In Life of Pi, what does Pi lose when the Tsimtsum sinks?  What did he gain? Besides the loss of his family and possessions,

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Pi conflates divine intervention and meaning with the creation of stories. For Pi, story-creating is part of his sense of divinity because it is through this creative process that he is able to deal with all this loss. Thus, story-creating is his salvation. This also makes sense why he can legitimately follow multiple regions. To Pi, they are all creative versions of the same premise. And that creativity is a property of the divine. It also conjures or connotes definitions of Creation in the sense that life and the world were created by God and becomes a story. Pi gained an ability to apply his religious beliefs for his own survival and a greater understanding of how his beliefs shaped his life and personality. He also gained a sense of self-reliance.

He lost his innocence. His naïve wonder of the world is replaced by a mature, skeptical wonder. He was no longer a vegetarian. He lost some dignity by eating animal feces and human flesh, but he gained humility. Pi learns how to live with another species, so to speak. Pi sees that living with another human can be like two different species of animals living together. Overall, his experience on the raft confirms his inclination that religion and science are interconnected. This experience taught him that humans are more similar to animals than they are different. This is foreshadowed in Chapter 8 when Pi’s father has his sons watch a tiger kill a goat. This lesson helps him deal with Richard Parker. If Pi had any sense that humans were more rational or superior to animals, he may have lost some of this certainty.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial