Life of Pi Short Summary in English

Important Points

  • “Life of Pi” was written by Yann Martel.
  • This novel was published in the year 2001.
  • Genre: Philosophical Fiction. (Not based on real incidents).
  • Point of View-FIRST PERSON.
  • Throughout the story Richard Parker is used to denote a Bengal Tiger.
  • The full name of “Pi” is “Piscine Molitor“.


“Life of Pi” written by “Yann Martel”, revolves around the pathetic condition of Piscine Molitor (Pi Patel) accompanied by a Bengal Tiger, Richard Parker, in the middle of the ocean. Pi’s companion throughout his voyage at sea is Richard Parker, a 450-pound, adult Bengal tiger, who is portrayed as a real animal, acting in ways true to his species.

Parker has been highlighted as one of the major reasons why Pi was pushed towards life. It was Parker, who kept on distracting Pi from thinking too much about his family and his tragic circumstances.

Lost in the Ocean

The story begins with Pi being alone and orphaned. He was hanging on in the middle of the ocean. As he looked around, he was shocked to see a 450-pound Bengal Tiger beside him, whose tip of nose to tip of tail, took over a third of the length of the ship. However, the tiger was not reacting in a beastly manner because of its sea-sickness as well as sedation.

The lifeboat was made in such a way, so as to accommodate a maximum of thirty-two people. It was three and a half feet deep, eight feet wide and twenty-six feet long. The words”Tsimtsum and Panama” were printed on each side of the bow in black, stark, Roman capitals.

Pi was tired and weak for having no food, water or even sleep for nearly three days. His condition was so pitiful that despite an adult Tiger, a Hyena, and Sharks beneath him and a huge storm raging around, he took the courage to move forward.

Pi was so thirsty that he could not stop himself to search water, which ultimately took him dangerously close to the Tiger, Richard Parker. Nothing could stopped him neither the Tiger nor the Hyena.

Cans of Drinking Water

Finally he got victorious in his search for water, after finding stacks of cans of drinking water. With his shaking hands, Pi opened the Can with the tarpaulin hooks and drank the water.

After realising that the pure, delicious, beautiful and crystalline water had finally gone into his system, Pi came back to life with a sense of refreshment and relaxation. His forehead was wet with fresh, clean, refreshing perspiration. His entire body right down to the pores of his skin, was expressing in bliss, as he finally had water, after taking the risk of moving near a ferocious Tiger, (which actually Parker was not.)

Finally Survived

After 227 days, Pi realised that it was Richard Parker, who had helped him in his survival. Pi even realised that Parker had brought him peace, wholeness and a new life.

At the ending, Pi left Richard Parker in a jungle and waited for a ship. However, Pi was disheartened to see that Parker, (with whom he had spent more than 200 days on a ship), did not even turned back to bid him a last farewell.

Later a ship found Pi, and this was how Pi got reunited with his family once again.