Life Of Pi Seminar

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Language Arts
Reading Comprehension

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Life Of Pi Seminar

What We Can Learn from Pi and Richard Parker's Relationship



Our Thesis



Discussion Questions1. Do you think the author gave Richard Parker a human name on purpose? And if so, why?2. In what other ways do you think animals and humans are the same? 3. In Pi’s first story, certain people are portrayed as one other character (e.g Pi’s mother as an orangutan and the Taiwanese sailor as a zebra), while Pi is portrayed as two characters (as himself and as a tiger). Why do you think Pi portrayed himself as two characters instead of just one? 4. If the author Yann Martel had decided to put Pi alone in the lifeboat with a another animal (e.g. Orange Juice, the Zebra, Hyena etc.) rather than Richard Parker (a Bengal Tiger) do you think their relationship and communication would have varied?

Anyone can co-exist with others of the same or different species over time through mutual understanding and shared experiences because they are all essentially the same when it comes down to instincts and emotions.

Why There's Humanity In Everyone1. Pi notices human traits in animals throughout the book.2. Both Pi and Richard Parker go to great lengths to stay alive, which shows that they aren’t very different.3. Even when Pi was at his at his most savage, he still felt sympathy for the dying zebra, and for the fish/other marine life that he was killing for food. 4. Richard Parker, despite being a 450-pound tiger, still manages to be afraid of Pi. 5. Pi is easily able to imagine himself as an animal.

References to the Novel 1. "Many a time during that month in Brazil, looking up at the sloths in repose, I felt I was in the presence of upside-down yogis deep in meditation.” (Martel 5)2. “‘What are you doing Richard Parker? Don’t you love life? Keep on swimming then!’....He stirred in the water and made to swim.” (Martel 108)3. "I felt intense hatred for the hyena. I thought of doing something to kill it. I have not forgotten that poor zebra and what it went through. Not a prayer goes by that I don’t think of it.” (Martel 133)4. “For two, perhaps three seconds, a terrific battle of minds for status and authority was waged between boy and a tiger.” (Martel 274) 5. “So the Taiwanese sailor is the zebra, his mother is the orangutan, the cook is the hyena- which means he’s the tiger.” (Martel 346)

By Benita Jude, Kristen Lee, and Kebrrsion Shanmuganandam


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