The Analysis Of Plot Used In Life Of Pi

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Submitted to Faculty of Culture Study University of Sumatera Utara

In partial fulfillment of the requirements for Diploma-III in English Study Program

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Dr. Matius C.A. Sembiring, M.A. NIP. 19521126198112 1 001


Accepted by the Board of Examiner in partial of the requirements for the D-III Examination of the Diploma-DIII of English Study Program, Faculty of Culture Study, University of Sumatera Utara.

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I, IVANALIZA JALALUDDIN declare that I am the sole author of this paper. Except where the reference is made in the text of this paper, this paper contains no material published elsewhere or extracted in whole or in part from a paper by which I have qualified for or awarded another degree.

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Title of Paper : The Analysis of Plot Used in Life of Pi Qualification : D-III / Ahli Madya

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The paper entitled “The Analysis of Plot Used in Life of Pi” is about the use of plot which found in the novel Life of Pi by Yann Martel. The novel is about a 16-year-old boy, Piscine Molitor Patel (Pi) who went through a 227 days journey on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger. The writer analyses how the plot is written based on the elements which are divided into five, that are exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and dénouement. After reading and analyzing the novel, the writer found that the plot of this novel is written in foreshadowing technique and the plot itself is recognized to match the elements. The writer collects data relevant for writing this paper from the internet and library research in the aim to find appropriate information about the topic. The writer hopes that this paper can be useful for the readers in developing knowledge about plot as one of elements of fiction and can help the readers in understanding the story line of the novel Life of Pi.






First of all, I would like to thank and praise to the Almighty God, Allah SWT for blessing and giving me health, strength and ease to accomplish this paper as one of the requirements to get Diploma III certificate from English Department Faculty of Cultural Studies, University of Sumatera Utara.

Then, I would like to express a deep gratitude, love, and appreciation to:

• My parents, Jalaluddin Ibrahim and Erliza Yusni. I deeply thank you

for your endless supports, advices and prayers for me. I love you.

• My one and only sibling, Muhammad Hamyasa Jalaluddin. You’re

always the calm one, thank you for your silent prayers and support.

Dr. Matius C.A. Sembiring, MA as the Head of English Diploma Study

Program, who gives me a lot of knowledge.

Dra. Syahyar Hanum, DPFE as my supervisor and Mahmud Arief

Albar, S.S., M.A. as my reader.

Dr. Syahron Lubis, M.A., as the Dean of Faculty of Cultural Studies,

University of Sumatera Utara.

• All lecturers in English Diploma Study Program for giving me advices and

lesson of educational study as well as life lesson.

• My beloved aunts, Yusharlenny (Ma) and Yusharlina (Wak Ondo) thank


• My cousins, Syafrizal, Ardiansyah Putra, Yudhi Amril, Dewi Shinta

Melissa, Iswahyudi, Hendryansyah, Odi, and Nurul thank you for your care and advices. My prince, M. Ragas Alfadhala and my princess, Thanuya Queenara.

• My high school friends, Liza (Jalie), Riris (Udang), and Annis (Nyak Nis)

thank you for your love, care and support girlies.

• My Nero Gang, Tika (Atun) Nelfi (Ufi memeng), Yati (Lobet), Anggi

(Kakek), Sadrakh (Indomie mate), and Guntur (Babang). Thank you for the wonderful memories lovelies.

• My very special one. Thank you for your support, care and motivations

Mine. You mean a lot to me.

• My SOLIDAS 2010 friends. Good-luck for the next stage of life guys!

• Team of Marching Band Universitas Sumatera Utara. Yes We Are!

Finally, I do realize that this paper is still far from being perfect. Therefore, I welcome any constructive critics and suggestions towards this paper.

Medan, 2013

The writer,

Ivanaliza Jalaluddin






4.2 Suggestions ... 29




The paper entitled “The Analysis of Plot Used in Life of Pi” is about the use of plot which found in the novel Life of Pi by Yann Martel. The novel is about a 16-year-old boy, Piscine Molitor Patel (Pi) who went through a 227 days journey on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger. The writer analyses how the plot is written based on the elements which are divided into five, that are exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and dénouement. After reading and analyzing the novel, the writer found that the plot of this novel is written in foreshadowing technique and the plot itself is recognized to match the elements. The writer collects data relevant for writing this paper from the internet and library research in the aim to find appropriate information about the topic. The writer hopes that this paper can be useful for the readers in developing knowledge about plot as one of elements of fiction and can help the readers in understanding the story line of the novel Life of Pi.






1.1 Background of the Study

Literature is a term use to describe written or spoken material. The term is most commonly used to refer to words of the creative imagination including works of poetry, drama, fiction and non-fiction. Robert and Jacobs (1995:2) say that Literature is classified into four genres: prose fiction, poetry, drama, and nonfiction prose.

