Life of Pi Questions and Answers
by Yann Martel

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Martel divides the novel Life of Pi into three parts. What are the significant events in each part?

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When you are speaking of the "events" in a novel, you are referring to plot elements:  exposition, conflict, rising, climax, falling action, resolution.  Let's take a look at each in turn.

The exposition of the story introduces the characters and the setting.  This is in Part I of the novel.  Readers learn about Pi growing up and his dad's zoo and his experiences with religion and his early journey on the Pacific Ocean.  Even during the exposition, the theme seems to be "No small talk." 

The element of plot that really starts the story going is the conflict.  In this novel, the conflict is the very first line of Part II:  "The ship sank."  Here Pi's struggle begins.  It is a struggle to survive.

Pi's entire struggle for survival on the life boat with Richard Parker is the rising action.  This is entirely in Part II of the novel.  There are many "events" during the rising action.  A few that should stand out in a reader's mind are the disappearance of the first group of animals...

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