Life of Pi

Life of Pi

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Life of Pi Chapter 17 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Pi describes his introduction to Christianity. When he was fourteen he was on a holiday in Munnar and he came across a church. Pi had never been inside a church before, and he stepped inside when he saw that the doors were open. Inside he met a priest named Father Martin. Pi expected to be kicked out for being a “heathen,” but Father Martin welcomed him into the clean, quiet space.
At first Pi starts with knowledge only of Christianity’s ritual and the self-righteousness of many of its practitioners. He is fortunate to meet Father Martin, a Christian who is kind, patent, and appreciates the love behind Christian dogma.
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Pi began returning to visit Father Martin, and the priest told him the story of Jesus. Pi wondered at the strange psychology involved in Christ’s sacrifice, and he asked for other stories. Father Martin said that there is only one story in Christianity, and the whole basis of it is God’s love. Father Martin answered all of Pi’s questions with “love.” Pi compared this strange new religion to Hinduism’s fantastical tales, but he was moved by a God who would give up all power and glory.
Pi starts to learn that he too is looking for something deeper than ritual and tradition, and he finds different aspects of that thing – God, or universal love, or “a better story” – in Hinduism and Christianity. Only when Pi looks past his stereotypes of Christians does he see the similarities in the religions, and he asks us as readers to do the same.
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After three days Pi found himself thinking constantly about Jesus. At first he was angry at the idea of him, but soon Pi decided to become a Christian himself. Just before his family left Munnar, Pi went to Father Martin and asked to become a Christian. Father Martin told Pi that he already was. Overjoyed, Pi went into the church and prayed, and then went off to thank Krishna for introducing him to Jesus.
The idea of boundaries returns here as Pi starts to blur the lines between different religions. Most people cling to one religion exclusively or no religion at all, but Pi starts to embrace three of them at once. He has shown that he accepts metaphysical truth as relative, so he chooses religions as a moving and beautiful way to view the universe.
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