Describe the significant elements of Pi's house in Life of Pi. What is most striking about it?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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From the description given to us in Chapter Fifteen, the most striking element is the simile that begins this chapter, where we are told that Pi's house is "like a temple." However, unlike any ordinary temple, what distinguishes Pi's house from other temples is that he has a bewildering array of symbols and signs from the major different religions of the world, whereas most temples would only be dedicated to one religion. Consider the following quote:

In the living room, on a table next to the sofa, there is a small framed picture of the Virgin Mary of Guadalupe, flowers tumbling from her open mantle. Next to it is a framed photo of the black-robed Kaaba, holiest sanctum of Islam, surrounded by a ten-thousandfold swirl of the faithful. On the television set is a brass statue of Shiva as Nataraja, the cosmic lord of the dance, who controls the motions of the universe and the flow of time.

And so the list goes on. These are but a few of the religious icons that are present in Pi's house making the anonymous narrator describe his house as a "temple." Of course, we are left with massive questions after such descriptions: why does he have so many different religious icons from so many different religions?

The only other bit of information we are given is in Chapter Six, where we are told that his kitchen is stuffed full of different foods from all over the world, and that it contains enough food to survive "the siege of Leningrad."

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