Write a paragraph in which you analyze how Martel introduces the character of Pi.

Expert Answers

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

Yann Martel does not provide the actual name of his main character until chapter 5 in Life of Pi. No, the full name of Piscine Molitor Patel doesn't appear until page 20 after many different details are first known about him. The book is prologued by an author's note about how he came to discover Pi, but then the first chapter starts out with Pi looking back on his life from a 40-year-old perspective, beginning with his education in Canada. However, the first sentence says, "My suffering left me sad and gloomy," which is the also the first clue into Pi's life. To first-time readers, the first chapter can be confusing because Pi discusses his understanding of animals such as sloths and mentions a man named Richard Parker who had left him alone at some point in a terrible journey. Hence, Martel opens up Pi's life with ambiguity to create a sense of curiosity for the reader to continue on to discover the secrets of the story.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

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