In this paper novel is chosen as the material of analysis in which is also considered in literary work. Reader (1987:6) says that Novel is fictitious prose narrative of volume length portraying characters and actions representative of real life in continuous plot. Novel is human literature creations. In which that, novel doesn’t present documentary picture life. The story is written in certain plot to illustrate actions of the characters.


sequence of events that are logically and chronologically related, and caused or experienced by actors.

The writer is interested in analyzing a novel which entitled Life of Pi by Yann Martel. This fascinating yet miserable adventurous novel has many interesting points of religions and mostly about life. It is a story of a 16-year-old Indian boy, Piscine Molitor Patel (Pi), surviving on a lifeboat for 227 days with a carnivorous Bengal Tiger, Richard Parker, floating in the Pacific Ocean. The author, Yann Martel, is Canadian author whose first language is French, but he always writes in English. He published his most successful work, Life of Pi in 2001 and in 2012 Life of Pi was adapted to a movie.

As the focus of this paper, the writer will analyze the plot used in the novel Life of Pi by Yann Martel.

1.2 Problem of the Study

The problem is to identify the plot used in Yann Martel’s novel Life of Pi as referred in the background of the study above.

1.3 Scope of the Study


1.4 Objective of the Study

The purposes of this paper are to find how the plot is used in the novel Life of Pi and the elements of plot. Therefore, this paper can be functional for the reader in order to enrich our knowledge on literature.

1.5 Method of the study




2.1 What is Plot?

E.M. Forster in his book Aspect of The Novel (1927:93) quoted Aristotle’s plot theory says that plot is confronted not only by “human beings more or less cut to its requirements”, but, rather, “finds them enormous, shadowy, and intractable, and three-quarters hidden like an iceberg. It attempts to persuade these “unwieldy creatures” of the “advantages of the triples process of complication, crisis, and solution. E.M. Forster (1927:93) says that plot from story by defining the former as a narrative of events, the emphasis falling on causality. ‘The king died and then the queen died,’ is a story. ‘The king died and then the queen died of grief’ is a plot. The time-sequence is preserved, but the sense of causality overshadows it.


remember incidents and create connecting threads between them. This allows the novelist to delay explanations and introduce human mystery to the narrative.

Gwynn (2002:7) stated that in the Poetics, Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) gives first importance to plot as an element of a play, and most readers would agree that it holds a similar position in a work of fiction. Indeed, if we tell a friend about a short story we have enjoyed, we will probably give a synopsis or brief summary of its incidents. Plot may be defined as a story’s sequence of incidents, arranged in dramatic order. One is tempted to insert the word “chronological,” but doing so would exclude many stories that depart from this strict ordering of events.

Plot develops a series of complications or intensification of the conflict that leads to a moment of great tension. Author uses techniques in writing plot to make the story interesting or to add a twist and turn.

There are four types regarding to plot:

1. Suspense - Frequently involves dilemma, for instance: Caught in a bad situation with a choice in a boating accident, you can save either your mother or your husband form drowning.


3. Telescoping - It’s a matter of economy. The author cannot describe every motion of the character or event during the time the story covers. S/he has to choose the significant and merely suggest the others by saying they happened, without much description.

4. Foreshadowing - The outcome of a conflict is often hinted at or foreshadowed before the climax and dénouement. These clues are usually very subtle which remain foreshadowed until the story ends.

Plot refers to the series of events that give a story its meaning and effect. In most stories, these events arise out of conflict experienced by the main character. The conflict may come from something external. As the character makes choices and tries to resolve the problem, the story’s action is shaped and plot is generated. In some stories, the author structures the entire plot chronologically, with the first event followed by the second, third, and so on, like beads on string. However, many stories are told with flashback techniques in which plot events from earlier times interrupt the story’s current events.


2.2 Elements of Plot

When we talk about plot, it means that we talk about the actions or events which usually resolved at the end of the story. According to Kenny (1966:14) in Wiyatmi (trans.2008:37) says that the plot as the events are displayed in a not simple story, because the author sets the events was based on a causal connection. The plot is basically sequences of events in logical and chronological relations are interrelated and are caused or experienced by the characters. The plot outline is divided into three parts, namely early, middle, and end. The first part contains the exposition that contains instability and conflicts. The middle part contains the climax which is the height of the conflict. The final section contains troubleshooting.

Plot is known for having a narrative structure and is divided into five parts. The five parts are: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and dénouement.

2.2.1 Exposition

Exposition is the beginning part of a story. It introduces the main characters in the story. Gwynn (2002:8) says that exposition provides the reader with essential information—who, what, when, where—he or she needs to know before continuing. The exposition shows how the characters are related to each other, who the central characters are, and their aspirations.


2.2.2 Rising Action

The rising action introduces the conflict or problem in the story. The protagonist starts to reveal some of their problems and goals. This part also reveals the events where it becomes complicated and the conflict raised. The complication includes the appearance of some circumstance or event that shakes up the stable situation and begins the rising action of the story.

According to Gwynn (2002:9) complication in a story may be either external and internal, or a combination of the two. However, the rising action is also the body of a story; it comprises a number of scenes containing action and dialogue. It builds some crisis moments, but the dénouement of the complication seems at hand but quickly disappears.

