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emilyknight7 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Pi is extraordinary in both his childhood experiences and his own personality. First, just the name of his childhood home, Pondicherry, is whimsical. His childhood seems almost magical, growing up in a zoo where he muses on the ideas of man and the natural world while wandering the beautiful environments and exhibits of the zoo. He also is growing up in India, a dynamic country filled with diverse ideas. Pi takes in all it has to offer, taking on his family's Hindu faith, as well as Christianity and Islam and tempering his spirituality with an appreciation for rationalism and science.

Pi's personality is equally extraordinary. He has positivity and warmth in abundance and comes across as very wise, even as a child. When the various religious leaders fight in the street and each try to claim Pi for their own religion, he declares that he just wants to "love God," putting everyone in their place simply and gently. 

It is exactly these extraordinary qualities that help Pi survive in the raft at sea. He experiences the deep suffering he learned from Christianity and the rituals of his Hindu faith are reflected in the daily chores he does to stay alive. He uses the knowledge he learned from his father to deal with the animals (or deal with the humans as if they were animals, depending on which story you believe) and eventually tames Richard Parker. Pi's extraordinary nature allows him to survive his ordeal, and yet his survival makes him even more extraordinary.