In chapters 96-99 of the Life of Pi, what is the humor between Pi and the Japanese interviewers, and how does this humor impact the rest of the novel?

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tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The chapters that involve the Japanese interviewers are pivotal because they help to explain how Pi is doing right after he is saved. Pi has been through a most traumatic experience, yet he still finds humor within himself and among others. This shows a positive end for a hero that the reader has most assuredly come to love and root for. Pi plays with the interviewers by asking for more cookies than he needs and challenging them to see who is right when it comes to the question of bananas floating or not. There comes into play a battle of wits, too, as the interviewers challenge Pi's riveting story about surviving seven months on the ocean with a bunch of animals.

Yet, within these final chapters, another story is revealed about humans on the lifeboat with Pi rather than animals. This story is heartbreaking and disheartening. Which story Pi chooses to share with the world will determine how he survives the rest of his life; therefore, he asks the interviewers, "Which is the better story, the story with animals or the story without animals?"(317). This question, as well as Pi's sense of humor, drives home the feeling that not only did Pi survive the ocean, but he will also survive life after it; and this is what makes the whole story come full circle.