2.2.3 Climax

Climax is the critical point at which the central character is about to win or lose all. It features the most conflict and struggle which the most probable outcome of the main conflict is finally revealed.


However, the climax does not mark the end of conflict. Climax only determines how the conflict will be decided. Conflict may be divided into four major types:

1. Character’s struggle vs. nature – The protagonist struggles with some natural forces (tornado, harsh climate, etc.)

2. Character vs. character – The problem the protagonist faces is one involving another character

3. Character vs. society – The protagonist faces a problem involving something in the society in which they live (racism)

4. Character vs. self – The character has some internal struggle inside themselves

2.2.4 Falling Action

The falling action is when the built-up tension is finally released. Protagonist has to react to series of events that have been changed after the climax. They perform the necessary plot actions to fulfill the protagonist’s fortunes that are now clear after the climax. It is where all the loose ends are being tied up, however, some author makes this as a tricky part where some plot might have been tied-up for the reader or left as questions for the reader to think about. 2.2.5 Dénouement





In the novel, the author tells the story in a foreshadowing technique with supremely suspenseful start of the story. The story is written in two points of view where Pi in a flashback telling his story and the author figure himself talking about his interview with Pi in Author’s Notes. The author and Pi himself make reference to some tragic episode in Pi’s life without actually naming it.


3.1 Exposition

The novel begins with an anonymous author figure who explains that he traveled from his home in Canada to India because he was feeling restless. While sipping his coffee in an Indian Coffee House, on Nehru Street in the town of Pondicherry, he met an elderly man named Francis Adirubasamy who offered him a story that would make him believe in God. Then he refers the story to Piscine Molitor Patel (Pi Patel) in Toronto.

I was at the Indian Coffee House, on Nehru Street. It’s one big room with green walls and high ceiling. Fans whirl above you to keep the warm, humid air moving. The place is furnished to capacity with identical square tables, each with its complement of four chairs. You sit where you can, with whoever is at the table.

(Martel, 2010: XII)

And so, a spry, bright-eyed elderly man with great shocks of pure white hair was talking to me. I confirmed to him that Canada was cold and that French was indeed spoken in parts of it and that I liked India and so on and so forth–the usual light talk between friendly, curious Indians and foreign backpackers. He took in my line of work with widening of the eyes and a nodding of the head. It was time to go. I had my hands up, trying to catch my waiter’s eye to get the bill. Then the elderly man said, “I have a story that will

make you believe in God.” (Martel, 2010: XII)


high school he attended the University of Toronto and took double-major Bachelor’s degree of religious studies and zoology.

Academic study and the steady, mindful practice of religion slowly brought me back to life. I have kept up what some people would consider my strange religious practices. After one year of high school, I attended the University of Toronto and took a double-major Bachelor’s degree. My major were religious studies and zoology.

(Martel, 2010: 3)

Then Pi even explains further back to his boyhood in Pondicherry. He relates that he was named after a pool. His family’s business associate friend, Francis Adirubasamy, whom Pi calls Mamaji gave him the name of his favorite French pool, Piscine Molitor.

Pi tells that his father once ran the Pondicherry Zoo. He reflects his life in the zoo is like paradise on earth.

To me, it was paradise on earth. I have nothing but the fondest memories of growing up in a zoo. I lived the life of a prince.

(Martel, 2010: 14)

My alarm clock during my childhood was a pride of lions. They were no Swiss clocks, but the lions could be counted upon to roar their heads off between five-thirty and six every morning. Breakfast was punctuated by the shrieks and cries of howler monkeys, hill mynahs and Moluccan cockatoos. I left for school under the benevolent gaze not only of Mother but also of bright-eyed otters and burly American bison and stretching and yawning orangutans.


Pi is frustrated that his friends call him “Pissing” and then he made it clear to everyone to call him Pi, from two first letters of his given name and is

pronounced just like the mathematical geometric symbol π (pie) on his first class

at Petit Séminaire secondary school in Pondicherry.

I got up from my desk and hurried to the blackboard. Before the teacher could say a word, I picked up a piece of chalk and said as I wrote

My name is Piscine Molitor Patel,

known to all as Pi Patel

– I double underlined the first two letters of my given name

(Martel, 2010: 23)

Pi’s father teaches him and his brother, Ravi, about the dangerous nature of animals by feeding a live goat to a tiger before their young eyes as they are trying to get near a tiger’s cage.

Father turned to us. “What animal is this?” he bellowed above Manisha’s snarling.

“It’s a tiger,” Ravi and I answered in unison, obediently pointing out the blindingly obvious.

“Are tigers dangerous?”

“Yes, Father, tigers are dangerous.”

“Tigers are very dangerous,” Father shouted.


Pi grew up a Hindu, discovers Catholic faith at age fourteen during a trip to Munnar.

