In Martel's Life of Pi, how does writing a diary help Pi Patel build on his leadership skills?    

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tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

At the end of chapter 73, Pi first divulges the fact that he had started a diary after about a week alone at sea. Pi claims that he wrote about "practical stuff" (208) such as what he caught for food, foreseeable problems and solutions, Richard Parker, and reflections about specific events that occurred. In a sense, Pi is the captain of his ship; therefore, he must take responsibility for himself and his crew. He can do this by writing down events, problems and solutions, and reflections to look back on when confronted with repeated problems. It can help him to consider pros and cons when faced with new and unforeseen dilemmas as well.

In addition, keeping a diary provides Pi with a medium through which he can keep himself focused on reality. He doesn't waste his paper on whining about his circumstances, for example. He uses the limited supply of paper to write down the reality of his situation and to keep a realistic dialog going with himself in order to analyze issues at hand and to survive. A good leader certainly needs to stay calm, grounded, reflective, and analytical when overseeing any major task or project--and the habit of writing each day helps Pi do these exact things. 

thetall eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Pi was bent on surviving his ordeal at sea. One of his greatest challenges was surviving on the boat with Richard Parker. He had to think strategically and writing the diary helped him record important events that would guide his stay. Writing the diary helped him to address and manage the risks posed by his circumstances, which was a crucial aspect of his survival. Among some of the reasons for writing the diary were to enable him to avoid things going wrong and handling the situation when challenges arose. Thus, the diary helped him make decisions based on practical information and patterns he had established. Pi’s leadership skills can be confirmed by his ability to survive and at the same time take care of Richard Parker by applying the correct strategic decisions when the situation required it.