English 2 Honors
1. Main Characters
Piscine Molitor “Pi” Patel
a. Pi was an Indian boy from Pondicherry, who now resides in Canada with a family of his own. Pi’s love for animals was due to the influence of his father owning a zoo and always being around the animals his father kept. Coming from an Indian family, Pi grew up to be quite a religious Hindu child. He was said to be intelligent, bright, and views the world through the eyes of religion.
b. Reading the book, I came to realize that Pi was an incredibly religious person. He found God in three religions and ended up becoming a Hindu, Christian, and a Muslim—he turns to God when he is at his most desperate moment and tries to keep a positive outlook. When he was faced by a pandit, an imam, and a priest, he didn’t see what was wrong with the fact he was involved with three religions—he only wanted to love God. He is faced with many challenges in regard to religion when people tell him that he can only practice one and when he was on the lifeboat. Pi constantly uses religion as his refuge and solace and even more so when he was stuck on the lifeboat with only a Bengal tiger as his companion.
c. In the beginning of the book, Pi thought as a child. He focused on the small things like his name sounding like Pissing, but at the same time, he was also very wise. He thought about religion and life, while another child would think about sports or friends; in ways, he was wise beyond his years. As the story developed, Pi grew up sooner than expected because of the loss of his family and having to survive on his own. He matured and managed to adapt due to the circumstances of being alone and fending for himself in the open sea.
a. Richard Parker was a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger who was Pi’s companion in the 227 days they were stuck on the lifeboat. As a cub, he was captured by a man named Richard Parker. Richard Parker’s name was supposed to be Thirsty, but due to an error a shipping clerk made, the names were switched. Since he was a cub in the Pondicherry Zoo, the name they had used for him has always been Richard Parker.
b. As I read the book, I realized that Richard Parker is a very dominant animal because he is a tiger and they are usually the predators, but since he has always been in captivity since he was a cub, he was easier to train as compared to other tigers. During his and Pi’s time in the lifeboat, Richard Parker developed an omega-alpha relationship with Pi—Richard Parker grew to respect Pi as Pi takes care of him and their needs. As the story progressed, Richard Parker also helped Pi realize that if he wanted to survive, he would have to learn that he has to grow up and take things into his own hands.
c. In the beginning of the book, Richard Parker was a character that was sort of quiet and just kept to himself. He just ate the food Pi gave to him and then went to his territory and just stayed there, taking naps. But the more I read, the more I realized how much Richard Parker cared about Pi and respected him; Richard Parker saved Pi’s life when the blind Frenchman tried to eat Pi due to his hunger—he ended up eating the blind Frenchman.
2. Minor Characters
a. The Author is an anonymous character, who narrates the story in Part One and at several parts of the story. Francis Adirubasa, or Mamaji as Pi refers to him, was the elderly man who told the Author about Pi and his story. There isn’t much to know about the Author, but he was the person who shared Pi’s story. He said that he wrote the book when he was hungry since he had no success with his first book, in which no one paid attention to.
b. The Author never interacted with Richard Parker, but he did interact with Pi. He visited Pi in his house and met his family. He talked to him several times, asking questions about what had happened in his time in the lifeboat, trying to survive on his own and to tell the story in his point of view.