There are three hills within Munnar. They don’t bear comparison with the tall hills–mountains, you might call them–that surround the town. But I noticed the first morning, as we were having breakfast, that they did stand out in one way: on each stood a Godhouse. The hill on the right, across the river from the hotel, had a Hindu temple high on its side; the hill in the middle, further away, held up a mosque; while the hill on the left was crowned with a Christian church.

(Martel, 2010: 51)

I booted up that hill. Though Father Martin was not IN– alas, his block was slid over–thank God he was in. Short of breath I said, “Father, I would like to be a

Christian, please.”

He smiled. “You already are Piscine – in your heart. Whoever meets Christ in good faith is Christian. Here in Munnar you met Christ.”

He patted me on the head. It was more of a thump, actually. His hand went BOOM BOOM BOOM on my head.

(Martel, 2010: 57)

Then, about a year later he was fifteen he discovers Islam and diligently follows the religion.

He stood straight. He murmured in Arabic. He brought his hands next to his ears, thumbs touching the lobes, looking as if he were straining to hear Allah replying. He bent forward. He stood straight again. He fell to his knees and brought his hands and forehead to the floor. He sat up. He fell forward again. He stood. He started the whole thing again.

(Martel, 2010: 60)

I challenge anyone to understand Islam, its spirit, and not to love it. It is a beautiful religion of brotherhood and devotion.


Pi chooses to practice all three religions simultaneously even he is told to choose one of the three religions by the religious teachers, to which he announces cannot. His parents are speechless to see Pi and his beliefs.

The pandit spoke first. “Mr. Patel, Piscine’s piety is admirable. In these troubled times it’s good to see a boy so keen on god. We all agree on that.” The imam and the priest nodded. “But he can’t be a Hindu, a Christian and a Muslim. It’s impossible. He must choose.”

“I don’t think it’s a crime, but I suppose you’re right,” Father replied.

The three murmured agreement and looked heavenward, as did Father, whence they felt the decision must come. Mother looked at me.

A silence fell heavily on my shoulders.

“Hmmm, Piscine?” Mother nudged me. “How do you feel about the question?”

“Bapu Gandhi said, ‘All religions are true.’ I just want to love God,” I blurted out, and looked down, red in the face.

(Martel 2010: 69)


3.2 Rising Action

At the end of Part One, Pi explains that due to political actions, his father decided to move his family to Canada, a completely foreign place for Pi and his brother, Ravi. Pi describes his deniable feelings to leave India to start a new life.

It was announced to us one evening during dinner. Ravi and I were thunderstruck. Canada! If Andhra Pradesh, just north of us, was alien, if Sri Lanka, a monkey’s hop across a strait, was the dark side of the mood, imagine what Canada was. Canada meant absolutely nothing to us. It was like Timbuktu, by definition a place permanently far away.

(Martel, 2010: 79)

Pi then explains that his father sold the zoo and the majority of the zoo animals to various zoos in America. However, there are some animals loaded in the ship as well. Then the first conflict before the climax is introduced, Pi and his family set sail on June 21st, 1977 on a Japanese cargo ship Tsimtsum.

On our last day in Pondicherry I said goodbye to Mamaji, to Mr. and Mr. Kumar, to all my friends and even to many strangers.

(Martel, 2010: 90)

Animals were sedated, cages were loaded and secured, feed was stored, bunks were assigned, lines were tossed, and whistles were blown. As the ship was worked out of the dock and piloted out to sea, I wildly waved goodbye to India. The sun was shining, the breeze was steady, and seagulls shrieked in the air above us. I was terribly excited.

Things didn’t turn out the way they were supposed to, but what can you do? You must take life the way it comes at you and make the best of it.


This part shows various problems are revealed which affect one another. Political strife that affected India made Pi’s father comes to a decision to move the family to Canada and sells their zoo. This case affected Pi as the main character who is against this decision. Meanwhile, he cannot do anything but to accept it. This problem somehow seems to fade away a little bit as Pi tries to accept the fact and make the best of it. However, the beginning of the major conflict is revealed after they set sail on a cargo ship to Canada.

3.3 Climax

In the beginning of Part Two, Pi describes when the ship sinks and sees Richard Parker seeking for help and later on he goes back in time just before the ship sinks. In this part, the author found several major conflicts which lead to critical situation and struggles.

The first major conflict is revealed; the ship begins to sink. Pi clings to a lifeboat and encourages a tiger, Richard Parker, to join him.

The ship sink. It made a sound like a monstrous metallic burp. Things bubbled at the surface and then vanished. Everything was screaming: the sea, the wind, my heart. From the lifeboat I saw something in the water.

I cried, “Richard Parker is that you? It’s so hard to see. Oh, that this rain would stop! Richard Parker? Richard Parker? Yes, it is you!”

I could see his head. He was struggling to stay at the surface of the water.


Then he realizes his mistake in bringing a wild animal abroad, he tried to push the tiger away with an oar as it’s trying to get on the boat, but the tiger succeeded.

