Life of Pi Part 1 (Toronto and Pondicherry) Chapters 19 - 27 Summary

     Pi came back to mosque to ask the man what is his religion about, and the man told him that it is about the Beloved. Piscine was amazed with the concept of Islam and decided to follow it. They both sat cross-legged and prayed.

     Later he learned that the man's name was Mr. Kumar, like that of his biology teacher. Although one Mr. Kumar was fully devoted to religion, the other Mr. Kumar was not. However, both were influential persons in Pi's life. Pi embraced Islam so much that he felt God's presence in form of peace and harmony in nature. This happened several times, once while he was in Canada. He went to friend's visit during the winter- everything was white and shiny because of the snow, when he noticed the Virgin Mary in a small clearing in the wood. He was both terrified and happy. In both cases the nature revealed the presence of God.

     In Chapter 21 the intrusive narrator mentions that he has spent the entire afternoon with the man who left him with a weary feeling. During their conversation, two phrases caught his attention, "dry, yeastless factuality," and " the better story."

     Chapter 22 jumps back to Pi, who contemplates religion, imagining what would the last words of atheist and agnostic be in their deathbeds. He believes that the atheist would change his mind in the last moment of their life, while agnostic would stay true to their "dry, yeastless factuality," explaining the light before their eyes as the lack of oxygen, where the lack of imagination would make them miss "the better story." After these two chapters it becomes obvious that the intrusive narrator was actually talking to and about Pi.

     Chapter 23 brings the story of Pi's trouble after it came to light that he was practicing three religions at the same time. Priest, imam and pandit informed Pi's parents about his deeds and demanded to meet them, so they could talk about the issue, but none of them expected to lead a group conversation. Namely, Pi's father scheduled the meeting at the same time, so that priest, imam and pandit were doomed to face each other. Each one claimed that Pi was the follower of their religion, which brought additional tension and arguments about what religion is the real one. Eventually, they all agreed that Pi had to choose between Islam, Hinduism and Christianity, since he could not practice three religions at the same time. To justify his actions, Pi defended himself by citing Gandhi, who said that all religions are true. Pi's father could not but agree that everyone is actually trying to love God, which made "three wise men" step away with grudging smiles on their faces. Once left alone, Pi's parents talked no further about the religion, instead, they had an ice-cream. However, Ravi could not help but make fun of Pi's religious view, asking him when he would become a Jew and convert to three more religions so that he could spend the entire week in visiting holy places.

     Chapter 26 covers Pi's opinion on how people perceive religion. He says that God should be defended from the inside, not from the outside. Whatever anger they feel, they should direct it to themselves. He goes back to the about being chased away from each sacred place he went to afterwards, silently accused of being a betrayer. Somehow, people stood between him and God, but Pi was not going to give up. He asked his father to buy him a prayer rug and to be baptized, so he could pray outside peacefully. Puzzled by Pi's wishes, father explained that he could not be both Christian and Muslim, but Pi was determined. Realizing that nothing could be done, Pi's father sent Pi to his mother. Mother tried to avoid the discussion by sending him back to his father, but soon realized that someone had to deal with it. Later that day, Pi heard his parents mumbling about the issue. They were both confused by Pi's actions, but in a way, proud of his choice, since they did not have to solve typical teenage problems parents usually have with their children. Asking if it would had been better if Pi acted like Ravi, who was interested only in music and sport at the time, they agreed that it would not. Finishing the conversation with a chuckle, it seems that they were not worried about Pi's religious choice.

Related Links:

Life of Pi Part 1 (Toronto and Pondicherry) Chapters 19 - 27 Quiz
Life of Pi Part 1 (Toronto and Pondicherry) Chapters 28 - 36 Summary
Life of Pi Part 2 (The Pacific Ocean) Chapters 37 - 45 Summary
Life of Pi Summary
Life of Pi Quotes
Life of Pi Important Characters
Life of Pi Quiz
Literature Summaries

To link to this Life of Pi Part 1 (Toronto and Pondicherry) Chapters 19 - 27 Summary page, copy the following code to your site: