation we get to know details about the main character which are his interests as a kid that he's now using later in life and as you read on we find out that he got his love for animals from his dad’s zoo also that he had fights with his teacher about religion.


What are they doing? From chapter 1 to 9 Pi is narrating backstory of his life in India. He goes on to tell stories that had effected his life, like the lesson his father taught him about how dangerous tigers are by showing him and his brother a tiger killing a goat on chapter 8 page 44 “I heard two things at that moment: Father saying never forget this lesson as he looked grimly and the beating of the goat.” This citation is just one of the many backstories told threw chapter 1 to 9 and summarizes what Pi is doing.


Are they facing any problem or conflict? from chapter 1 to 9 a problem Pi had but shortly fixed was with his real name. This problem was that a lot of people were making fun of his name and were calling him pissing due to the similar sound of his real name so in chapter five in his new school the teacher told everyone to write their name on the chalk board and Pi did this page 28 “I double underlined the first two letters of my given name—Pi patel and for good measure I added pie equals 3.14.”


How is the main character interacting with the setting of the story? In chapter 4 Pi start to talk about how great the zoo was he even goes as far to call it a paradise as Pi brags about all the cool and interesting animals you see page16 “You see a low wall. What can you expect beyond a low wall? Certainly not a shallow pit with two mighty Indian rhinoceros.” But as Pi in love with the zoo his Father not so much as Pi says in page17 “The zoo was the source for many headaches.”

Are they experiencing hard ship or good fortune? I think from this section of the book Pi experiencing mostly good fortune due to the fact that everything he's talking about in this section is what he enjoys like animals his family and also his birth place India and more. But he also experience some hard ship in this section of the book with kids picking on him before because of his name.

Job #2 - Mood Maven

1. Pg. 42 – “I would like to say in my own defence that though I may have anthropomorphized the animals till they spoke fluent English, the pheasants complaining in uppity British accents of their tea being cold and the baboons planning their bank robbery getaway in the flat, menacing voices of American gangsters, the fancy was always conscious.”

As we can see from this reading, the author enjoys to give examples to his explanations and also likes to play around with the imagery of the setting. The writer appears to be trying to paint a clear picture in our heads of the situation and of the characters involved.

2. Pg. 23 – “Think about it yourself. Would you rather be put up at the Ritz with free room service and unlimited access to a doctor or be homeless without a should to care for you?”

The author in this passage tries to make us understand what it is like to be in a zoo by relating the issue to us. The author makes issue as relatable as he can to make us truly understand his point and his perspective.

3. Pg. 20 – “If a man, boldest and most intelligent of creatures, wont wander from place to place, a stranger to all, beholden to none, why would an animal which is by temperament far more conservative?”

Again we see how the author likes to compare the animal’s views and perspective to a human.

We see how the author is trying to explain that animals and humans are really not as intrinsically different as we think they are, by once again bringing up an issue that concerns animals and humans.

4. Pg. 11 – “When he felt I had progressed sufficiently, we turned our backs on the laughing and the shouting, the running and the splashing, the blue-green waves and the bubbly surf, ad headed for the proper rectangularity and the formal flatness (and the paying admission) of the ashram swimming pool.”

In the section, we see how the author uses personifications and tends to give human like characteristics and qualities to non-living things. The reason being is for us to better understand the feeling and the mood of the setting in the section.

Job #3 - Insightful Reader

(1) “I know zoos are no longer in people’s good graces. Religion faces the same problem. Certain illusions about freedom plague them both.” (Chapter 4, page 24).

This quote is important because he compares how the way people views against zoos are comparable to how people in religion are blinded by an easier version of life rather fully understand what living means for. Pi expresses that he follows religion, the same way as safety of a zoo because it makes life easier rather than stressed.

(2-3) “Darkness? I was puzzled. I thought, Darkness is the last thing that religion is. Religion is light. Was he testing me?”, “Where is God? Where is God? God never came. It wasn’t God who saved me- it was medicine.” (Chapter 7, page 34-35).

These quotes are a major turning point in his religious values because he starts questioning whether religion is “light” or “darkness”. He had always assumed “Religion is light” but when Mr. Kumar said that “Religion is darkness” he hesitates whether it was true or not. When he was young, he started question whether God would be there to save him but it was medicine that saved him and this is showing that he is slowly realizing that god is just a figure. This is the beginning of his lack of faith.

(4) “If Christ played with doubt, so must we. If Christ spent an anguished night in prayer, if He burst out from the Cross, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" then surely we are also permitted to doubt. But we must move on. To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation” (Chapter 7, page 36)

This quote is important because Pi’s belief both include science and religion, he values both of their principles. To Pi doubting whether something in religion is true or false is a given right to everyone. If we do not doubt something that is told rather than is actually experienced by the person, it is the same as “choosing immobility as a means of transportation”, which would make it a dumb choice.

(5) “We say in the trade that the most dangerous animal in a zoo is man. In a general way we mean how our species' excessive predatoriness has made the entire planet our prey.” (Chapter 8, page 36)

This quote is important because Pi is understanding the impact humans have on the planet. He understands that as humans, we have a huge amount of power and we abuse it preying on the lower species. And this desire of power is what is corrupting us.
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