“Hold on tight, I’ll pull you in. Don’t let go. Pull with your eyes while I pull with my hands. In a few seconds you’ll be aboard and we’ll be together. Wait a second. Together? We’ll be together? Have I gone mad?” I woke up to what I was doing. I yanked on the rope. “Let go of that lifebuoy, Richard Parker! Let go, I said.

I don’t want you here, do you understand? Go somewhere else. Leave me alone. Get lost! Drown! Drown!

He was kicking vigorously with his legs. I grabbed an oar. I thrust it at him, meaning to push him away. I missed and lost hold of the oar.

I grabbed another oar. I dropped it in an oarlock and pulled as hard as I could, meaning to move the lifeboat away. All I accomplished was to turn the lifeboat a little, bringing one end closer to Richard Parker.

I would hit him on the head! I lifted the oar in the air. He was too fast. He reached up and pulled himself


“Oh my God!” (Martel, 2010: 99)

Pi is terrified at the sight of a 450 pound Bengal tiger gazing at him, Pi then jumps into the ocean.

I had a wet, trembling, half-drowned, heaving and coughing three-year-old adult Bengal tiger in my lifeboat. Richard Parker rose unsteadily to his feet on the tarpaulin, eyes blazing as they met mine, ears laid tight to his head, all weapons drawn. His head was the size and color of the lifebuoy, with teeth.

I turned around, stepped over the zebra and threw myself overboard.


Then the narrative jumps back in time as Pi describes the explosive noise and chaos of the sinking.

I think there was an explosion. But I can’t be sure. It happened while I was sleeping. It woke me up.

(Martel, 2010: 101)

I shook Ravi. I said, “Ravi! There was funny noise. Let’s go exploring.”

He looked at me sleepily. He shook his head and turned over, pulling the sheet up to his cheek. Oh Ravi!

I opened the cabin door.

Inside the ship, there were noises. Deep structural groans. I stumbled and fell. No harm done. I got up. With the help of the handrails I went down the stairwell four steps at a time. I had gone down just one level when I saw water. Lots of water. It was blocking my way. It was surging from below like a riotous crowd, raging, frothing and boiling. Stairs vanished into watery darkness. I couldn’t believe my eyes. What was this water doing here? Where had it come from? I stood nailed to the spot, frightened and incredulous and ignorant of what I should do next. Down there was where my family was.

(Martel, 2010: 103)

The ship was sinking. My mind could hardly conceive it. It was as unbelievable as the moon catching fire. (Martel, 2010: 103)


I noticed an orange whistle dangling from the life jacket. The men were nodding vigorously at me. When they took hold of me and lifted me in their strong arms, I thought nothing of it. I thought they were helping me. I was so full of trust in them that I felt grateful as they carried me in the air. Only when they threw me overboard did I begin to have doubts.

(Martel, 2010: 105)

I landed with a trampoline-like bounce on the half-unrolled tarpaulin covering the lifeboat forty feet below. It was miracle I didn’t hurt myself. I lost the life jacket, except the whistle, which stayed in my hand. (Martel, 2010: 105)

The storm subsides and Pi contemplates his difficult situation. Pi holds onto an oar which he put through a lifebuoy so that the ring holds him. Pi looks around for his family and other survivor, but all is gone, his family is gone.

I was alone and orphaned, in the middle of the Pacific, hanging on to an oar, adult tiger in front of me, sharks beneath me, a storm raging about me. Ha d I considered my prospects in the light of reason, I surely would have given up and let go of the oar, hoping that I might drown before being eaten. But I don’t recall that I had a single thought during those first minutes of relative safety. I didn’t even notice daybreak.

I held on to the oar, I just held on, God only knows why.

(Martel, 2010: 107)


group. However, they started the tense over the days; the hyena kills the zebra and then the orangutan.

Pi makes a raft out of oars, life jackets and buoyant ropes. Then suddenly Richard Parker reveals himself: the tiger has been in the bottom of the lifeboat all along. Soon the tiger kills the hyena, and Pi and Richard Parker are alone together in the sea. This is where another major conflict takes place where he is abroad with a huge carnivore.

Pi soon learns to catch fishes and turtles in the sea and stock of canned water and filtered seawater, and emergency rations help him survive. He tries to find an idea on how to kill Richard Parker, but instead Pi trains Richard parker with a whistle and treats from sea as well marking territory on the boat, and then it settles down a bit after they become close. Pi feeds the tiger every time they have food supply.

I had to tame him. It was at that moment that I realized this necessity. It was not a question of him or me, but him and me. We were, literally and figuratively, in the same boat. We would live – or we would die – together. (Martel, 2010: 164)

I looked at Richard Parker. My panic was gone. My fear was dominated. Survival at hand.

…I rose to my feet. Richard Parker noticed. The balance was not easy.

…”Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, without further ado, it is my pleasure and honour to present to you: THE PI PATEL, INDO-CANADIAN, TRANS-PACIFIC, FLOATING CIRCUSSSSSSSSSSSS!!! TREEEEEE! TREEEEEE! TREEEEEE! TREEEEEE! TREEEEEE! TREEEEEE!



