Schools & Districts
All of Shmoop
Cite This Page
iOS Learning Guide
Kindle: Learning Guide
Nook: Learning Guide
Sony Reader: Learning Guide
Life of Pi
Life of Pi
Best of the Web
Table of Contents
AP English Language
AP English Literature
SAT Test Prep
ACT Exam Prep
Life of Pi Characters
Meet the Cast
Piscine (Pi) Molitor Patel
Life of Pi isn't a character-driven book. Meaning, Martel doesn't devote the majority of his efforts to digging deep into the characters' minds. Sure, we can love Pi's humor and good nature, but th...
Depending on which of Pi's stories you believe, Richard Parker is either a real tiger or he's simply a very developed figment of Pi's imagination. But whichever one you choose – the story wit...
Pi's Mother / Orange Juice
Pi's MotherPi's mother is named Gita, but she's mostly just referred to as "Mother." She's an incredibly warm presence for Pi. She's sympathetic when his father tries to teach him a lesson about th...
The Hyena / The Cook
If there's anything like pure evil in Life of Pi, it comes in the form of the hyena, who, in Pi's second version of his experiences at sea, is the cook. In a way, it's much more understandable in t...
The Blind Frenchman / The Cook
Mr. Okamoto and Mr. Chiba identify the blind Frenchman, who sails up to Pi late in the telling of the first story, as the hyena. This guy complicates the allegory, but, like we said, it's not exact...
The Zebra / the Taiwanese Sailor
The Taiwanese sailor simply suffers. In the second (animal-less) story told by Pi, the cook needlessly amputates the sailor's broken leg to use as fishing bait. The zebra, in the story with animals...
Pi's father, Santosh, carries the banner of the New India. This means he stands for progress and not religion. He cares about the business of the zoo and worries about losing Pi to religious fanati...
Pi feels intense guilt about Ravi. When Pi leaves to investigate the explosion on the ship, he shakes Ravi but decides to let him sleep. Big mistake. Ravi goes down with the ship. Pi still feels gu...
Francis Adirubasamy and Assorted Gurus
Francis Adirumbasamy – also known as Mamaji – is the guru of all gurus. He's the guy who tells the author about Pi. The author describes him in the Nehru street coffee shop as "a spry,...
We think it's a little cheeky for Martel to include himself as a character. In the novel, he's kind and earnest, considerate toward Pi and initially suspicious of Francis Adirubasamy. We love the a...
Mr. Okamoto and Mr. Chiba
We admit we didn't understand the two investigators at first. They're hapless. They disagree and lose focus. They seemed more like a comedy duo suddenly invading a tragedy. But they fulfill an impo...
Need help with College?
© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved. We love your brain and respect your privacy. |
© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved. We love your brain and respect your privacy.