Pi describes the many different forms the sky and sea would take. He feels that he is “perpetually at the center of a circle,” as the shape of his setting never changes. His life divides into opposites, as light is too blinding and darkness is claustrophobic, the day is too hot and the night is too cold. Pi’s emotions also swing between extreme boredom and great terror. Pi describes his life as “a game with few pieces,” where the elements are simple but the stakes are high.
Martel now moves from the sordid to the sublime. Pi’s life has become one of extremes also in his contradicting animality and spirituality. One moment he is trying to eat tiger feces, and the next he is contemplating the sublime. In an endgame of chess there are few pieces left, so every consecutive move becomes more important to losing or winning. The simplicity of Pi’s life has become like a religious mystic living in a desert.