He roared and he clawed the air. But he did not jump. He might not be afraid of the sea when he was driven mad by hunger and thirst, but for the time being it was a fear I could rely on.


He backed off and dropped to the bottom of the boat, the first training session was over. It was a resounding success. I stopped whistling and sat down heavily on the raft, out of breath and exhausted.

And so it came to be:

Plan Number Seven: Keep Him Alive. (Martel, 2010: 165-166)

Then at a certain point, the two become so hungry and ill that they lose their sight and come across another blind man. Pi and the man talk for a bit about food and suddenly the man tries to kill Pi to eat his flesh. However, Pi was being strangled by the man until the man is attacked by Richard Parker and it eats him, Pi is thankful to the tiger. Then Pi gets his vision back for tearing up upon finding stock of food and water in the dead blind man’s boat.


3.4 Falling Action

Finally at the end of Part Two the major conflicts in the climax have reached its cleared-up tense. Pi sights land in Mexico and disembark. Richard Parker immediately runs off into the woods and Pi was executed by a group of people in the village.

When we reached land, Mexico to be exact, I was so weak I barely had the strength to be happy about it. We had a great difficulty landing.

(Martel, 2010: 284)

I looked ahead to see how far I had to go. The glance gave me one of my last images of Richard Parker, for at that precise moment he jumped over me.

…he reached the beach. He went to the left, his paws gouging the wet sand, but changed his mind and spun around. He passed directly in front of me on his way to the right. He didn’t look at me. He ran a hundred yards or so along the shore before turning in.

(Martel, 2010: 284)

At the edge of the jungle, he stopped. I was certain he would turn my way. He would look at me. He would flatten his ears. He would growl. In some such way, he would conclude our relationship. He did nothing of the sort. He only looked fixedly into the jungle.

Then Richard Parker, companion of my torment, awful, fierce thing that kept me alive, moved forward and disappeared forever from my life.

(Martel, 2010: 285)

I struggled to shore and fell upon the sand. I looked about. I was truly alone, orphaned not only of my family, but now Richard Parker, and nearly, I thought, of God. Of course, I wasn’t.

(Martel, 2010: 285)

After some hours a member of my own species found me. He left and returned with a group. They were six or seven. They came up to me with their hands covering their noses and mouths.


Pi is taken away to the village and given care by the local woman in the village. Pi eats many delicious foods given by the villagers.

The people who found me took me to their village, and there some women gave me a bath and scrubbed me so hard that I wondered if they realized I was truly brown-skinned and not a very dirty white boy. I tried to explain. They nodded and smiled and kept on scrubbing me as if I were the deck of a ship.

(Martel, 2010: 286)

…they gave me food. Delicious food. Once I started eating, I couldn’t stop. I thought I would never stop being hungry.

(Martel, 2010: 286)

In this part, Pi also describes his gratitude to his castaway of the 227 days journey in the Pacific Ocean, Richard Parker. Pi explains Richard Parker’s presence has affected him in so many ways. He is grateful to have him in the survival journey.

I wish I had said to him then–yes, I know, to a tiger, but still–I wish I had said, “Richard Parker, it’s over. We have survived. Can you believe it? I owe you more gratitude than I can express. I couldn’t have done it without you. I would like to say it formally: Richard Parker, thank you. Thank you for saving my life. and now go where you must. You have known the confined freedom, of a zoo most of your life; now you will know the free confinement of a jungle. I wish you all the best with it. Watch out for Man. He is not your friend. But I hope you will remember me as a friend. I will never forget you, this is certain. You will always be with me, in my heart. What is that hiss? Ah, our boat has touched the sand. So farewell, Richard Parker, farewell. God be with you.”


Pi is taken to a hospital by a police car the next day. There, he considers his story ends with gratitude to the villagers who saves him.

I was overwhelmed by the generosity of those who rescued me. Poor people gave me clothes and food. Doctors and nurses cared for me as if I were a premature baby. Mexican and Canadian officials opened all doors for me so that from the beach in Mexico to the home of my foster mother to the classrooms of the University of Toronto, there was only one long, easy corridor I had to walk down. To all these people I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks. (Martel, 2010: 286)

In Part Three, Pi also reflects the conversation with the two officials from Maritime Department in the Japanese Ministry of Transport who are trying to get the information about the Tsimtsum shipwreck. Pi relates the story of his 227 days journey in the Pacific Ocean along with a hyena, a zebra, an orangutan, and a Bengal tiger, Richard Parker that killed each other and left Pi with the tiger at the end. However, they didn’t believe Pi’s fantastic tale of surviving with a Bengal tiger.

3.5 Dénouement

Therefore, Pi relays to them a second story, this time replacing the animals with humans: a ravenous cook instead of hyena, a sailor instead of a zebra, and his mother instead of the orangutan. The officials note that the two stories match and that the second is far more likely to happen.


