Quotes or quotations are some lines, verses, extracts or paragraphs from a literary piece. These quotes or quotations depict, sometimes, its major theme, or an aspect of theme, or some universal truths. Quotes or quotations in Life of Pi by Yann Martel not only contains mystic and life-changing elements but also universality. Some of the popular quotes of Life of Pi have been explained below.
Quotes in Life of Pi
“I know zoos are no longer in people’s good graces. Religion faces the same problem. Certain illusions about freedom plague them both”
Part -I, Chapter -4
Pi comments his perception of wildlife kept in a zoo and compares it with the general opinions of people about religion. He asserts that people perceive a thing through their delusional thoughts, and believe them as objective truths. In zoos, animals are given favorable conditions to live. Similarly, through religion, a believer’s perception is given the same circumstances.
“If Christ spent an anguished night in prayer, if He burst out from the Cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” then surely we are also permitted doubt. But we must move on. To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation”
Part -1, Chapter -7
These lines echo Pi’s thoughts after meeting his teacher Mr. Kumar from Petit Seminaire. He then questions the existence of God. He thinks that logic and scientific reasoning is greater than every religious teaching. Pi agrees with his teacher but also tells the reader that one cannot imagine life without the presence of God. As it is through faith in God that one trusts in different meanings of life and human purpose e.
“There are animals we haven’t stopped by. Don’t think they’re harmless. Life will defend itself no matter how small it is. Every animal is ferocious and dangerous. It may not kill you, but it will certainly injure you”
Part -1, Chapter -8
Pi’s father Santosh teaches his sons Pi and Ravi an important lesson about instincts. He takes them near the cage of small and meek animals such as guinea pigs. He advises them not to take any living creature for granted. He explains that life is important for any living creature and that every soul will fight for its survival.
She thought for a second. “One. That’s the point. One nation, one passport.”
“One nation in the sky?”
“Yes. Or none. There’s that option too, you know. These are terribly old-fashioned things you’ve taken to.”
“If there’s only one nation in the sky, shouldn’t all passports be valid for it?”
Part -1, Chapter -26
Pi questions his mother about the existence of different religions such as Islam, Christianity, and Hinduism. He asks why their followers lack religious harmony. If the ultimate goal is to serve and love God, it can be done by following any religion. Pi argues that if there is only one nation, it means there should be a valid passport for it. In other words, he means that if there is a single deity in the sky, there should be one religion.
“At moments of wonder, it is easy to avoid small thinking, to entertain thoughts that span the universe, that capture both thunder and tinkle, thick and thin, the near and the far”
Part -2, Chapter -85
Pi comments above the nature of relief and rescue from natural hazards such as a thunderstorm. He marvels upon the working of the universe. He thinks that when confronting nature’s marvel, a person cannot stop thinking about its origin, its process and the power that directs it. Nature is full of surprises and reminds mankind of God’s grace and his plans.
“I got to my feet, the first time in a long time I had made such an effort. Can you believe it, Richard Parker? People, food, a bed. Life is ours once again. Oh, what bliss!”
Part -2, Chapter -86
Pi encounters another ship in the ocean. He yells with happiness as he speaks to Richard Parker, the tiger. He believes that the basic necessities of life such as food, shelter and human company are happiness. He comes to the conclusion that from his birth until his death, man’s life revolves around the struggle to fulfill these inevitable necessities of life.
“What do you mean? You are the most precious, wonderful person on earth. Come, my brother, let us be together and feast on each other’s company”
Part -2, Chapter -90
Pi and Richard Parker are exhausted by the hunger pangs and sufferings of the harsh sea. It shows that man and animals are, though different in nature, are companions in this life. They suffer from the same ailment and desire. As tells Richard Parker they can eat each other, which means Pi is willing to sacrifice himself.
“Only because you’ve never seen them.”
“That’s right. We believe what we see”
Part -3, Chapter -99
The conversation between Pi and officials reveals Pi’s subjective experience. Until Pi is rescued on the shores of Mexico, he has been through many ups and downs. He had also experienced different bounties of nature present in sea life. However, when he describes his ordeals to the officials, they fail to believe him and present different scientific or historical facts. In reply, Pi tells them that they can never believe in his story unless they do not experience it themselves. It also draws an important life lesson that one should always be open towards subjective experiences and knowledge.
“What you don’t realize is that we are a strange and forbidding species to wild animals. We fill them with fear. They avoid us as much as possible”
Part -3, Chapter -99
Pi is speaking to Mr. Okamato and Mr. Chiba saying that human beings are strange and bizarre compared to the animals. He means that humans terrify animals in the same ways the animals terrify us. That is why animals feel threatened to share natural habitat with humans.
“Don’t you bully me with your politeness! Love is hard to believe, ask any lover. Life is hard to believe, ask any scientist. God is hard to believe, ask any believer”
Part -3, Chapter -99
Pi replies to the interrogating officials that they should encounter believers who believe in love, science, and God. He further uses sarcasm for their politeness. He further tells that with believing in the philosophy of a thing, a person can find answers and true salvation. He means that just logic cannot answer the questions of life. In other words, he means that life and God both seem troubling to the seekers, as they cannot fully understand them.