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Pages and Files
Art of Racing in the Rain
Book of Lost Things
Chant to Soothe
Curious Incident 1
Curious Incident 2
Cutting for Stone
Devil in the White City
For the Win
Half a Life
The Help 2
In Cold Blood
Koko Be Good
Life of Pi 1
Life of Pi 2
Lost Symbol 2
Miracle of St. A's
Other Wes Moore
Pride & Prejudice
Red & Me
Thousand Splendid Suns
Thousand Splendid Suns 2
Town Called Alice
Where Men Win Glory
Year of Living Biblically
Life of Pi 2
Location: Mr. Hill's Room
Last Chapter(s) Rewrite
Mr. Okamoto: “Your story is very interesting, Mr. Patel. We believe that although your story is incredible, many parts of it have some believability associated with them. We would like for you to spend some time with our superiors, and relate your story to some ocean biologists to possibly make some use of your... findings. Would that be ok with you, Mr. Patel?”
Pi Patel: “Yes, that would be alright. Tell me one thing though: do you believe my story?”
“Umm... Mr. Chiba and I are not experts on these matters, but... no, we don’t believe your story one bit.”
“Hmm. Why not?”
“It just... doesn’t add up”
“How you survived for 227 days on a lifeboat, never mind the starving tiger aboard with you. How you encountered a carnivorous algae plant as large as an island. How... how you could encounter another refugee, without seeing him or he you, in a separate life boat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean!? Why, that’s just unfathomable!”
“Yes, it is, isn’t it? Quite fascinating.”
“We still don’t believe you.”
“Yes, I figured as much. May I have another cookie?”
*sigh* “Yes, Mr. Patel, you may have one more cookie. You can turn that off now. There’s no more use for this nonsense.”
The next day I was escorted out of the building by two uniformed men and to a white van idling on the curb. One of the men, the shorter one, slid open the side door. I stepped up into the vehicle, the second one I had been in in the last 227 days. It was strange, the soft leather beneath me, all going in just the direction the driver wanted with the greatest of ease.
We arrived at a large building complex at the top of a hill. They said that one of the smaller buildings on the side was the lab where they would study and question me. The two men let me out of the van and walked me to the door, which they opened to the clean, white interior of the building. Walking down the hall, we passed rooms full of microscopes and other science equipment. Finally, we came to a door that was hastily labeled “Patel”. The men ushered me inside and closed the door. Inside was a desk with a light and many drawers, presumably locked. There was a rolling chair at the desk. There was also a bed, which I went over to, sitting on the bed’s edge.
After a time, a balding man dressed in white with a clipboard under his arm came into the room. He named himself as Dr. Stevens. He said that he was going to interview me and possibly take some tests on me. He said that everyone at the lab was very excited to hear what I had to say. Dr. Stevens pulled the rolling chair over to the bed and took out his clipboard and asked me to tell him my story. I did, Dr. Stevens scribbling furiously all the while. He seemed very excited to hear what I had to say, especially about the algae. The doctor said that it was “an unprecedented discovery in the history of marine flora!” He was disappointed that I didn’t have any of the stuff to show him, but as he left he babbled exuberantly: “We have so many tests to do!”
I was brought some soup for supper and as I ate Dr. Stevens questioned me extensively about the algae: it’s shape, smell, taste, color, etc. I was bored sitting in the cold, expressionless room and I wanted the man to go away. I knew they wanted me to test and question, so I tried to seem excited to share. After Stevens left he told me that the bathroom was down the hall to the left and wished me a good night’s sleep: “Better get some shut-eye kid, we’ve got a lot of big days in front of us! My colleagues and I will be seeing you around the clock for... I don’t know. For weeks! Months! Oh, this is so exciting!” With that he left.
I got into bed and tried to fall asleep. I didn’t feel tired though, I just felt restless. I got up and paced around the room. I didn’t want to stay here for more than a week, nevertheless a whole month or more! I couldn’t take it. I got into bed and waited until everyone seemed to have left the lab. I got out of bed and tiptoed to the door, opening and shutting it behind me. No lights were on in any of the labs, so I went back the way I came down the hallway to the door, and turned the knob. The cold night air blasted against my skin. It felt good to be out in the open again. I took a look at the cookies and bananas I put in my pockets, enough to go on for a few days. “Canada, here I come,” I said. And I walked into the night.
