Book: Life of Pi


I’m impressed at how Pi (then Piscine) manages to come up with a plan to rid himself of the insulting nickname of “Pissing” while feeling the pain of being bullied by his entire school. The scene shows that while Pi is hurt by the bullying, he’s resilient enough to push through and overcome it. In his own words, it’s “time to put down Satan”. The scene highlights Pi’s creativity and cleverness when he comes up with the plan. Pi wants to be accepted as he moves to his new school, and is afraid of having to go through the misery of being bullied again. Pi has just experienced the external conflict of bullying, and is experiencing the internal conflict of knowing that “like all younger brothers, [Pi] would suffer from following in the footsteps of a popular older sibling.” I think the author portrays the development of the character quite effectively, and I like how the change of nickname is used to represent a turning point in the character’s life. I’m satisfied with the character’s actions, as he manages to overcome his hardships better than I feel I ever could. I personally connect with Pi’s bullying problems, as I was bullied several times during elementary and middle school. I tend to handle problems in a slightly different manner by using my trump card… adults. However, I admire the inner strength and ingenuity that Pi demonstrates in this scene, and would consider him a positive role model for anyone who wants to deal with bullying in a peaceful and self-reliant manner. His high level of social responsibility would also be worth emulating. For example, he builds relationships with a very diverse range of people; his list of friends include a priest, an imam, a pandit, and a hardcore atheistic biology teacher.

  1. Liam,

    An excellent and detailed first scene response to an equally excellent novel!

    – Integration of quotes / evidence is smooth and allows the reader to easily follow your line of reasoning. Each quote is expanded on in terms of Pi’s wants / fears / conflicts.

    – Detailed personal connections show a deep engagement with your reading. I am glad that you are enjoying the text.

    – Remember to include page numbers for your chosen quotations.
    – Try to avoid static “to-be” verbs in sentences such as “Pi has just experienced the external conflict of bullying.” Instead, make these active by editing to “Pi experiences the external conflict of bullying.”

    Great work! I am looking forward to reading your final novel responses.

    • Thanks, Mr. Morris! The “just experienced” is intentional; the bullying happened before the scene, so I decided to use past tense to make that clear to the reader. I’m not entirely sure what you mean by “static” and “active” verbs. All I got when looking it up were “stative” and “dynamic” verbs. Are they the same thing?

      I’ll try to include page numbers next time!

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