Expain why the author chose an orang-utan to represent Pi's mother on the boat?

Expert Answers

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

The orang-utan is the mother-figure on the boat because she acted as the protector to the defenseless. When the hyena brutally mamed and killed the zebra early on, it was Orange Juice who reacted. Although Pi was angry at the hyena for his cruelty, he does not react out of fear for his own safety. Orange Juice, despite fear and seasickness, confronts the hyena because her natural inclination is to protect. Pi even states that his memories of her at the zoo where as a mother to her two babies. Unfortunately her bravery caused her demise. Pi\'s alternative version of the story supports the same theory.

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