In Life of Pi, how does Pi combine and use religion and science to survive on the lifeboat?

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Jonathan Beutlich eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I'll start with a broad overview of Pi and his knowledge of science and religion. First, Pi's knowledge and usage of religion is quite broad and tolerant. That's why he is able to combine Christianity, Hinduism, and Islam. Pi takes bits and pieces of each religion in order to make himself feel better, have more hope, and have a more positive outlook on life.

"Bapu Gandhi said, 'All religions are true.' I just want to love God," I blurted out, and looked down, red in the face.

As for Pi's knowledge of science, his knowledge doesn't cover as wide of a spectrum as his knowledge of religion. His scientific knowledge is firmly rooted in animal behavior. He might be able to explain a bit of chemistry or genetics here and there, but his useful scientific knowledge is from animal behavior. Pi uses this knowledge to a great extent on the lifeboat so that he can co-exist with Richard Parker. Pi makes sure that Richard Parker never sees Pi as possible prey. That would be the end of Pi, and Pi knows...

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