Scene From Different Perspective
p. 165-166 from the perspective of Richard Parker
I don’t want to move. I just want to be back home. I’m too tired to do anything but lie here in the sun due to lack of water and fresh food. Why did we leave home? Everything about this place is scary and strange. I’m afraid to leave this small space in which I crouch. All around me is water. There are no noises, no other animals, besides the curious one that sits out in the water. I don’t know what to make of him. He doesn’t seem threatening, but I mustn’t let my guard down, I case he decides to attack when I’m weak.
Something’s just stirred in the water. I spring to my feet and look for the source of the noise. It’s the other animal, standing out on top of the water. He starts to shout. I can’t make out what he’s saying, but it’s clear he wants my attention. He then makes several shrill noises. I feel threatened, he is trying to prove something. I snarl back at him, giving him my deepest guttural roar. The shrilling continues, even more insistently. This creature is difficult to read; I can’t tell if he’s going to make a move. I fear these noises he is making, they are so unusual. He must be extremely powerful to do such a thing. If I respect him, maybe he’ll stop.
I lie back down, my view of this animal blocked by the short wall. My muscles are tense; he could at any moment leap over the wall and attack. Another splashing sound, and all is quiet again. It takes a long while of silence before my body relaxes. This creature has made his point; he is to be respected.
Choice B, Chapter 37, Page 97
Richard Parker bounded through the bowels of the ship. Finally he made it to the top deck, to open air. Richard Parker’s stomach lurched. He could feel the ship sinking. The next thing he knew he was in the water.
Richard Parker shook his head, casting water droplets everywhere. In the distance, Richard Parker could see an object, shaped like an oversized food basin. He started to swim toward it, the waves crashing over his head. Panic started to overtake him. The water was too powerful, too painful in his eyes, too loud in his ears; then he heard it, a loud, piercing noise, unlike anything he had ever heard before. It cut through the sound of the water in his ears. TREEEE! TREEEE! TREEEE! He heard the noise and saw where it was coming from. A small boy. It was not the first time he had seen him. Somedays, when he was in his territory, in his home at the zoo, he would sit watching this boy, as the boy watched him.
Richard Parker remembered his cage. It was cold. It was small. It was confining. He couldn’t remember how he had gotten there. At first it was scary, intimidating, it put his hair on end. When the water started rising, his fear increased . Though he could swim, he didn’t like water. This tasted bad, salty even. He had looked around wildly. There must be a way out. Miraculously he realized that one of the walls of his cage had disappeared. He was freed.
Richard Parker was terrified. He swam towards the noise and the boy as hard as he could. Richard Parker felt death nearing. The water was pounding his face now and it was hard to breath.
Richard Parker heard the noise again. TREEEE! TREEE! TREEEE! He made one last attempt to reach it.
Then Something flew at him. Orange and round, the object stayed above the water. It didn’t reach him. He saw the object gliding back towards the boy. He wished it had stayed long enough for him to reach it.
Then it came again, much Faster, much farther. As it hit the water, he was splashed in the face. Though he was wet, this water brought a new chill. It woke him up. The water, combined with the hope that the floating object gave him, invigorated Richard Parker. He found the strength to swim the distance.
Upon reaching the object, he found that it couldn’t support his weight. It just sunk under the water. Fear started to overtake Richard Parker again. Then the object started moving towards the boy. He hung on, struggling to stay above water.
He was there. At the giant food bowl that the boy was standing in. He reached out a paw, then another. The food bowl rocked a bit but supported his weight. He climbed in. Richard Parker wanted to thank the boy, to lick him. The boy must have done something to aid his arrival into the dry giant food bowl. Off to the side he heard a noise. He turned his head just in time to see the boy disappearing over the edge of the basin and into the water. The boy was gone but he was safe. He was on a dry surface and safe.
Life of Pi Dialogue
It had been a few weeks since the class had moved on from it, but Austin just couldn’t stop thinking about The Life of Pi. While the rest of his junior English class seemed to fly through the book with pleasure, Austin just felt constantly bored and frustrated. The fact that he didn’t enjoy the book reflected in a very bad way when his teacher, the ancient and gray-haired Mrs. Jordan, passed back their final essays. On the top right hand corner, she had written in her fancy cursive handwriting a note to please see her after class.
When class was over, Austin stayed behind as the bell rang and his classmates filtered out of the room.
“So, Austin, I see you read my note” Mrs. Jordan said, looking at him over her crooked reading glasses that stayed at the tip of her pointed nose. “Why don’t you come sit,” she said, pointing to the desk right in front of her own, which was stacked with piles of miscellaneous papers and books. Not really knowing what to say, he just shuffled his way up to the front of the room, slightly dragging his sneakers on the floor, and sat down. He felt guilty about his grade and frustrated that he now had to deal with the consequences. Austin wasn’t just a typical English student, English was his favorite class, and usually his highest grade. He loved reading too, so this just wasn’t making sense to him.
