Life of Pi

Life of Pi


Yann Martel

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Life of Pi: Chapter 5 Summary & Analysis

Pi reflects further on his name and all the teasing he got as a child because of it. The other children called him “Pissing,” which they took from “Piscine.” Eventually Pi decided on a nickname, and when he moved to a new school he trained the teachers and his classmates to call him “Pi.” In each class on the first day he wrote “Pi” on the chalkboard, as well as the first few digits of the number pi. The name stuck.
Pi then shows how similar humans are to animals, as he basically trains his teachers and classmates to accept his new name. Rote repetition and confidence are the most important elements of this “training.” Pi’s nickname refers to the number π, representing the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. The number is irrational and unending, an interesting contrast to Pi’s love of harmony and order.
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