Life of Pi Part 2 (The Pacific Ocean) Chapters 55 - 63 Summary

     Morning brought clearer thoughts and unpleasant realization to Pi- tigers are endurable and persistent, so driven by hunger Richard Parker would easily swim to the raft to get him. When it comes to the thirst, tigers from the Sundarbans are known to drink saline water. Pi was doomed.

     Ironical as it was, Richard Parker, the source of Pi's fear, became Pi's driving force. He noticed Richard Parker watching him intently and calmly as only satisfied animal would. The knowledge of animals allowed him to conclude that the tiger was friendly and harmless at the moment. Only then Pi realized how happy he was for having the tiger around. Knowledge of having a life threatening creature onboard made Pi more combative and tactical.

     New idea crossed his mind, to tame the tiger. He started the training immediately, since conditions were perfect. Pi imitated the circus announcer and started yelling and summoning visitors to pay close attention to the "trans-pacific floating circus." Sudden noise caught Richard Parker's attention and he started roaring. Pi continued shouting and blowing his whistle until the tiger backed off to the bottom of the boat. The first training session was over and the final product of the training would be divided territory, whereas the middle bench would become a neutral territory and the bench with supplies Pi's. To keep Richard Parker alive, Pi had to provide him with food and the only inexhaustible source of food was the ocean, therefore, Pi had to start fishing. Besides, there were other things that needed attention- the raft had to be improved, and canopy had to be built. Although the will to survive had not been more prominent until that day, Pi still did not cope well with loneliness and grief.

     From that point, Pi became mentally stronger. He kept his mind and hands busy with repairs and improvements. He was checking knots on his raft, building canopy and more comfortable seat, keeping an eye on Richard Parker all the time. It seems that his hard work payed off. Having read the survival manual Pi woke up determined to try his hand at fishing, for the first time in his life. He needed to improvise the bait, so he was rummaging through the locker when he realized that Richard Parker's eyes were fixated on him in the hostile way. Pi believed that his end had come. Suddenly, he was hit in the face. Overwhelmed with shock, he was grateful for not feeling the pain. Then the other blow in the face came, and the other. It was not Richard Parker who was delivering blows, but flying fishes. Richard Parker obviously took advantage of the sudden invasion and tried to catch a fish with his mouth, while Pi had troubles handling the constant blows. Dorados were the reason for the fish onslaught. This was one of the kind opportunity to start fishing. Although the prey was not as rich as he hoped, Pi had another problem- as a vegetarian, not only that he did not eat meat, he also never killed an animal. He had a hard time trying to kill flopping fish. He spent the entire day fishing and ended a day with one noticeable catch, a huge dorado.

     Following morning began with the notion of Richard Parker's restlessness. Pi wondered if he was thirsty, which reminded him to check for the solar stills who were turning salty water into salt-free water. Although a little skeptical, he was soon assured that the device actually worked. He also seized the opportunity to train the tiger by tossing him a piece of a fish to catch his attention and blowing a whistle a few times to let him know who was in charge for the meal. The trick worked, the tiger seemed intimidated. At the end of the day, Pi calculated that it had been a week since Tsimtsum sunk.

     Chapter 63 begins with a statistics on how much time had passed before survivors were brought back home. Pi was the only one to survive 227 days, or over seven months. His story started on July 2nd, 1977 and ended on February 14th, 1978, but he did not know it back then, of course. He continued to practice his daily routine that kept him busy. Rain was the only event that affected his routine, as it would stop all activities. He was not tracking time, therefore he lost the notion of time, and that was probably a mitigating circumstance.



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