“So I have to say, your essay really surprised me, Austin.”
“Yeah that makes two of us...” Austin muttered sarcastically under his breath. Mrs. Jordan ignored his comment (or just didn’t hear him, she was old after all) and continued,
“You really are one of the more gifted writers in this class, and the way you wrote this essay just didn’t make sense. Is everything OK?”
“Yes! Everything is fine, it’s just that I hated this book! I mean, I’m into the whole action survival story, but this was just plain boring. I had to fight not fall asleep whenever I picked it up. Just the same old problems of hunger and that tiger Richard Parker. Then, right when you think you’re getting some answers with the japanese guys interview, the book just ends! I’ve never been so frustrated with a book!”
“Oh, I see, you just didn’t like the confusion! Austin, I think I’ve come to know you over the course of this year, and you’re not one to just give up on a story and call it boring. I know you’re smart enough to find the deeper meaning,” Mrs. Jordan said with a hint of disappointment, but Austin was too worked up to catch on.
“The whole time Pi’s worrying about that tiger, and then there is no tiger at all? What a waste of time! But how do I know which version of the story is true? Either hes just gone absolutely crazy after that journey or... Well I guess he is kind of crazy either way. And then theres that man eating island! Where does that even come from? What is that even supposed to mean? Well obviously there is no such thing, but then how do you explain the meerkat skeletons in the lifeboat when they find him? Honestly, this book is just some crazy person’s crazy ideas.” After going off on such a rant, Austin felt kind of surprised at himself as soon as he stopped talking.
“Well Austin, your frustration over the conclusion of Pi’s story is exactly how Martel wants you to feel, as a matter of fact,” Mrs. Jordan said after a long pause of re-adjusting her glasses and folding her hands under her chin. “Did you ever consider the possibility that you are supposed to choose which version of Pi’s story is true? Or maybe that each story helps to describe the other, and the great emotional toll both had on Pi’s outlook of life? Remember how in part one of the story, Pi often as a young child tried to worship God in as many ways possible? This shows that he is truly good at heart. With that background, it is very possible that after the trauma of the time he spent in the pacific, what he experienced was far from his previous religious, and even vegan, morals.”
Mrs. Jordan paused, while Austin found himself feeling thoughtful, and even a little embarrassed that he hadn’t seen this message before. He could feel himself just beginning to grasp the meaning of what she said. “When people find themselves in such unimaginable situations, very unmoral human instincts often come out. When Pi was on that boat all alone, after experiencing the horrors of murder, hunger, and cannibalism, maybe he developed the belief that there was a tiger within him, always on the verge of attack. It is possible that Pi is using this image of a Tiger outside of himself to explain how what he did on that boat is not him, but a part of him, and that part is what frightens Pi more than anything. With Pi’s background as a zookeeper’s son, it is very symbolic that Martel chose Pi’s coping mechanism as replacing the humans around him with animals, and that he has to use his zoo-keeping expertise to keep himself alive.
‘Ultimately, I personally believe that this is Yann Martell’s way of illustrating the fact that the ugly and unmoral instinct of human survival is found within all of us, even the most pure of heart. The way that the story ends, not form Pi’s perspective, is helpful for us readers to make our own distinctions between what we actually believe is the true story, versus what we want to believe is the truth.” As soon as Mrs. Jordan finished making her point, Austin felt a wave of understanding, and even a sense of awe. What Mrs. Jordan said was so true! Austin couldn’t stop thinking of all the ways the two different stories influenced each other. There were so many ideas and theories beginning to formulate in his mind.
Before he could even say anything, Mrs. Jordan was already moving on, “Now I know I just gave you a lot to think about Austin, but you’re a smart kid. I wan’t you to go home and give Life of Pi another chance. I have a feeling this time around you might find it a little more interesting and fulfilling. Maybe you’ll even stay awake this time,” She said with a wink. “Now, I have a meeting to go to right away, thank you for your time Austin,” and before he could even say goodbye or thank you Mrs. Jordan was out of her seat and walking out of the room, quite swiftly for such an elderly woman. Austin stayed sitting in the front desk all alone for a long time, thinking about all the things he hadn’t seen before- it was a very fitting company to be with to think deeply for the first time about Pi’s introspective journey.
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