Life of Pi Part 2 (The Pacific Ocean) Chapters 46 - 54 Summary

     Another day brought uneasiness upon Pi. Sudden realization of the great loss and danger slammed his spirit. He was not the only one suffering. The orangutan seemed to share the same feeling of tragedy, as she was bearing the expression of mourning. On the other hand, the hyena, with its bestial ignorance of feelings, having nothing but urge to fulfill its needs, continued eating zebra. Poor zebra was half dead, too weak to defend itself. It was not reacting to hyena's snorting and squealing while tearing the skin, spilling its belly. Both Pi and orangutan were overwhelmed with the scene of horror. While Pi was highly shaken by the torment of the innocent animal, orangutan expressed its rage by sudden roaring. She looked impressive with her wide shoulders and open jaws. Hyena was startled by the sudden outburst and replied with the same hostile roar. Although Pi thought that things could not get any worse, they actually did. As the blood from the zebra's body was pouring on the boards, sharks came and started knocking on the boat. This sound additionally distressed animals onboard, which became even more aggressive towards each-other. However, aggression did not escalate, hyena retreated behind the zebra's body and after a while, everything was calm again. Increased aggression and another sunset without rescuers on the sight, pushed Pi to the limits of his psychological endurance. Grief for the lost family came to focus again.

     On the following day Pi realized that the zebra was actually still alive, although half of her organs were missing. He was horrified to learn that animal could sustain so much injury and terror and go on living. Luckily for zebra, it died before the noon. Other animals were tensed, especially hyena which showed signs of stress. Orangutan was still grunting and making noises. Pi was a bit surprised to see the orangutan in a combat mode, as she was raised as a pet. He underestimated her, believing that she too will be hyena's victim- but that was not the only surprise- as he looked down, he noticed Richard Parker beneath the bench. He was on the boat the entire time.

     Chapter 48 opens with the explanation of how Richard Parker got his name. Namely, a panther was terrorizing the Khulna district in Bangladesh, and its residents hired a hunter to locate and kill the animal. The hunter's name was Richard Parker. Although there was no sign of the panther during his watch, he spotted a tiger with a cub. He decided to fire darts to make her unconscious and transferred both tiger and the cub to the zoo. Cub was named Thirsty, because it was spotted while it was searching for water to drink. However, papers were filled inaccurately, stating that hunter's first name was Thirsty, last name None Given, while the cub's name was Richard Parker. Pi's father was so amused with this error that he decided to keep the name.

     Back at the lifeboat, Pi was still bewildered by the thought that Richard Parker was below him all the time, wondering how could have he missed it. Besides, Pi was thirsty, deciding that it was about time to search for water. Although Richard Parker was nowhere to be seen, the hyena was still behind the dead zebra, observing Pi. Knowing that there was the tiger onboard, Pi realized how silly it was to be scared of an "ugly, foul creature." It became clear to Pi that strange behavior of animals could be explained by the presence of Richard Parker, who was an ultimate predator onboard.

     Pi managed to locate bottles of water, but, alas, they were just below him, as well as the tiger. Opening the partition of the bench meant opening of Richard Parker's den, but Pi was out of options, he needed water. He managed to get not only water, but a large amount of other supplies that should last for several months. After the refreshment, Pi came to his senses. He immediately decided to take an action in order to preserve his life. He started making a raft that would separate him from the rest of the animals. Although it was just an improvisation, the raft served its purpose. Pi tied it to the lifeboat with a long rope and let it float behind. Meanwhile, Richard Parker laid his eyes on the dead zebra and targeted it as his own prey. The hyena was not happy to see that, so another turmoil occurred. The food obviously brought the tiger back to life, as he became aware of his surrounding, noticing Pi instantly. Luckily, a rat got in his way, so Pi tossed it towards tiger's hungry mouth. The dead zebra and the rat were not sufficient for the beast. He killed and ate the hyena too.

     Pi decided it was time to move onto the raft. It was unstable and seemed insecure. With the pouring rain things got from bad to worse. Not just that Pi was unable to sleep and got soaked wet, he also became tensed with the idea of having his raft untied from the lifeboat. He spent sleepless night wondering how to get rid of the tiger so that he could have the lifeboat for himself. Several plans came as possible solutions, but none of them were possible to carry into effect. The only one left was to let the nature do its thing, i.e. to wait until Richard Parker dies from thirst.

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