Life of Pi
From plot debriefs to key motifs, Thug Notes’ Life of Pi Summary & Analysis has you covered with themes, symbols, important quotes, and more.
Life of Pi (2001) | Written by: Yann Martel
Life of Pi
Thug Notes Summary & Analysis
Sup yall? This week we beastin’ through the ocean with Life of Pi by Yann Martel.
What it do, what it do? This week on Thug Notes we hittin’ dat true-blue sea with Life of Pi by Yann Martel.
Da book start with a shady first section called “Author’s Note”- where a nameless narrator flexin like he da author of this book. Brutha jus’ chillin, sippin on coffee when he start choppin’ it up with a hood named Francis Adirubasamy. This geezer all like “say, dawg. I bet I can tell you a story dat’s so tight, it gonna make you believe in God!” “Oh shit. I gotta hear this!” Francis start yappin’ bout a boy named Pi he knew back in the day. Pi’s story is so damn trill, da narrator gotta hit up Pi himself to get the legit story. It go somethin’ like this:
As a lil’ boy, Pi was comin’ up in Pondecherry, India, where his parents runnin’ a zoo dat give em enough cashflow to live a pretty cush lifestyle. Oh, and real quick- “Pi” ain’t this lil’ thug’s full name: it’s Piscine Molitor Patel. But since erryone always on his nuts callin him names like
“Pissing,” he decide “Pi” gonna be his new street name.
Now Pi was actually raised a Hindu, and he ALL about dat jam; still- it don’t stop his fourteen year old self from sniffin’ round Christianity and Islam. Eventually he decide he gonna rep all three religions- even though his parents and the local holy rollers ain’t feelin it.
But Pi ain’t trippin- cuz to him- all religions are true, an he just wanna show love to da man upstairs.
And it’s a good thing Pi so open-minded, cuz his lil’ ass bout to move cross da world. Since Pi’s mom and pop ain’t down with some political shit happening in New India, they decide to sell the zoo and peace out to Canada. So Pi, his fam, and all their animal homies hop up on a big-ass ship and start cruisin. But afta’ a couple days, a storm RAGES through da water and da ship start sinkin. Pi-dawg is da only member of his family to survive.
Dude hops up on a lifeboat, but brutha gotta share it with an orangutan named OJ, a zebra with a jacked up leg, and a spotted hyena who start actin like a real dick when he decide to eat da other two animals. So not chill, spotted hyena. But shit get even less chill when a 450 pound tiger named Richard Parker pop up from under a tarp and MERC dat hater.
Pi like “maaaan fuck this” so he ghetto rigs himself a raft to keep his distance from Richie P’s crazy self. Pi finally recognize dat the raft ain’t gonna be enough to save his ass; da oly way he gonna survive dis mess is by puttin dat tiger in check with some training. Pi straight alpha males dat bitch. With da help of a survival guide, some rations, and other supplies- Pi able to survive in da Pacific ocean for a long-ass time.
Dat don’t mean it’s easy though. At one point, Pi get so dehydrated that he goes blind and his mind start slippin’.
Matta’ fact, he goin so damn cray that he start conversatin’ wit Richard Parker bout they favorite kind of munchies.
Turns out Pi wasn’t talkin to Richard at all- instead, it was another blind castaway; this French fool, who foat up and Pi like “ Mah man. Hop up on this here liferaft and get yo’self some rest, dawg.” But when this dude try to boot up and merc Pi, Richard Parker like
“Bitch NUH-UH!”, and rips dat sucka UP. He dead.
Later, Pi’s boat lands on an island dat survives by EATIN’ bruthas. Yeah- you heard that right. Pi just about loses his shit when he find teeth inside an piece of fruit. Ugggh. So Pi and Richard Parker chunk deuces outta dat trap. After over 200 days on da struggle in dat watery abyss, their lifeboat washes up on to the shore of Mexico and Richard Parker rolls out in to da jungle without even saying bye or nuthin’. Dick.
Pi gets picked up by the law, taken to a hospital, and later and questioned by two dudes from the Japanese Ministry of Transport. Pi tell em what went down but these dudes like “Psh. This boy musta lost his damn mind.” So Pi like
“Aight, aight. That too crazy for ya? You want somethin real? Check this out-” And he tell the story again, this time laying it down raw. He say he wasn’t on that boat with no animals. Instead, it was the ship’s cook, a sailor with a broken leg, and Pi’s own mama. Just like dat hyena, the cook iced both the sailor and Pi’s mama.
But since Pi don’t play, he shanked dat boy in the stomach, and then feasted on his corpse. DAAAAAMN
But since neither story can be really PROVEN, Pi just like “forget truth. Lemme ask you- which story you like better?” They like “ehhh. We’ll go with the animals one.” Pi say “Yeah? Well just so you know, believing in God is the same exact jam.”
Now the title of this book ain’t just talkin bout the life of some dude named Pi- there’s more to it playa. Just look at what Pi say about his name:
Pi see his name as a symbol for home- dat practical safety from da outside world. But at the same time, the number “pi” is irrational-Cain’t nobody can make TOTAL sense of it cuz it never terminates or has fixed boundaries. And that’s exactly what da book saying bout ALL life- it’s a mix between da rational- things we can make sense of through science and reason- and the irrational- things dat ain’t even da smartest hood on da block can figger out. Life of PI- get it?
Now don’t get me wrong: science, reason, logic- DANK. But dat don’t mean errything in life gotta be rational- da world gotta have a lil’ taste of madness too-
When da shit hits the fan, it’s RELIGION- the NON-rational element- dat gives Pi da joose to survive and make SENSE of da world around him.
Pi might have dat religion game on lock, but it don’t mean dat he’s got all da answers. Ain’t no doubt dat P-dawg gets shat on in the novel, and has trouble comin’ to terms with all his suffering.
So one da one hand, Pi realize dat da mess he go through up on dat raft don’t mean a damn thing to the universe. But, on the other hand, to him- there ain’t nuthin’ mo important. Cuz it’s all he knows.
In a cold, dark universe, not only is yo suffering relative, but truth is too. All throughout this book we gettin a muddied representations of what’s real. I mean who is this fool callin himself the “author” at the beginning? And at the end Pi pretty much tell us that the whole story bout him and Richard Parker could all be bunk.
Hell, there’s good reason to believe dat Richard Parker IS jus’ the savage, kill-or-be-killed side of Pi. Peep da subtle ways dat lil’ thing and Richie P associated with each other.
But who da hell knows? I guess the REALEST truth is there ain’t no away to tell what really went down on dat raft. Hell, both of da stories Pi lay on us might be total bullshit.
So like Pi say, does it really matter what’s actually true? Should we just go with what’s better for us? Sure rationality and practicality are worth fighting for, but maybe it ain’t always so important to know the real deal. Maybe the best thing is going with what’s gonna help you cope and give you hope. Naw mean?
Thanks for watching mah well read ballas. Peace!!
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