Mr. Okamoto: “Yes that’s it. Let’s go. Well, Mr. Patel, I think we have all we need. We thank you very much for your cooperation. You’ve been very, very helpful.” “You’re welcome. But before you go, I’d like to ask survivor of the Tsimtsum, on February 14th, 1978.” “That’s right.” and you can’t prove the question either way, which story do you prefer? Which is the better story with animals or the story without animals?

Mr. Okamoto: “That’s an interesting question…” Mr. Chiba: “The story with animals.”

Mr. Okamoto: “Yes. The story with animals is the better story.”

Pi Patel: “Thank you. And so it goes with God.” (Martel, 2010: 316-317)

Then Pi’s story is written in a report that the Japanese officials release and they commend Pi for living so long with a tiger in the Pacific Ocean.




4.1 Conclusions

After doing the analysis of this novel, the writer concludes that the novel Life of Pi uses foreshadowing as the plot technique. In the beginning of the novel, the author keeps on making references to some tragic episode in Pi’s life without actually naming it. The story frequently jumps from the author’s point of view to Pi’s at another time. Moreover, the story can be classified into each of the plot elements or parts to which the writer concludes:

1. Exposition – Introduces an anonymous author finds an interesting story of Piscine Molitor Patel that would make him believe in God. It also introduces Pi’s childhood life. 2. Rising Action – Political strife affected Pi’s family and so

they set sail to Canada on a Japanese cargo ship, Tsimtsum. 3. Climax – The Tsimtsum ship sinks and Pi’s family dies,

leaving him alone with a wild Bengal tiger, Richard Parker, on a lifeboat.

4. Falling Action – Pi disembarks in Mexico and is rescued. Two Japanese officials doubt Pi’s story about story.


instead of zebra. By this, the officials tried to believe it as logically as they can.

3.6 Suggestions

The writer hopes that this paper will be helpful for the readers, who wanted to know about plot and its elements or parts. In fact, it will be better for the reader to understand about literature before reading a novel since that novel is one of a familiar literary works to anyone. Novel can be enjoyed by anyone at any age with suitable novel genres. Moreover, it is also important to understand the plot in a story therefore you will gain a maximum understanding of the story line with being able to identify which part happens in what time and where it takes place. Plot elements can be divided into five; exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and dénouement. In this case, Life of Pi is a good novel and is suitable for any age. It tells you how one should really value life and make the most of it, and most outstandingly, have faith in God.



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Hamalian, Leo and Karl, Fredrick R. 1967. The Shape of Fiction. New York: MC Graw-Hill Book Company.

Kennedy, X.J. 1991. Literature an Introduction to Fiction, Poetry and Drama. London : Harper Collins Publisher.

Martel, Yann. 2010. Life of Pi. London: Walker Books Ltd.

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A. The Biography of Yann Martel

Yann Martel was born on June 25, 1963, in Salamanca, Spain, to Emile and Nicole Martel, but spent his childhood living in a variety of different countries, including Costa Rica, France, India, Iran, Mexico, Turkey, Canada, and the United States. His parents, civil servants, were of French-Canadian descent, and their family eventually settled in Montreal.


Martel has said in a number of interviews that Dante's Divine Comedy is the single most impressive book he has ever read. In talking about his most memorable childhood book, he recalls Le Petit Chose by Alphonse Daudet. He said that he read it when he was ten years old, and it was the first time he found a book so heartbreaking that it moved him to tears.

Yann Martel’s Career

In 2001, he published the novel Life of Pi, his fourth book, which was awarded the Man Booker Prize in 2002.Life of Pi was later chosen for the 2003 edition of CBC Radio's Canada Reads competition, where it was championed by author Nancy Lee. In addition, its French translation, Histoire de Pi, was included in the French version of the competition, Le combat des livres, in 2004, championed by singer Louise Forestier. Martel was inspired to write a story about sharing a lifeboat with a large cat after reading a review of the novella Max and the Cats by Brazilian author Moacyr Scliar. Martel received some criticism for failing to consult with Scliar and by Scliar himself for the way he initially responded to the criticism.


In November 2005, the University of Saskatchewan announced that Martel would be scholar-in-residence.

His novel Beatrice and Virgil (2010) deals with the Holocaust: its main characters are two stuffed animals (a monkey and a donkey), along with several other animals depicted in a taxidermy shop. Martel describes them as simply two approaches to the same subject.

From 2007 to 2011, Martel worked on a project entitled What is Stephen Harper Reading? Every two weeks, he sent the Prime Minister of Canada one book that portrays "stillness," with an accompanying explanatory note. He posted his letters, book selections, and responses received to a website devoted to the project. A book-length account of the project was published in the fall of 2009. Martel ended the project in February 2011, after sending Harper a total of 100 books.

