Study Guide

Life of Pi Part 1, Chapter 4

By Yann Martel

Part 1, Chapter 4

  • These early chapters often outline important elements of Pi's education: Chapter 4 is the zoo and freedom chapter.
  • Pi tells us Pondicherry entered the Union of India in 1954. Not long after that – with civic achievement following civic achievement – Pondicherry gets a zoo. And Pi's family moves from Madras, India to Pondicherry after Pi's father buys the zoo.
  • Pi loves growing up in the zoo. Who wouldn't? Well, maybe members of PETA.
  • Then Pi launches into a discussion of religion, freedom, and zoos: the gist being animals are really free in zoos and religion actually frees the believer. See "Themes: Religion" for more on Pi's rant. We're not sure anyone has ever talked about zoos, freedom and faith all in the same breath.