Life of Pi


Why does Pi offer the two men a second story? How is the second story similar to and different from the first?

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After the story Mr. Okamoto and Mr. Chiba think Pi is fooling with them. They take a break, and Pi asks for another cookie.

Mr. Okamoto tells Pi that they don’t believe his story because bananas don’t float. Pi says that they do, and insists that they test it. They do, and it becomes clear that bananas do float. They tell Pi that they also don’t believe him about the island, or about Richard Parker. Pi tries to convince them, and they remain hard to persuade. They insist that they want the true story, which leads Pi to tell them a completely different story.

In this new story, Pi (Richard Parker) ended up in the lifeboat with his mother (the orangutan), the cook (the hyena), and a sailor (the zebra). The cook was voracious, and ate things like flies and rats even when he still had plenty of rations left. The sailor was young, and had broken his leg getting into the lifeboat. He only knew Chinese, and he suffered greatly.

As the sailor’s leg got infected, the cook said they must amputate it to save the sailor’s life. This they did, using only surprise as an anesthetic. The cook later let it slip that he had amputated the leg to use it as fishing bait, but it was too decayed and did not work effectively. The sailor died, and the cook butchered him. He claimed this too was for bait, but after a few days he started eating the flesh himself. Pi and his mother never ate any of it, but they did start to eat the fish and the turtles that the cook captured from the sea.

One day Pi was too weak to pull in a turtle, and the cook hit him. His mother hit the cook back, and sent Pi to the raft. The cook killed the mother.

Eventually Pi got back onto the boat with the cook. They shared a turtle, then Pi killed the cook with the knife the cook left out. Pi subsequently ate some of the cook's organs and flesh.

Mr. Okamoto and Mr. Chiba notice the parallels in the two stories. They continue to question Pi about how the boat actually sank.

The final chapter contains Mr. Okamoto’s report after the interrogation, in which he says that the cause of the Tsimtsum’s sinking is impossible to determine, and references Pi’s amazing feat of having survived 227 days at sea with an adult tiger.