Writing Life of Pi

In a 2002 interview with PBS, Martel revealed his inspiration for his novel, "I was sort of looking for a story, not only with a small 's' but sort of with a capital 'S' – something that would direct my life."He spoke of being lonely and needing direction in his life. The novel became that direction and purpose for his life.


sharing his boat with a jaguar.Scliar said that he was perplexed that Martel "used the idea without consulting or even informing me," and indicated that he was reviewing the situation before deciding whether to take any action in response. After talking with Martel, Scliar elected not to pursue the matter.A dedication to Scliar "for the spark of life" appears in the author's note of Life of Pi.

Literary reviews have described the similarities between Life of Pi and Max and the Cats as superficial. Reviewer Peter Yan wrote, "Reading the two books side-by-side, one realizes how inadequate bald plot summaries are in conveying the unique imaginative impact of each book," and noted that Martel's distinctive narrative structure is not found in Scliar's novella. The themes of the books are also dissimilar, with Max and the Cats being an allegory for Nazism. In Life of Pi, 211 of 354 pages are devoted to Pi's experience in the lifeboat, compared to Max and the Cats, in which 17 of its 99 pages depict time spent in a lifeboat.

B. Summary of the Novel

The novel begins with the author describing in an author’s note his travels to India, where he meets a man named Francis Adirubasamy in a coffeehouse in Pondicherry. His response to the author’s claim that he needs inspiration is “I have a story that will make you believe in God.” After which he refers the author to Piscine Patel in Toronto, who immediately begins to tell his own story, starting in Chapter 1.


opportunities and learning many odd and exciting things. His father is the proprietor of the Pondicherry Zoo, where Pi learns much of the workings and raising of animals. Pi’s mother is an avid reader and introduces to him numerous literary works from which he learns the joys of numerous schools of thought. His school is filled with amazing teachers, one of whom, Mr. Kumar is an inspiration to Pi.

Deriving his full name (Piscine) from a world famous swimming pool in France, his parents are good friends with Francis Adirubasamy (from the author’s note), a world class swimmer who often goes on about the Piscine Molitor in Paris. He goes by Pi instead because his schoolmates make a big deal out of calling him “pissing” instead as it sounds similar. They all take to the name and from that point on, his name is no long Piscine but Pi.

Pi grew up a Hindu, but discovered the Catholic faith at age 14 from a priest by the name of Father Martin. He is soon baptized. He then meets Mr. Kumar, a Muslim of some standing and converts to Islam. Therefore, he openly practices all three religions avidly. When the three religious teachers meet up with his parents at the zoo, they demand that he choose a single religion, to which he announces he cannot. Throughout this section, Pi discusses numerous religious matters as well as his thoughts on culture and zoology.


loaded onto the same boat that the family will take to reach Winnipeg, Canada. On the journey to North America, the boat sinks.

As the only survivor of the shipwreck, he’s stuck in a lifeboat with a dying zebra and a hyena. Pi sees another survivor floating in the water and only after throwing them a life preserver and pulling them aboard does he realize that “Richard Parker” is actually the 400 pound tiger from his father’s zoo. He immediately jumps overboard until he realizes that there are sharks nearby.

So, upon reentering the boat, he wedges the tarpaulin up with an oar and decides he might survive if he can stay on top and keep Richard Parker beneath it. Over the next week an Orangutan arrives as well and the four animals interplay carefully, eating each other until there is only Richard Parker left.

Over the course of the next 7 months aboard the lifeboat, Pi hides on a makeshift raft behind the boat and begins the process of taming Richard Parker with a whistle and treats from the sea, as well as marking his portion of the boat. He begins to get close to the tiger, developing the kind of bond a zookeeper does with his menagerie. After a while, Pi learns to kill and eat from the sea, sharing with the tiger. The two do not eat nearly enough though and as time passes, they become quite ill.


unsuspecting man is attacked by Richard Parker and eaten. The tears from the situation eventually clear up Pi’s vision and they continue on alone in the boat.

Still floating along alone and desperate, the two come across an island made of algae. They disembark and Pi begins eating the algae, regaining his strength during the day and sleeping on the boat. Richard Parker regains his strength from eating the meerkats who live on the island, sleeping in the trees during the night. Eventually, Pi realizes that they leave at night because of an acid produced by the island during the night hours. He eventually notices a tooth among the algae, evidence of another man having died on the island. They leave quickly as the island is apparently carnivorous.

Finally, after more time spent floating along in the ocean, Pi sights land in Mexico and disembarks. Richard Parker immediately runs off into the woods and Pi is recovered by two men from the shipping company who owned the boat that sank with his family on it. He relates to them the story of his 227 days on the boat, but they do not quite believe his fantastic tale of surviving with a Bengal Tiger and meeting a blind man in the ocean.


Adaptations of Life of Pi Illustrated edition

In October 2005, a worldwide competition was launched to find an artist to illustrate Life of Pi. The competition was run by Scottish publisher


Croatian artis edition, which was published in September 2007.

Film adaptation

A 2012 adaptation directe screenplay by on 21 November 2012. At the from eleven nominations, including Best Director.

Theatrical adaptations


England, in 2003. The company toured England and Ireland with the play in 2004 and 2007.