Life of Pi Part 2 (The Pacific Ocean) Chapters 73 - 83 Summary

     Following chapters resemble previous, focusing mainly on Pi's emotions and thoughts, rather than on events. However, those rare events described serve to conjure Pi's despair which became unbearable after several weeks in the open ocean.

     Chapter 73 opens with Pi wishing to have a book with a never ending story. He had already read a survival manual several times, just to pass the time, although he craved for meaningful reading that would feed his soul. He also kept diary in attempt to capture a reality that overwhelmed him. Lack of books during the survival period in the ocean made him cry when he ran into the Bible for the first time after he was rescued. He was so overwhelmed with joy of having that book again that he sent a contribution to Gideons, asking them to expand the activity and make the Bible more approachable worldwide.

     Back at the boat, it seems that Pi started losing faith. He tried hard to remember that everything he had and everything that surrounded him, belonged to God, but could not ask himself why was God so harsh to him. Nevertheless, he would always find a shining point in his heart that would make him go on loving.

     When it comes to the outside world surrounding Pi, living conditions onboard deteriorated. There was less and less food, therefore he was compelled to calculate precise amount and timing of food. Refraining from food was specifically hard for him, as he was constantly hungry. At one point he decided to try to eat Richard Parker's excrement. He did not feel disgust nor was afraid of parasites, desperation completely took over him. The only reason why he did not use it as meal was the sudden thought that excrement is just a waste, without nutritive value. He started dreaming of food. The more hungry he became, the bigger the portions were in his dreams. It almost became his obsession, although he was not even picky with his meals, eating almost everything he caught in the ocean, rarely leaving any waste. The despair did not affect Richard Parker's meals, as Pi continued to supply him with fish. This obviously had an effect on the tiger, as Pi noticed that the tiger started hiding his feces, as if he was afraid that Pi might spot it. That was a clear sign that Richard Parker considered Pi dominant. This was good news. Pi had to make use of it.

     Lack of food was just one of many problems Pi faced on the lifeboat. With time, his blankets disintegrated, leaving him completely naked, exposed to the sun, ocean, rain and winds. His skin was in bad condition, lips cracking and bleeding, the rest of the body scorched in the sun. Life on the boat became unbearable. Days were too hot, nights were too cold, he had no shelter, no food, no physical strength to cope with problems. This affected his mind too. He became prone to depression and feeling of terror, yet feeling happy for small things, like for a dead fish that would become the next meal.

     Sharks were ever-present around the boat, but they never bothered them much. Pi had enough time to notice that their activity intensified at dawn and dusk. Sometimes they would knock on the boat, as if trying to investigate the unknown object before them, but that was it. On several occasions, he managed to catch smaller specimens, but once, as he tried to pull it onboard, the shark swirled into the air and fell into Richard Parker's territory. The tiger was startled. As he had never had contact with this animal, he immediately attacked it with his paws. The only way shark could defend itself was to bite, and so it did. It caught Richard Parker's paw and would not let it. The battle was so fierce that Pi had to leave the boat and jump onto his raft. Richard Parker was obviously in great pain, as he roared like never before. Pi claims that he felt the blast of hot air against his body, that is how strong and loud the roar was. Richard Parker managed to shake off the shark from his paw eventually. When Pi came back, he noticed the shark pieces scattered all over the boat. In the following days, the tiger tended his paws, licking them exceedingly.

     There were many fishes caught during those 227 days on the lifeboat, but Pi remembers one dorado specifically. As flying fishes were bursting out water, the dorado launched itself in order to catch it and slammed against the boat, killing itself. But that part is not as interesting as the rest of the story. Pi pulled it aboard, still thanking God for the effortless meal, when he noticed Richard Parker's look. This was not a curious look, absent look, or anything like that. The tiger had his mouth open and the tail twitching- he was about to attack Pi. Pi had no time to react, they were too close to each other, with no means to defend himself. Suddenly, he thought about his superiority over the tiger, so he turned towards Richard Parker and stared at him with a threatening look. This "mind battle" lasted for several seconds before the tiger groaned and turned away. Pi was safe. From that moment onwards, he never questioned his mastery over Richard Parker, nor he was worried by his presence. He even occupied the better, more comfortable spot on the boat, finally getting some rest.

     He also started frantically collecting water anyway he could. He kept it in plastic bags, considering them more valuable than the bag of gold or diamonds. At that moment, water supplies were the most valuable thing he owned. When it comes to food, Pi found himself eating ravenously, almost like an animal. This notion made him miserable.

     One afternoon, the storm came. It was so strong that it threatened his life. Sea was rising and falling, tumbling things on the life boat, tumbling him and Richard Parker as well. Pi had hard time trying to grab onto something that would prevent from falling right into the ocean. Somehow he managed to close Richard Parker into the tarpaulin. Pi strongly believed that this was his end. He realized that he would rather die from Richard Parker than from drowning in the water. This probably gave him the courage to fight for his life and make it through the storm. The squall weather lasted the entire day, draining Pi's last atom of strength. It left Pi exhausted and the boat in the bad condition. The tarpaulin was torn, mostly by Richard Parkers claws, much of the food was gone, but luckily, water supplies were untacked. Richard Parker was silent, probably upset with the turmoil and wet fur.

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